Hamilton County Commission

Hamilton County will pay nearly $2 million to clean up a mercury spill last summer at two Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) sites and the Rumpke Landfill in Colerain Township.

*Update*  The Hamilton County Tax Levy Review Committee is recommending the Developmental Disabilities Levy be put on the May ballot as a flat renewal. The TLRC also recommends the agency implement the consultant's recommendations listed below.

Hamilton County Commissioners will hear more details Monday about the upcoming Developmental Disabilities Levy.

The Tax Levy Review Committee makes its recommendation to the board Monday morning.

A consultant's report on the Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services levy is recommending the tax rate remain unchanged when it comes up for a vote in May. The agency has requested its levy rate remain flat.

The report will be officially presented Monday to the Tax Levy Review Committee.

The consulting group also recommends the agency:

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.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

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.

For every $100,000 worth of property value, Hamilton County homeowners will get about $46 back on their tax bills next year.

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."

Hamilton County Commissioners approved the 2014 general fund budget Wednesday.

The $204.1 million spending plan was nearly unchanged from the plan presented by county administration. The only difference being redirecting $6.65 million in indigent care levy funds from the UC Medical Center to cover a gap in the Sheriff's inmate care budget.

The budget Hamilton County Commissioners vote on later this week will likely look a lot like the one proposed by county administration.

Board President Chris Monzel is suggesting just one change. The proposed budget calls for cutting $6.65 million in indigent care levy funds from the UC Medical Center and using it to cover a gap in the Sheriff's inmate care budget.

In his proposal, Monzel writes:

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