The initial report on Hamilton County's facilities needs is in and it paints a picture of aging buildings and deferred maintenance. With some offices bursting at the seams and others only half full, the county is looking at ways to consolidate operations.
One possibility is converting the former Mercy Mt. Airy hospital to hold the coroner, board of elections and some sheriff's offices.
Commissioners Greg Hartmann and Todd Portune says while this may seem like a good deal, the county needs to keep an eye on costs.
Like water rates, sewer rates in Hamilton County are increasing.
County Commissioners approved the Metropolitan Sewer District's 2014 budget, which includes a six percent rate hike. MSD is undergoing a massive multi-billion dollar system overhaul required by a federal consent decree.
MSD had asked for a $226.7 million operating budget but the county's new utility oversight director, Dave Meyer, says the sewer district can get by with $210.7 million. Commissioners chose to follow Meyer's recommendation.
The Cincinnati Museum Center has some work to do before Hamilton County Commissioners will put a requested levy before taxpayers.
The board Wednesday opted to take the recommendation of the Tax Levy Review Committee and postpone any decision on the levy request until after July. The Museum Center has until then to come up with a plan and funds for repairing and restoring Union Terminal.
Hamilton County Commissioners plan to vote Wednesday on the size of the property tax rebate homeowners will receive next year.
The PTR was promised to taxpayers when the sales tax was increased to fund the new Reds and Bengals stadiums.
Commissioner Greg Hartmann is floating a plan that would fund the PTR at $12 million.
"This year the property tax rebate was $10 million distributed to people that own property in Hamilton County," says Hartmann. "Next year it will be $12 million, which will be divvied up. It's about $42 per $100,000 of (property) value."