Hello, Hamilton County

  E-News for Hamilton County Citizens and Employees

May 31, 2002

  Quote of the Week:  Well done is better than well said.  - Benjamin Franklin

Home Improvement Program to launch on June 3rd

Beginning June 3rd, Hamilton County homeowners will be able to access reduced rate interest loans for home improvements.  The Hamilton County Home Improvement Program or HIP was originated by Commissioner Todd Portune and approved by Commissioners as a part of the 2002 Budget.  HIP allows homeowners in Hamilton County communities to borrow money to repair or remodel their homes or rental property at interest rates 3% below the lowest rate a bank would normally offer.
Key elements of HIP are
bulletLoans at 3% below market. 5 year term with only one outstanding loan at any given time.
bulletAvailable in participating Hamilton County communities.  To date, 43 of 49 local governments have enrolled in HIP.
bulletNo income restrictions for eligibility.
bulletLoans are capped at $50,000.
bulletFor single-family, two-family, and multi-family dwellings.
bulletOwner-occupied and rental properties.
bulletSingle-Family and Two-Family properties valued up to $300,000 (based on Hamilton County Auditor's real estate appraisal).
bulletNo property value limit on multi-family dwellings.
bulletLoans can be used for alteration, repair, maintenance or improvement, code compliance, and property upgrades.

Participating banks are:

bulletFifth Third Bank
bulletU.S. Bank (Firstar)
bulletKey Bank
bulletProvident Bank
bulletNorth Side Bank

To find out if your community is participating or for other information about HIP, contact Kevin Brown at 946-4988 or e-mail: kevin.brown@hamilton-co.org.  Information regarding HIP is also available on the Hamilton County website at: http://www.hamilton-co.org/commissioners/doc/HIP.htm


Thousands sign Great American Ball Park Steel
On Thursday, May 23rd, Reds fans were given the opportunity to literally put their mark on the Great American Ball Park.  Prior to the Reds' afternoon game, a 3,000 pound piece of steel as placed on the Cinergy plaza available for people to sign. The steel signing event was a huge hit.  In addition to the folks attending the ball game, quite a number of people stopped by during lunch breaks and after work to sign the steel. A number of children's groups also stopped by to sign the steel, including the Boys and Girls Club and some school groups.  By the end of the day, the white beam was black with several thousand signatures.  
Young and old alike enjoyed the opportunity to sign a piece of Great American Ball Park steel.


COMPASS Announces Action Plans

Commissioners Dowlin and Portune participated in a media briefing on Community COMPASS.

In January, over 1,200 Hamilton County citizens came together to discuss the future of their community.  These citizens generated thousands of ideas around the four core goals of:
bulletAssuring economic prosperity.
bulletDiversity and equity.
bulletBalancing development and the environment.
bulletCitizen participation in government.

From March through May, over 200 citizen volunteers have been discussing and developing  strategies/policies for achieving these core goals.  The volunteers have generated about 160 specific strategies.

These strategies will be shared with public at various forums from June through September.  These forums will allow greater dialog among citizens, elected leaders, and various other community stakeholders.  The comprehensive county plan and strategies are tentatively scheduled to be presented to the Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners by the end of 2002.

For more information about Community COMPASS, visit the (award-winning) COMPASS website at:  http://www.communitycompass.org/.


Hamilton County wins seven national communication awards
Hamilton County will be among a select group of county governments to be honored for excellence in communication efforts by the National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO).  Seven Hamilton County departments/agencies have been selected for awards.  
Over 540 entries were received with approximately 60 awards in various categories being awarded.  Award winners were selected by a panel of public- and private-sector public relations/communications experts. The NACIO Awards of Excellence will be given out in July at the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual conference in July. 

This year's Award of Excellence in Communications recipients are:

Meritorious Recognition:

bulletDepartment of Environmental Services for their Sustainable Design Seminar Series brochure.
bulletHamilton County Administrator's Office for the Great American Ball Park website.

Excellent Recognition:

bulletDepartment of Environmental Services for their external publications in conjunction with the Regional Ozone Coalition for the "Do your Share for Cleaner Air" 2002 Calendar.
bulletHamilton County General Health District in the area of Citizen Education Projects for the Public Education response to Shigellosis Epidemic.
bulletRegional Planning Commission in the area of Computer media for development of Community Compass website.
bulletPersonnel Department for their Employee Orientation program

Superior Recognition:

bulletCommunity Compass Comprehensive Master Plan in the area of media relations


MSD Collaborates with other communities through Five Cities Meeting
Eleven MSD Environmental Professionals presented papers at the Five Cities Plus Conference in Louisville Kentucky. The 2002 Five cities Conference is the 13th Annual meeting that started in 1989.  It is a coming together of the cities of Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, Columbus, Indianapolis plus many more to learn from each other’s past and present experiences.  The first Five Cities meeting was attended by various wastewater agencies covering wet weather water quality issues.  Subject matter for presentations has greatly expanded since that first meeting in 1989.

Five Cities has grown into a diverse group of presenters.  Wet weather issues are still presented; however, the additions of other presenters and topics have greatly added to the annual success of the conference.  Federal and state regulatory issues along with engineering technology were added in 1990.  Basement flooding along with combined sewer overflow (CSO) and stormwater abatement updates were added in 1992.  In 1993 panel discussions included pretreatment and collection system maintenance issues.  Consultants with expertise in wet weather and involved in on-going projects were included.  1994 through 2002 has brought in the addition of privatization, odor control and enforcement issues, organizational structure, development and leadership, public education, public outreach and customer service, Sanitary Sewer Overflow, water in basement, treatment plant issues and last but not least, MIS/GIS.

MSD speakers were (in order of presentation):  Greg Doherty - Alternate Sewer Technology Cost Comparison; George Vila and Aaron Schwarber - Construction Safety: Start To Finish; Wendell Young - MSD Security: A Changing Paradigm; Ken Wegenhart - How Charting Data will Aid Process Control; Bill Winters - Cincinnati Approaches to Managed Competition; Maria Turner - Public Education: Local & International; Susan Moisio, Melissa Gatterdam and Steve Donovan - MSD’s System Wide Model Project; and Mike Nalley - Internet Access at MSD.  Patrick T. Karney MSD Director provided a presentation during the 5 Cities Directors’ Reports session.

MSD Cincinnati hosted the Five Cities Conference in 1989, 1993 and 1998 and will host again in 2003.

Thank you to everyone who presented a paper and represented MSD in such a knowledgeable and professional manner.  Your involvement was greatly appreciated.

Employee of the Year Profile:  Anna Kelley
In each of the next six editions of Hello, Hamilton County, we will profile one of the Employee of the Year Award winners.
Anna Kelley, Quality Assurance & Monitoring Coordinator for the Department of Environmental Services.  A 14-year Hamilton County employee, Anna supervises the County’s air quality monitoring efforts.  Ms. Kelley is credited with being a  results-oriented person with a remarkable ability to “roll up her sleeves” and work with co-workers to get the job done.  Anna puts in numerous extra hours, especially during the busy summer months of the “smog season” and is dedicated to the accuracy and quality of the department’s air quality monitoring work.
Anna Kelley of Environmental Services leads the County's air quality monitoring efforts.
  Ms. Kelley is a leader in numerous state and national organizations dedicated air pollution control and works closely with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).  Outside of work, Anna continues to demonstrate her love of science by serving as a science fair judge at local and regional competitions.
ATTENTION: Dept. of Justice Grant Recipients
The Office of Justice Programs has announced that it will withhold payment, new awards, and grant adjustments when progress reports are delinquent.  This is being done to meet Congressional and Administration oversight requirements.  Timely submission of progress reports is needed to effectively monitor grant-funded activity.

This requirement goes into effect for progress reporting periods ending on or after June 30, 2002.

Please contact Cindy Weitlauf (946-4317), Grants Coordinator, if you have questions.


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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.