Hello, Hamilton County

  E-News for Hamilton County Citizens and Employees

February 27, 2002

  Quote of the Week:  “Do not follow where the path may lead....go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”  -Anonymous


Hamilton County Invites Public to "Put Your Mark on the Great American Ball Park"

Citizens can win a personalized brick through a contest announced by the Board of County Commissioners.

Free, month-long drawing open to public

On March 1, Hamilton County will launch its "Put Your Mark on Great American Ball Park" brick drawing event. Through this drawing, Hamilton County will give 100 people the opportunity to immortalize themselves at GABP by having their name or message inscribed on a brick that will be permanently paved into the ball park’s main concourse. The drawing is open to the public and there is no charge to participate.

Entries will be collected between March 1 and April 1, and the winning entries will be randomly drawn on Wednesday, April 3. To maximize the drawing’s reach, traveling entry locations will be set up at major shopping malls located within Hamilton County. The schedule is as follows:

March 1 – 8 Forest Fair Mall
March 1 – 15 Tri-County Mall
March 8 – 15 Carew Tower Arcade
March 15 – 30 Northgate Mall
March 15 – 30 Kenwood Towne Center
In addition, entries will be collected at the Great American Ball Park information tent on Opening Day, April 1. The tent will be set up on the Cinergy Field plaza near Gate 3. Entries also can be submitted through the Hamilton County Web site, at www.hamilton-co.org/gabp, between March 1 and April 1.


“Great American Ball Park belongs to the people of Hamilton County,” said Tom Neyer, Jr., president, Hamilton County Board of Commissioners.  “I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate this sentiment than by letting the public put their name on it. Through this drawing, 100 people will not only be able to do just that, but also will have the unique opportunity of being a permanent part of Cincinnati’s newest landmark.”

The 100 bricks distributed through Hamilton County’s brick drawing will be paved into the GABP concourse along side bricks currently being sold by the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds, who are directing the overall brick campaign, provided the allotment of 100 bricks to the county to be distributed as it saw fit. Those interested in purchasing a brick from the Reds are encouraged to visit the Reds’ Web site at www.cincinnatireds.com or call (866) 850-2100.

The construction of Great American Ball Park is on schedule. This future home of the Cincinnati Reds is scheduled to open on Opening Day, 2003.


Second Free Informational Seminar for Small Businesses hosted by Hamilton County
On Friday, February 22, 2002, the Hamilton County Office of Small, Minority & Female Business Development held its second free Informational Seminar for small businesses interested in working with Hamilton County. The Hamilton County Business Center, a business incubator that provides assistance (marketing, management, finance/accounting, strategic planning, etc.) to new and emerging small businesses, hosted the all–day seminar. 
Registration was limited to 40, and the business representatives were educated by County personnel and other professionals on the goods and services purchased by the County, becoming a registered vendor, the County’s bonding and insurance requirements, the competitive bidding and professional service selection processes, and other relevant information. 
Through this seminar, Small Business owners had the opportunity to learn about County purchasing processes and to network with one another. 

Three small businesses currently working with the County, Media Sign Company, MBJ Consultants, inc., and Stadium Management Company, shared their experiences and provided invaluable tips. Another small business, Edibles-N-Such, provided the day’s meals and break items.

Bernice L. Walker, Esq., Hamilton County Director of Small, Minority & Female Business Development, administers the Small Business Program and served as chairperson of the committee comprised of County personnel that organized the seminar.

The Office of Small, Minority & Female Business Development is making plans to sponsor another seminar on May 3 to help small, minority and woman businesses by providing specific information on how to do business with Hamilton County via the competitive bidding process and the professional service selection process.

The Small Business Program is applicable to the following Hamilton County Departments: Administrative Services, Building Inspections, Communication Center, Community Development, County Facilities, County Personnel, Economic Development, Environmental Services, Job and Family Services, Public Works, and Zoning Enforcement.

Should you have any questions please contact Hamilton County Director of Small, Minority & Female Business Development, Bernice L. Walker at (513) 946-4323.


Metropolitan Sewer District Employees detect illegal discharge into the public sewer 

Employees of the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) recently detected an illegal discharge into public sewers. Using a hidden wastewater sampler, employees confirmed a discharge they had suspected. The Southern Ohio Environmental Crimes Task Force, which includes the Ohio EPA, FBI, U.S. EPA, the Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, and the Cincinnati Fire Division, investigated further and confirmed the violations.

A local company pled guilty to three federal criminal environmental violations for unlawfully discharging plating waste into the public sewer. The guilty plea was announced by Gregory G. Lockhart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Thomas L. Sansonetti, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division; Michael J. Martin, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. EPA; and Christopher Jones, Director, Ohio EPA.

The owner of the company admitted to U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy S. Hogan, that it had only one full-time and one part-time employee, did not monitor or calibrate its pretreatment equipment. This caused a violation of its permit limits for the pH of its wastewater discharged to the public sewer.  Judge Hogan sentenced the company to a $30,000 fine and three years probation under an environmental plan approved by Ohio EPA and intended to prevent recurrence of the permit violations.



Make your 2001 Employee of the Year Nominations

Hamilton County  Commissioners invite and encourage you to participate in the 11th Annual Employee of the Year Program.  This program allows employees the opportunity to recognize  a co-worker or any other Hamilton County employee that has excelled in their service to the citizen of Hamilton County.

Hamilton County Employee of the Year recipients will be recognized at a Board of County Commissioners meeting and receive a plaque at a community ceremony on Fountain Square, Wednesday, May 8, as part of Public Service Recognition Week.  Please take the time to recognize the achievements and excellence in public service exemplified by one of your co-workers by nominating them for the Hamilton County Employee of the Year program. 

Nomination forms are attached to this notification of Hello, Hamilton County and will also be distributed along with payroll.  If you have questions, please contact Eric Stuckey in the County Administrator's Office at 946-4432 or via e-mail at Eric.Stuckey@Hamilton-Co.org.


MSD employee  receives 2001 Engineers and Scientists of Greater Cincinnati Professional Accomplishment Award
Biju George, senior engineer with the MSD-Wastewater Engineering Division has been awarded the 2001 Engineers and Scientists of Greater Cincinnati (ESC) Professional Accomplishment Award.  Biju graduated from the P.D.A. College of Engineering, Karnataka, India with a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Mechanical Engineering and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio.

Mr. George was nominated for this award by Mr. Charles Kane, treatment supervisor with input from Mr. Pete Schneider, treatment superintendent (Retired) because of his many achievements at MSD (Metropolitan Sewer District).

Mr. George’s most recent project, the elimination of the use of chlorine gas for the disinfection of the effluent at the Mill Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant is what prompted a nomination for ESC’s Professional Accomplishment Award.  The Mill Creek Plant had used chlorine gas to disinfect wastewater since the facility was built in 1959.   Chlorine was delivered to the site in rail cars and used directly from the rail cars.  On-site quantities were as many as four 90-ton rail cars of chlorine gas, which had a potential impact, upon failure of the tank cars, of a radius area of 14 miles.  The national security threat of September 11, 2001 prompted MSD administration to eliminate this risk to the community.  Under Mr. George’s engineering leadership, the district employees designed, installed, tested and commissioned an alternate disinfections system in less than two weeks.  The magnitude of complexity was very high.  The conversion from a gas disinfection system to a liquid disinfectant system was completed without a violation of the plants EPA NPDES permit requirements.

The Mill Creek Plant continues to treat wastewater flow up to 450 million gallons per day without permit violations.  The significant risk reduction to the community earned MSD a Risk Reduction Achievement Award from the Alliance for Chemical Safety.

Mr. Biju George was presented the ESC Professional Accomplishment Award along with other ESC Award Winners during the ESC’s 67th Annual Awards Program on February 21, 2001.

Please join the ESC in congratulating Biju George and other ESC Award Winners for their outstanding efforts and achievements.     


Sign up now to be a Waterfest Volunteer
Waterfest will be held on Tuesday, March 26, 2002 at the Cincinnati Convention Center. The event is organized by a number of County Agencies, such as the Soil and Water Conservation District, MSD, and Environmental Services. All volunteers will receive breakfast, lunch, and a Waterfest t-shirt for their help. We would like to extend our invitation to volunteer to all county employees, their family and friends.

Information is also available at the department of environmental services website http://www.hcdoes.org/sw/Waterfest/waterfest2002.htm

County employees should receive permission from their supervisor to participate if this coincides with a work assignment.


New Training Opportunities for County Employees
Hamilton County employees, it's time to register for classes offered in the second quarter by the County Personnel Department's Human Resources Development Division (HRD).

To see available classes, please access the 2nd quarter "Opportunities" newsletter through the County's intranet at http://hcnet/XPersonnel/HRD%20Home.asp    The newsletter's second page tells you everything you need to know about how to access HRD's services. 

The Government Performance Project recently listed a "strong emphasis on Training & Development" as one of Hamilton County's Strengths.  Take advantage of this benefit -develop your skills by participating in a Training & Development activity.  Read the newsletter for more information, and register for a class today!


Join the 15th Annual Winton Woods Cleanup
The Forest Park Environmental Awareness Program and the Hamilton County Park District are co-sponsoring the 15th Annual Winton Woods Cleanup. This award-winning event will take place on Saturday, April 20th, from 9 am to noon (rain or shine). All volunteers will meet at Kestrel Point Picnic Shelter, located beside Winton Center off Winton Road, at 8:45 AM to register.


Volunteers of all ages are needed to help remove the accumulated trash and debris that threaten the scenic beauty of Winton Woods and the health of the wildlife that live there. Volunteers will be supplied with bags and a limited number of gloves. After the Cleanup, volunteers are rewarded with a free cookout and raffle prizes. Young children must be accompanied by an adult.

Over the last 14 years, the cleanup has totaled over 4,900 volunteers who collected approximately 104 tons of litter. Last year alone, 250 volunteers picked up 8 tons of litter and debris in less than three hours.

For more information, contact the Forest Park Environmental Awareness Program at 595-LAND (5263).


Don't forget to post Hello, Hamilton County so that everyone can see what's going on!

Have a great day!

Hello, Hamilton County is published twice each month.  It is placed on both the County's internal and external Web pages.  It is design to enlighten and inform both citizens and employees of Hamilton County.  If you have questions or suggestions for future editions, contact Erica Binford (946-4324), Sharon Booker (946-4428) or Eric Stuckey (946-4432) in the County Administrator's Office or e-mail to eric.stuckey@hamilton-co.org.