Union Terminal

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Built at the same time as Union Terminal in 1932, the fountain in front of the iconic train station echoes the famous art deco design. Cincinnati Museum Center officials say the return of water to the fountain is an annual rite of passage signaling the beginning of summer.

Hamilton County's sales tax goes up Wednesday.

The quarter cent increase was approved by voters in November to fund repairs to Union Terminal.

Ohio Department of Taxation Communications Director Gary Gudmundson says vendors were notified in February about the upcoming change.

"These transitions typically go pretty smoothly," says Gudmundson. "The technology has made it easier for vendors to adjust their cash registers to correctly charge and collect the proper sales tax."

Cincinnati Museum Center officials will decide soon on which firm will renovate the art deco landmark.

Last year, taxpayers approved a five-year, quarter cent sales tax to fund repairs to Union Terminal.

According to a statement, BHDP Architecture, GBBN architects and Quinn Evans Architects are the three finalists. The first two are Cincinnati-based companies. The third is based in Washington D.C. and Ann Arbor, MI.

Teams will present proposals in the coming weeks.

A final decision is expected by early April.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Work is underway setting up a structure and oversight committee for the Union Terminal repair project. County Administrator Christian Sigman says "this is very similar to what the city and the county did with the Joint Banks Steering Committee."

Like The Banks, the Union Terminal project will be done under a public/private partnership. A project manager has not been hired yet.

In November, taxpayers approved a five year, quarter cent sales tax to fund the upgrades.
 

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

It was a big night for Issue 8 supporters as Hamilton County voters agreed to a five-year, quarter cent sales tax to fund repairs to Union Terminal.

The tally in the unofficial vote on Tuesday evening was 143,130, or 61 percent, voting for the levy and 89,972, or 39 percent, against.

If Hamilton County voters approve a sales tax increase to repair Union Terminal, the work will be done under a public/private partnership.

Commissioners are directing the county administrator to begin drafting an agreement to set up the public-private partnership or P3.

Under this option, a private group like 3CDC would handle all the repair planning.

Hamilton County Commissioners will vote Wednesday on a financing plan for repairing Union Terminal.

The plan lays out a public/private partnership and is contingent on voters approving Issue 8, a quarter cent sales tax increase, in November.

Museum Center CEO Doug McDonald says the public/private partnership option also means the project can get started faster and the Museum Center will be able to pay cash up front for the first few years rather than needing loans.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is stepping up its support for a local icon. Earlier this year, the Trust named Union Terminal and Music Hall to its 2014 list of most endangered places, now it's opening an action center, or campaign office, to help the push to pass Issue 8 on the November ballot.

Issue 8 would create a five-year, quarter cent sales tax to fund repairs to Union Terminal.

Senior field officer Jennifer Sandy says the National Trust is involved in 46 similar projects around the country but this is the first time it has opened a pop-up location.

Members of Cincinnati Museum Center Board of Trustees are endorsing a five year, quarter-cent sales tax proposal placed on the ballot by the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners.  The group made the announcement Friday morning during a press conference.

The $170 million issue will make repairs to Union Terminal.  

www.saveouricons.org

Update: Supporters of the so-called "icon tax" are worried about signs Hamilton County Commissioners may remove Music Hall from the proposed sales tax. Such a move, they say, would result in the loss of millions in promised philanthropic gifts. Commissioner Monzel has already voiced his support for such a plan and Commissioner Hartmann wants to see a bigger commitment from the City of Cincinnati, which council members haven't so far done.

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