By Kathie Stamps
Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties have cooperated on the funding, construction and governance of a new regional communications system. Expected to be implemented in early 2019, the $25 million digital system will improve safety and service by eliminating dead spots and allowing first responders to communicate inside buildings.
Boone County has a new countywide comprehensive transportation plan that identified projects to improve safety, reduce congestion and facilitate future growth and development. Traffic is going to get easier when the conventional diamond interchange at Mt. Zion Road (KY 536) and Richwood Road (KY 338) will be replaced by a double crossover diamond. The I-71/I-75 improvement project is set to begin in 2019 and be completed by 2021 by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet with a $67.5 million INFRA grant.
Also, a regional STEAM education center opens in fall 2019 for students in grades 9 to 12. Teacher clusters will stay with the same student cohort year to year. Located at the Roebling Innovation Center in Erlanger, Ignite Institute will eventually expand to include all grades.
In Florence, a Kroger distribution center opened in late 2017 and invested $18 million in 2018 to add 250 full-time associates and upgrade technology as it expands its e-commerce and digital services at the facility.
Boone County is an experience-lover’s dream, with attractions like Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, Boone Links Golf Course, Florence Family Aquatic Center and the Creation Museum. The $27 million Creation Museum in Petersburg sees upwards of 8,000 visitors a day; this past year the venue experienced a 20 percent increase in visitors via motor coach tours.
Estimated 2019 population: 136,757
Median household income: $69,165
Chamber of Commerce: Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, nkychamber.com
County Seat: Burlington; Florence Mayor Diane E. Whalen, florence-ky.gov
Judge-Executive: Gary W. Moore, boonecountyky.org
Economic Development Authority: Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corp. (Tri-ED), northernkentuckyusa.com