Hamilton County Commission

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners are set to review the 2013 budget Monday.

A quarter of the way through the year, administrators say the county is projecting over budget.

General fund expenditures are projected to be $5.3 million over. In a memo to commissioners, Budget Director John Bruggen attributes the overage to several departments - primarily the Sheriff and Prosecutor's offices - projecting well over budget.

Hamilton County is preparing to launch a county-wide Collaborative on Infant Mortality Rate Reduction.

Participants include: Hamilton County, City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County Public Health, Children's Hospital Medical Center, UC Health, The Christ Hospital, TriHealth, Inc., and Mercy Health Partners of Southwest Ohio.

"It is a significant collaborative of the major healthcare systems in the region all coming together under one umbrella," says Commissioner Todd Portune.

Hamilton County's infant mortality rate well exceeds the national average.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners issued the following directive on Tuesday:

By Order of the President of the United States of America, the flag of the United States will be flown at half-staff at all Hamilton County government buildings and facilities beginning today until sunset, April 20, 2013 in remembrance of those killed and injured at the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday, April 15, 2013.  

Hamilton County Commissioners are considering wage increases for county employees but first they have to find the money.

Most county employees haven't had a raise in six years.

Board President Chris Monzel wants to institute merit-based increases beginning in July. Those would be contingent on the county administrator figuring out additional revenue sources.

Monzel wants to see how the Governor's budget shakes out before taking action.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Horseshoe executives say they're excited about the casino's turnout after the first two weeks of business.

During an update to Hamilton County Commissioners, General Manager Kevin Kline reports the casino is making good on its hiring promises. He says the casino promised to hire 90 percent of its employees from the Cincinnati metro area. Currently, that number is 92 percent.

Kline says the casino is now working with downtown businesses and the convention and visitors bureau on ways to attract more people to the region.

Hamilton County

Hamilton County is ready to launch a program aimed at helping ex-convicts re-enter society.

The idea is to reduce the number of people who end up back in jail.

Commissioner Greg Hartmann calls the Hamilton County Community Re-entry Action Plan revolutionary.

Hamilton County Commissioners Wednesday approved a two-year policy document.

The resolution outlines the board's guiding agenda for 2013 and 2014.

Board President Chris Monzel drafted the policy and says it continues the agenda set out by his predecessor and fellow commissioner Greg Hartmann.

The document focuses on three key areas: county finances and taxes, infrastructure, and economic development.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Historic Memorial Hall in Over-the-Rhine is getting a new lease on life.

Hamilton County Commissioners are leasing the performance hall to 3CDC. The 40-year-deal will allow for major renovations.

Marge Hammelrath is CEO of the Memorial Hall Society. She says the organization will maintain oversight of the building and its operations.

"That's our thing that we worked for in this agreement. We wanted to make sure that the hall stays in the hands of the people and we represent {the} community as a non profit," she says.

Hamilton County Commissioners feel they were left in the dark as the city and the Port Authority worked out Cincinnati's proposed parking outsourcing plan. They're drafting a letter to the city to make sure that doesn't happen again.

Commission President Chris Monzel says, "Making sure there's no risk exposure on the county's part for  what the Port's doing with the city and vice versa if we go off and do something with the county, could that hurt the city in any way. Those type of things, I think, need to be figured out in the future."

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County is "on the move and getting stronger." That was the theme of Commission President Chris Monzel's State of the County address Thursday.

Monzel talked about the importance of keeping taxes low and how the Governor's proposed budget could benefit the ailing county stadium fund.

He says the county is also focused on infrastructure projects, especially the multi-billion dollar federally mandated sewer system upgrade. One money-saving plan involves ‘daylighting’ a stream to capture storm water rather than building a costly tunnel.