Hello, Hamilton County

  E-News for Hamilton County Citizens and Employees

November 13, 2001
  Quote of the Week:  “Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness. - James Thurber


Hamilton County salutes our veterans.  Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Hamilton County and local Malls offer a chance to see a Bengals game from PBS Suite

Hamilton County is partnering with major shopping malls within the county to give those who pay county sales tax a chance to see a Cincinnati Bengals game from a Paul Brown Stadium (PBS) suite. 


During the month of November, citizens can register for the drawing at Kenwood, Northgate, Tower Place and Forest Fair Malls. Each mall will be developing its own unique program to register people for the drawing. Those interested in more details about registration should contact individual malls directly. The drawing will be held at the November 28th Board of County Commissioners meeting. The drawing will provide 16 winners and a guest an opportunity to see one of two Bengals games in December (December 2nd vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers or December 30th vs. Pittsburgh Steelers).

Hamilton County will provide the use of its suite at Paul Brown Stadium for the use of citizens selected through the drawing. The County’s suite will accommodate 16 people for each game allowing eight individual winners and their guest to attend each game. The County will also provide food and soft drinks. In the past the County has provided the suite for use by foster families, County volunteers, the County’s Employees of the Year, and volunteer instructors in the County’s employee training program.

"Hamilton County taxpayers stepped up to make Paul Brown Stadium happen," stated Commission President John Dowlin. "I’m pleased that the County will be giving something back to citizens."

"Through the drawing we will be able to give citizens a chance to see this outstanding facility in use," stated Commissioner Tom Neyer, Jr. "This is one way to say ‘thank you’ to the taxpayer who paid for its construction."

Commissioner Todd Portune stated, "Those who pay sales tax in Hamilton County made Paul Brown Stadium possible and it is appropriate they have a chance to enjoy an event at the stadium."

The drawing for the Bengals suite tickets will take place as a part of the November 28th Board of County Commissioners meeting, which begins at 9:30 a.m.


  Hamilton County’s successful bond sales and refinancing saves millions
  Recently, Hamilton County conducted the sale of bonds for new capital projects and refinanced two previous debt issues.

Through a highly competitive sale with three bidders, the County was able to achieve a net interest rate of 3.8381%. Through the bond sale Hamilton County sold $3 million of new debt for water line extension and a building renovation projects, $ 9.05 million for the acquisition of the 800 Broadway building and $ 19.545 million for the Museum Center project. The refinancing of the previous bond issues will save the citizens of Hamilton County significant money in the future. The refinancing of the Museum Center will create a savings of $2.23 million and the refinancing of the 800 Broadway will result in a savings of over $840,000.

Through the Bond Sale process, Moody’s Investors Service reaffirmed Hamilton County’s bond rating of Aa2. The Aa2 rating is one of the highest possible. Only 15% of local governments nationwide have an Aa2 or higher rating. Moody's ratings provide investors with a simple system of gradation to compare the relative investment qualities of debt.  Aa2  is defined by Moody's as bonds judged to be of high quality by all standards.

"This is great news for Hamilton County," stated County Administrator David Krings. "We are able to save money by replacing existing, higher interest debt and we receive an excellent bond rating. This all speaks to the County’s strong financial management, reasonable debt levels and the overall stability of the local economy."

Hamilton County also conducted a sale of bonds for its Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSD) for both new capital projects and refinancing of previous debt issues.  Through a highly competitive sale, the County was able to achieve a net interest rate of 4.71% on the $76 million of sewer revenue bonds.  Through the bond sale, Hamilton County sold $60.5 million of new debt and $15.5 million of existing debt was refinanced.  The new debt was sold to support for the construction of new sanitary sewers, improvements of existing lines and various other system improvements. The refinancing of the previous bond issues will save the MSD rate customer approximately $880,000.  The closing for this debt issue will take place on Wednesday, November 14, 2001.


  Hamilton County's Hinkle Leads National Review of 9-1-1
Bill Hinkle, Hamilton County Communications Center Director and President of NENA (Nation Emergency Number Association)  commissioned the first ever comprehensive study of 9-1-1 in America.  The report established key performance indicators and benchmarks for 9-1-1 operations and functionality.
  On September 11, 2001 Director Hinkle participated in a presentation to key members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in Washington D.C.  Unfortunately, the tragic events that occurred that same morning overshadowed national interest in the report.  The report concluded that the 9-1-1 system is an effective and efficient means for American citizens to call for emergency service, with availability to 97.8 percent of the U.S. population.  With focus on improving wireless 9-1-1 calls and an overall improvement of system to accommodate new technologies, increased competition  and calls for an investment to help meet the cost of future challenges that will impact 9-1-1 service.

William Hinkle will also be participating in a national public safety communications forum facilitating the integration of public safety services into the intelligent transportation system.


  PricewaterhouseCoopers offers Grant for Government Interest Programs
  The PricewaterhouseCoopers Endowment for the Business of Government is funding two programs exploring government and leadership. The research program focuses on one of the following areas of government:
bulletFinancial management
bulletHuman capital
bulletManaging for results
bulletNew ways to manage
bulletTransforming organizations

The endowment also offers grants for Thought Leadership Forums. The organizations receiving grants will be responsible for designing, implementing and hosting two-to three-day conferences bringing together 25 to 30 participants. Topics of discussion may address any of the topics previously listed. For further information, please contact Cindy Weitlauf, Grants Coordinator at 946-4317 of go directly to the website: www.endowment.pwcglobal.com/research.asp


  MSD Employees Cruise into 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place
Fleet Services held it’s 4th Annual Fleet Services/United Way Car Show at the Municipal Garage on October 5th.  The car show included a cookout luncheon and all proceeds were donated to the United Way.  Cincinnati City Manager, John Shirey was Master of Ceremonies and helped in the selection of award winners.

Dan Morton, Plant Maintenance Worker, Mill Creek Treatment Plant won 1st Place Motorcycle, Aaron Schwarber, Safety Specialist, MSD Administration won 2nd Place Overall and John Bradley, Plant Maintenance Worker, Little Miami Treatment Plant won 3rd Place Overall MSD employees won three out of the four available awards.


MSD's Dan Morton (standing) shows off his award winning motorcycle to City Manager John Shirey.

  America Recycles Day 2001:  November 15th
November 15th, marks the fifth annual America Recycles Day, a day that has been set aside to encourage all Americans to participate in recycling and to buy recycled-content products. Last year, 3.3 million Americans in 50 states participated in America Recycles Day. This year, national coordinators, along with support from federal, state, local, businesses, and nonprofit organizations, are collaborating to increase awareness about the importance of buying recycled and you can help!
  The Hamilton County Solid Waste Management District (the District) will be forming partnerships with local businesses, schools, environmental organizations and communities to help educate residents on the importance of buying recycled. By taking the pledge, you will become eligible to win a regional prize package, including:
bulletA bag of assorted Aveda products in recycled content packaging
bulletRecycled content rubber mat
bulletLittle Earth recycled content products
bulletCase of recycled content paper
bulletCase of floppy diskettes and a package of CD-RWs
bulletRecycled content worm composting bin
bulletRecycled content bench and a children's Adirondack chair
bulletHousehold recycling cart
bulletOne year supply of recycled content Preserve Toothbrushes
bulletRecycled content compost bin, rain saver and augur
bulletReusable cloth bag filled with environmentally-friendly cleaning products
bulletRecycled content playground equipment
bulletKeg-a-Que barbecue grill

Winners of the regional prizes will be announced on February 21, 2002. If you are interested in participating in America Recycles Day, please call Crystal Wentz at 946-7749. Pledging can be also done on-line at www.americarecyclesday.org.

Thank you in advance for helping the Solid Waste District spread the word on the importance of buying recycled and America Recycles Day!


  Visit Environmental Services’ Updated Air Quality Web-site
The Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services (DOES), Air Quality Management Division, would like to announce the updated web-site. The site, which had not been updated since 1998, can be viewed by visiting www.hcdoes.org/airquality/webpages/AQhome.html

The new site was posted to the main web-site of Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services www.hcdoes.org  on October 1, 2001.

The new web-site is more informative and easier to navigate. The site contains additional charts, graphs, and daily updates. The air quality index and pollen and mold counts are updated twice daily. You can check on the air quality conditions in the region, access pollen and mold counts, and get information on smog alerts and general air quality. Open burning permits and the annual report are now available to be conveniently downloaded from the new site.

Visit the updated site to learn more about air quality in our region and give us your feed-back!


  What’s Next for Community COMPASS?
The first phase of Community COMPASS (Comprehensive Master Plan and Strategies) is complete but the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission is not taking a break, instead they are moving right along with the COMPASS process.

Eleven Community Forums were held during October at various locations around the county allowing residents to share their ideas for the county’s future. More than 400 residents participated and generated over 1,700 ideas. A special Youth Forum was held on October 9, at Paul Brown Stadium where 160 students from 32 Hamilton County high schools gathered to express their concerns for the county’s future. To accommodate everyone, the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission also conducted an online idea gathering session, which generated additional input from participants.

Commonly mentioned ideas surrounded the areas of:

bulletEnvironmental and Social Justice
bulletEconomic Development

Now that all ideas are compiled together from the Community Forums, what happens next?

On October 30, a group of volunteers and staff from the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission categorized ideas into fifteen areas. The categorization process will help the Countywide Town Meeting working group, Steering Team members, outreach members, and volunteers from the Community Forums, in analyzing the ideas.

The next phase of idea categorizing and goal development will come to its peak at the goal writing workshop on Thursday, November 15. At the goal writing workshop, the Community COMPASS Steering Team will create goals for the county based on the ideas from the Community Forums. The Steering Team, a committee from the Planning Partnership compiled of members from the public, private, and civic sectors of Hamilton County, oversees the entire COMPASS process.

After the goal writing workshop, the 1,000 person Countywide Town Meeting will be held on January 12, 2002 at Music Hall. At this meeting, a vision for the county will be generated and goals for the completion of that vision will be prioritized. Members of COMPASS Action Teams, which are devised from members of the Steering Team and the public, will help implement the vision and help complete the goals to make Community COMPASS a success. If you would like to attend the Countywide Town Meeting please register online at www.communitycompass.org or call 946-4405.


  Cincinnati and MSD is a "Must See Site"

MSD staff hosted visitors from Korea seeking to learn more about system modeling.

“Cincinnati, Ohio is the must see site,” is a statement made by Mr. Hang Song, Environmental Management Corporation (EMC) of Korea.  Mr. Song contacted Steve Donovan of the System Wide Model Project to request a visit to the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati after visiting the MSD web site www.msdgc.org.   “We found that MSD is the leading utility on Inflow and Infiltration (I/I), Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) Control Program and Modeling on sewer systems in the United States of America,” stated Mr. Song.  

The Environmental Management Corporation (EMC) is a government agency under the Ministry of Environment - Republic of Korea.  Members of the Ministry of Environmental Management Corporation wanted to visit Cincinnati to gain information on how MSD handles I/I, SSO and CSO.  EMC Members had other lined up for visits but was willing to skip one or more sites in order to visit Cincinnati and learn about MSD’s advanced system and technology.

EMC is initiating an I/I, SSO and CSO Project in Korea for the first time.  This project is located in the Kyonggi Province near Seoul, Korea.  EMC is trying to upgrade water quality in four major river watersheds in Korea.  This project will cover nine municipalities of Kyonggi Province in Han River Watershed.  New sewage pipes will be installed, existing sewers will be renovated or replaced and a CSO master plan will be set up in the watersheds.

The Korean delegation was given presentations on preventive maintenance (TV, Cleaning, Tracking), sewer system rehabilitation (lining, MH rehab, emergency repair), Deep Tunnel and System Wide Model Project, which included a walk-through of the project office.  Other highlights of MSD’s presentation was to take our visitors to Betts Street in College Hill while a lining project was under-way, Congress Run Creek off Galbraith Road to see a off road Flushing Unit equipment on-site, the Waste Water Collections Facility and the Muddy Creek High Rate Treatment Facility.

Steve Donovan, Susan Moisio, Maria Turner, Steve Minges and Ann Newsom worked to organize presentations and facility tours.  Presentations were given by Jerry Weimer, Missy Gatterdam, Ralph Johnstone, Bill Beyer, Pete Schneider, Henry Chapman, Don Cuthbert (BBS), Ted Burgess (CDM) and a variety of staff members form Waste Water Collections.

MSD as well as our visitors from Korea consider this sharing of information to be quite valuable.  We were able to exchange technical as well as cultural information.  While having lunch at LaRosa’s, the Korean delegation was welcomed by Mr. Buddy LaRosa whose restaurants are part of the Cincinnati Culture.

MSD looks forward to hosting the next Korean delegation in November.


Hello, Hamilton County Celebrates One Year Anniversary
  Hello, Hamilton County turned one year old on October 30th.   The newsletter publications allows for communication between county departments as well as with county residents.  We hope you enjoy it and let us know what you would like to see in "HHC" in the future.  A special thank you goes out to all those who have contributed to the award-winning publication over the past year!

If you would like to check out the past year of Hello, Hamilton County go to www.hamilton-co.org/Newsletter/default.asp  


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


Have a Great Week!