Hello, Hamilton County

  E-News for Hamilton County Citizens and Employees

March 6, 2001  

  Quote of the Week:  "Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking."
-H. Jackson Browne

Fingerprint Identification System up and running

Police agencies in Hamilton County will now have access to a state-of-the-art Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS21), which was installed on February 23, 2001.  The police computer levy, called CLEAR (County Law Enforcement Applied Regionally), funds this new system, which replaces an NEC system dating from 1991.  The new NEC system improves speed and accuracy and greatly increases the number of fingerprints able to be processed.  During the training phase itself, several old unidentified latent fingerprints were found using the new technology and matching algorithm of the AFIS21.

Thanks to its citizens, Hamilton County can boast full compliance with all State of Ohio and FBI requirements.  Law Enforcement can now use this new high-tech equipment to better serve the citizens of Hamilton County by allowing a suspect’s fingerprints to be checked almost immediately against others on file around the country.  Criminals beware!


Students get a glimpse of County Government
On February 27th 60 high school students from throughout Hamilton County spent the day learning about county government thanks to the 41st Annual Student Seminar on County Government sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cincinnati.  Presentations from the Board of County Commissioners, Prosecutor, Coroner, Recorder, Sheriff, County Administrator, and other staff provided a behind the scenes look at the operations of county government.  Students also toured the Hamilton County Justice Center.
Sheriff Simon Leis shares a story and a laugh with visiting students.
"I really learned a lot about county government," said Sean Parker, a senior at Walnut Hills High School.  "I didn't know how many different thing happened at the county level."   


Employee of the Year Award Nominations accepted this month

Nomination forms are now available for the Hamilton County Employee of the Year program.  Through this program you have the opportunity to recognize a co-worker or any other Hamilton County employee that has excelled in their service to the citizens of Hamilton County. 

Nomination forms are being distributed to elected officials, department directors, and payroll officers this week.  (In fact, nomination forms were attached to the e-mail notifying you of this edition of Hello, Hamilton County.)  Nominations with approval by the employee’s supervisor may be submitted via mail, e-mail or fax and are due by March 30, 2001. 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 9, as a part of Public Service Recognition Week.

Should you have any questions regarding the Employee of the Year program or if you want to receive a nomination form directly, please contact Senior Assistant County Administrator Eric Stuckey at 946-4432 or via e-mail (Eric.Stuckey@Hamilton-co.org). Please take a few minutes 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. 


Project THAW Update
Through March 2 over 7,300 applications have been processed and paid for a total of $1.56 million in assistance to Hamilton County families and individuals through Project THAW. Project THAW is a state-funded program providing one-time payments of up to $250 to help with heating bills for people with income up to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. The program is in effect until March 31, 2001.
Funds for the Project THAW program are still available.  This program is “first come-first served.”  All eligible Hamilton County residents are welcome to apply, but there is no guarantee all eligible residents  will get help due to the limited funding. Citizens who apply and get payment will actually see a credit on their Cinergy-CG&E bill.  

Thanks to our many community partners, a convenient approach is being used to make applications widely available in the community and allows people to mail in completed applications.  Three options are available for application:   


Pick up the one-page application at all ten Cinergy offices, all 42 branches of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Community Action Agency sites, and the Hamilton County Department of Human Services starting Monday.  Instructions for completing and mailing the application are on the back.  There’s one address if your primary heating supplier is Cinergy-CG&E--another address if you use another provider for heating oil, propane, or wood.


Access the application at http://www.hamilton-co.org/dhs or through a special Project THAW "button" on the Hamilton County Homepage.  Print out, complete, and mail the application as directed in the instructions.  (Due to proof of income required to apply, on-line application is not available.) 


Older people or those with disabilities who cannot pick up an application should call 751-2624.  A representative of CAA will deliver an application to them.

Important points about “Project Thaw”: 

                        (1)       You must have an unpaid heating bill.  Project Thaw will not reimburse payments already made.

                        (2)       Your income must be below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level--about $16,700 per year for a single adult and about $34,100 per year for a family of four.  It is important that applicants remember to provide proof of income with their applications.

                        (3)       This is a one-time payment of half the cost of your unpaid heating bill, up to a maximum of $250.


National Technology Grants Available
The Technology Opportunities program (TOP) offered through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) promotes the widespread availability and use of digital network technologies.

The program funds projects that demonstrate innovative uses of digital network technologies in underserved communities.  Projects are funded in such areas as lifelong learning, community and economic development, government and public services, safety, health and culture and the arts.

There is approximately $42.5 million available.  Awards range from $200,000 to $900,000 and grantees must match up to 50% of the total project costs.

Applications must be submitted by March 22, 2001.  For more information, contact Cindy Weitlauf at 946-4317 or go to the NTIA web page at http://www.ntialdoc.gov/otiahome/top.


County renovation project receives local architecture award
The Cincinnati Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognized Hamilton County's renovation project at 237 William Howard Taft with a Merit Recognition Award.  The project involved three floors and over 250,000 square feet of renovated space, furnishings and space planning for the Department of Jobs and Family Services and the Department of TB Control and Infectious Diseases.  The project team consisted of  DNK Architects, Megen Construction, and Kevin Maue from Public Works as the County's Project Manager.




Have a Great Week!


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 Sharon Booker (946-4428) or Eric Stuckey (946-4432) in the County Administrator's Office or e-mail to eric.stuckey@hamilton-co.org.