Ridge Fire District residents to vote on levy Nov. 8

Jeanne Houck, jhouck@communitypress.com 11:04 a.m. EDT September 30, 2016

Residents who live in Columbia Township’s Ridge Fire District will vote Tuesday, Nov. 8, on whether to increase the 6.77-mill property-tax levy they pay for fire and emergency-medical services by 3.4 mills.

If approved, the hike will cost homeowners in the Ridge Road-Highland Avenue area an additional $119 per $100,000 of the assessed value of their homes annually, according to the Hamilton County auditor’s office.

The auditor’s office also says the levy – if approved – will generate just over $149,000 a year to pay the Golf Manor Fire Department, with which Columbia Township contracts for fire services in the Ridge Fire District.

Other areas of the township are served by other fire departments and are not be affected by the levy on the ballot.

Columbia Township Administrator Michael Lemon says the fire levy needs to be approved because revenue generated by the current levy in the Ridge Fire District has been less than the cost of the township’s fire-protection contract with Golf Manor for several years.

Columbia Township has a three-year contract in which it will pay the Golf Manor Fire Department $355,000 this year, $360,000 next year and $370,000 the last year for fire and emergency-medical services in the township’s Ridge Fire District.

The Ridge Fire District includes The Ridge Road and Highland Avenue business district, the Ridgewood subdivision and township streets off Kennedy Avenue.

Streets involved are Blueridge Avenue, Brackenridge Avenue, Charloe Street, Cliffridge Avenue, Crestridge Circle, Dogwood Lane, Donald Drive, Highland Avenue, Hill and Dale Drive, Kennedy Avenue, Kenoak Lane, Losantiridge Avenue, Lucille Drive, Monardi Circle, Ridge Circle, Ridge Road, Ridgewood Avenue and Viewpoint Drive.

 

Fire levy vote in July

The Columbia Township Board of Trustees will vote Tuesday, July 12, on whether to ask residents who live in the Ridge Fire District to approve a fire levy this fall.

The Hamilton County auditor’s office recently certified that a proposed 3.4-mill levy would cost homeowners in the Ridge Road-Highland Avenue area $119 per $100,000 of the assessed value of their homes annually and generate just over $149,000 for the Ridge Fire District annually.

The July 12 trustees meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Columbia Township administration building at 5686 Kenwood Road.

The current fire levy millage in the Ridge Fire District is 6.77.

“The revenue generated by the fire levy in the Ridge Fire District has been less than the cost of the fire protection contract with the Golf Manor Fire Department for several years,” Columbia Township Administrator Michael Lemon said.

“The current levy rate is lower than most other fire levies in the area.

“We must raise the levy to cover the current costs or be faced with seeking alternatives to lower the cost of fire protection,” Lemon said.

“If the trustees vote to move forward in July with placing a levy on the ballot in November, we will ask voters in the Ridge Fire District to preserve our existing fire protection arrangements by voting in favor of the levy.”

Columbia Township has a three-year contract in which it will pay the Golf Manor Fire Department $355,000 this year, $360,000 next year and $370,000 the last year for fire and emergency-medical services in the township’s Ridge Fire District.

Want to know more about what is happening in Columbia Township? Follow me on Twitter @jeannehouck.

Who is affected

The Ridge Fire District includes the Ridge Road and Highland Avenue business district, the Ridgewood subdivision and township streets off Kennedy Avenue.

Streets involved are Blueridge Avenue, Brackenridge Avenue, Charloe Street, Cliffridge Avenue, Crestridge Circle, Dogwood Lane, Donald Drive, Highland Avenue, Hill and Dale Drive, Kennedy Avenue, Kenoak Lane, Losantiridge Avenue, Lucille Drive, Monardi Circle, Ridge Circle, Ridge Road, Ridgewood Avenue and Viewpoint Drive.

Other areas of Columbia Township are served by other fire departments and would not be affected by the possible levy under discussion.

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Column: Mr. Jones, you are wrong about GSCM

DanTellerColumbia Township and The Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori have offered a gift to township residents and school children. Sadly, Carl Jones (May 25, “Columbia Township park issues”) refuses to accept it.

GSCM sits on 13 peaceful acres of hills, fields and woods at the edge of densely populated Madison Place. Naturally, the neighbors are attracted to our campus. When school is not in session, residents walk their dogs on our hills, play hoops on our playground, swing on our playset and chat under our trees.

So when planning to develop an old patch of blacktop into a natural playscape, the school approached the township to explore extending this “de facto” shared use relationship with our neighbors. The result has been a delightful “Community Natural Playscape,” which township administrator Mike Lemon has called a “unique public-private collaboration.”

Funding for the playscape has come from a wide range of sources: private foundations and donors, the Cincinnati Rotary Club, the Mariemont Moms Group, Columbia Township, the state of Ohio, and of course the school’s own parents and PTO.

Labor for the playscape has been equally diverse: school parents laid the drain tile, installed the playset and planted trees. Students planted perennials and spread mulch. Five different Boy Scouts did their Eagle projects on features of the playscape. During one of our six volunteer work days, a neighborhood resident who had brought his children to play in the park stayed for two hours and joined us planting shrubs. What a wonderful expression of community this process has been!

Most significantly, the school has made its private property available for use as a private-public park, sparing the township the cost-prohibitive task of purchasing property, razing houses, and developing a park infrastructure: an exponentially more costly proposition than the $18,500 the township has provided. As a result, an inviting space is within walking distance of Madison Place residents, where previously the nearest township park was over two miles away.

Mr. Jones decries the limitations that school hours place on public access to the park. Actually, there are just 175 school days per year, leaving 190 days of total free access for township residents. In addition, the mellow weekday evenings of spring and fall are times when I have often enjoyed the sight of neighborhood families using our campus and playscape.

Perhaps the most telling symbol of the different lenses with which to view this project is the fence. Mr. Jones views the recent installation of a low split rail fence as a barrier. This is far from the truth. The fence is not to keep people out, but to keep children safe within. It is open at both ends. The gate has no lock. Instead, a sign will soon be installed that invites people to “Play! Enjoy! Explore!” Mr. Jones, I invite you to enter this gate and join me for a summer cup of coffee under our shady oak tree. I hope that you will leave our time together as a friend, not a critic.

Columbia Township trustees weigh fire levy

The possibility that Columbia Township residents who live in the Ridge Fire District may be asked to approve a fire levy this fall is growing closer to a probability.

The township’s Board of Trustees has voted to ask the Hamilton County Auditor to certify how much a 3.4-mill levy would cost homeowners in the Ridge Road-Highland Avenue area annually and how much it would generate for Columbia Township annually.

“After receiving the certification, the trustees will determine whether to pass a resolution to proceed to place a levy on the ballot, which would only affect the Ridge Fire District,” Columbia Township Administrator Michael Lemon said.

Township trustees David Kubicki, board president; Susan Hughes, board vice president, and Christos Kritikos were not immediately available for comment on whether they are leaning toward asking voters to approve a fire levy.

Lemon has said projections show a shortfall in the Ridge Fire District of more than $120,000 per year over the next five years without an increase in revenue.

Columbia Township has a three-year contract in which it will pay the Golf Manor Fire Department $355,000 this year, $360,000 next year and $370,000 the last year for fire and emergency-medical services in the township’s Ridge Fire District.

Other areas of Columbia Township are served by other fire departments and would not be affected by the possible levy under discussion.

The current fire levy millage in the Ridge Fire District is 6.77.

Want to know more about what is happening in Columbia Township? Follow me on Twitter @jeannehouck.

Who is affected?

The Ridge Fire District includes the Ridge Road and Highland Avenue business district, the Ridgewood subdivision and township streets off Kennedy Avenue.

Streets involved are Blueridge Avenue, Brackenridge Avenue, Charloe Street, Cliffridge Avenue, Crestridge Circle, Dogwood Lane, Donald Drive, Highland Avenue, Hill and Dale Drive, Kennedy Avenue, Kenoak Lane, Losantiridge Avenue, Lucille Drive, Monardi Circle, Ridge Circle, Ridge Road, Ridgewood Avenue and Viewpoint Drive.

Columbia Township fire levy may be on fall ballot

Columbia Township fire levy may be on fall ballotColumbia Township residents who live in the Ridge Fire District may be asked to approve a fire levy this fall.

The township’s Board of Trustees will vote Tuesday, May 10, on whether to ask the Hamilton County Auditor to certify how much a 3.4-mill levy would cost homeowners in the Ridge Road-Highland Avenue area annually and how much it would generate for Columbia Township annually.

“This is the first step toward a possible levy in November,” Columbia Township Administrator Michael Lemon said.

“After certification by the auditor, the trustees must decide whether to proceed to place the levy on the ballot and pass a resolution to do so.

“All this must be accomplished 90 days prior to the election,” Lemon said.

Lemon said projections show a shortfall in the Ridge Fire District of more than $120,000 per year over the next five years without an increase in revenue.

“With costs exceeding revenue generated by our current levy, the township is likely to seek a levy to bring costs and revenue into balance,” Lemon said.

Last year Columbia Township had a fire protection contract with the Golf Manor Fire Department for the Ridge Fire District that was due to expire Dec. 31.

“Golf Manor sought a substantial increase and the township sought an alternative provider at a lower cost,” Lemon said.

“Residents of the Ridge Fire District clearly let it be known they wanted to retain the services of the Golf Manor Fire Department despite the fact its costs were higher than an alternative provider.”

The Golf Manor Fire Department has provided fire services to Columbia Township’s Ridge Fire District for more than 60 years.

Columbia Township subsequently approved a three-year contract in which it will pay the Golf Manor Fire Department $355,000 the first year, $360,000 the second year and $370,000 the third year for fire and emergency-medical services in the township’s Ridge Fire District.

The Ridge Fire District includes the Ridge Road and Highland Avenue business district, the Ridgewood subdivision and township streets off Kennedy Avenue.

Other areas of Columbia Township are served by other fire departments and would not be affected by the possible levy under discussion.

The current fire levy millage in the Ridge Fire District is 6.77.

 

CBT Co. Announces Acquisition of FDL Automation & Supply Company

Acquisition to strengthen CBT’s position in the automation and MRO services in west central, Ohio

SIDNEY, OHIO – April 1, 2016 –CBT Co. (formerly Cincinnati Belting & Transmission) announced that it has acquired FDL Automation & Supply Company, a locally owned electrical distributor based in Sidney, Ohio. FDL provides electrical products and solutions to the contractor, original equipment manufacturer, and the industrial market. This acquisition will expand CBT’s Rockwell Automation/ Allen Bradley distributor territory to include all of the counties surrounding Sidney, Ohio, including Shelby, Clark, Auglaize, Logan, Champaign and Hardin. CBT and FDL have a similar offering in automation and electrical supplies, and CBT will add their additional power transmission, belting, and pneumatic products and services to the Sidney location with the acquisition.

Finding your way to Columbia Township businesses

finding your wayA Columbia Township business district could have the best hardware store, grocery and nail salon in the world, but if people can’t find them it’s all for naught.

So township officials are inviting businesses in the Ridge Road and Highland Avenue area to help implement a wayfinding system to steer people to the businesses.

“We are undertaking this project as a result of concerns expressed by several businesses that their customers do not know how to get to their location from the exit off Interstate 71 south,” Columbia Township Administrator Michael Lemon said.

Also, “An assessment revealed little if any directional signage or indicators anywhere in the business district to help get people to various parts of the business district or to specific establishments,” Lemon said.

Lemon said Columbia Township doesn’t want to erect large or numerous signs.

“We are attempting to get people to their destination through the use of symbols and minimal signage,” Lemon said.

“We are gathering a number of stakeholders to attend several meetings to help us determine which techniques will work best in the Ridge and Highland business area.”

The public will be invited to join the conversation later, Lemon said.

Ridgewater Plaza Sold for $10.5M

ridgewaterCincinnati Enquirer -February 18, 2016

 A Columbia Township grocery-anchored shopping center has been sold for $10.5 million, according to the commercial real estate services firm that helped broker the sale.

New York-based Garrison Investment Group sold the 43-year-old Ridgewater Plaza at 5371-5385 Ridge Ave. to Frayer Enterprises of Oklahoma, according to information from Marcus & Millichap and the Hamilton County auditor’s office. Officials from Marcus & Millichap said the 175,028-square-foot center is 98 percent occupied.

Built in 1973 and shadow-anchored by Lowe’s, Ridgewater Plaza is anchored by a 64,700-square-foot Remke Markets, Big Lots, Office Depot, and Fallas Discount Stores. Other tenants include Sally Beauty Supply, GameStop, Fast Signs and National Cash Advance. Remke Markets has been a tenant since 1988 and Big Lots has been at the center since 1994.