February E-News

Photo Gallery of 2017

2017 Highlights & Activities

See all of the happenings of 2017 in our highlight reel video.  We've put together some moments from basic training to the favorite Ice Cream Social.  Enjoy and thanks for a great year!
TIF Approved for North Site

The third reading of Ordinance 2017-10 to create a tax increment financing (TIF) district on portions of the North Site property occurred at the December 11, 2017 regular council meeting.  The ordinance passed unanimously and while it is aimed at the 2-acre parcel being leased to Mercy Health, additional land within the North Site was included in case of additional development.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a valuable economic development tool used to promote public and private investment in a specific area (TIF District) by allowing a public entity like Amberley Village to expend the TIF District's future real estate tax revenues on the costs of public infrastructure improvements that benefit the TIF District.

Initial estimates based on Mercy's $4 million investment is the TIF could generate approximately $90,000 per year for 30 years.  Potential improvements to benefit the TIF area could include improvements to the service drive, walkways, and pedestrian improvements, enhancements to Ridge Road and the overall corridor and maintenance of the improvements.
Grants Reduce Cost of Asbestos Removal
Amberley Village was awarded a total of $30,000 in grant funding which will offset the expenses for the abatement of several asbestos containing materials throughout the interior of the Amberley Green clubhouse and poolhouse.   A separate grant will be sought for the remaining asbestos in the roofing material. 

Both grants staff pursued were from Hamilton County.  The Village's continued partnership with the HCDC (Hamilton County Development Corporation) lead to the funding through the Urban Land Assistance Program for $20,000 and our membership in the Community Development Block Program qualified the Village to apply for an additional $10,000 that was received for this abatement project.

The abatement of the asbestos in the building is the responsibility of the Village as the property owner and while this was initiated due to interest in the property by the Jewish Community Center, ultimately the removal would have to occur whether the property would become developed or the building were to be demolished.  

Rainbow Environmental Services was awarded the project at the January 8, 2018 council meeting in the amount of $61,874, which was $62,126 lower than the engineer's estimate.  The pursuit of grant dollars coupled with the substantially lower bid received saves the Village significant tax dollars that would have otherwise been spent on this required abatement.  Once warmer weather arrives, work will begin and the project is  estimated to take three to four weeks to complete.
Phone and Text Scam Awareness
The Amberley Village Police Department would like residents to heighten their awareness about phone scams.  Recently there has been a rise in phone scamming activity in our area.  By being vigilant, you can protect your personal information and guard yourself against identity theft.

Scams can come through on your phone as a call or text using a method where scammers disguise the phone number appearing on your caller ID in hopes to lure you into believing the call is legitimate.  Scammers are very skilled at convincing people to stay on the call. The call scenario recently experienced in our area uses college student names to then reach out to grandparents claiming the student has been arrested and needs bail money.  If you receive a similar call or text, hang up. 

As a practice, do not accept calls or respond to text messages that are unfamiliar to you. Contact your service provider to report abuse, and to block these (or any) unsolicited or unwanted numbers.  If you believe you have been a victim of a phone or text scam, contact the Amberley Village Police Department at (513) 531-2040. 
Repairs to House Numbers
While Amberley Village Police are on routine patrols, they're also checking for visible house numbers on homes--a key to finding your house in an emergency.   

First responders need to quickly find your home when responding to police, fire or medical calls for service.  The Amberley police are helping residents by leaving behind a door hanger if they notice house numbers that are damaged, missing, or unreadable.  

Residents are encouraged to take time to check their house numbers for needed repairs to ensure address numbers are in good condition and placed in a position that is visible and legible from street view.
Census Packet Mailed to Residents
In an effort to maintain current emergency information for residents, the Amberley Village Police-Fire Department recently mailed census forms to residents to complete and return following the instructions provided with the correspondence. 
Current information is critical during an emergency. The Amberley Village Police-Fire Department maintains emergency contact information for each resident. It is important that telephone numbers, names of persons living in the household and emergency contacts are all up-to-date. Knowing the right person can be reached during an emergency is vital when seconds count. In the event of an emergency or unexpected event, the Village uses the Community Safe call system to alert residents and provide important information. You can submit as many phone numbers as you wish to this system (i.e. cell numbers for several family members). 

The Police-Fire Department appreciates your time in completing and returning this information.
Preventative Measures During Extreme Cold
Don't wait for winter's sub-zero temperatures--prepare your home in advance and know what to do to protect yourself.  The Amberley Village Police-Fire Department offers these tips:
When outside:
  • Dress warmly and stay dry.
  • Wear a hat, scarf, and mittens to avoid frostbite. 
  • If you have to do heavy outdoor chores, dress warmly and work slowly. 
  • Avoid walking on ice or getting wet.
  • Notify friends and family where you will be before you go hiking, camping, or skiing.
  • Avoid traveling on ice-covered roads, overpasses, and bridges if at all possible.
  • If you are stranded, it is safest to stay in your car.
Avoid Pipe Bursts:
  • Keep residential water pipes heated to avoid pipes bursting from the extreme cold. Broken pipes will appear when temperatures return to above freezing.
  • Open cabinets or remove other obstructions so heat can reach pipes, especially those on outside walls.
  • Know where the water shut-off is in your house or business, and how to operate it so that you can minimize water damage from a burst pipe.
  • Use nothing hotter than a hair dryer to thaw a frozen pipe and avoid any electrical hazards from water conducting the electricity.
Read more from Greater Cincinnati Water Works about how to prevent and stop pipes from freezing.
Amberley Village Honored as WeThrive! Community

Contributed by the Hamilton County Health Department and featured on Cincinnati.com.
Pictured left to right: Jim Brett, Hamilton County Board of Health member; Vice Mayor Natalie Wolf; Rob Schmuelling, Amberley WeTHRIVE! team member; Council Member Peg Conway; Roger Toennis, Amberley WeTHRIVE! team member; Mayor Tom Meuthing; Pete Duffy and Kathie Kraemer, Amberley WeTHRIVE! team members; and Tim Ingram, Hamilton County Health Commissioner.

Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) named Amberley Village as a 2017 WeTHRIVE! Community. This is the third year in a row that Amberley has achieved this honor. 

Amberley Village is working on the WeTHRIVE! Environmental Health and Chronic Disease pathways. In 2017, Vice Mayor Natalie Wolf led the village's Health, Education & Welfare committee's focus on pedestrian and bicycle safety, shared-use agreements, trail connectivity, and a non-discrimination policy. 

Chaired by Merrie Stillpass, Amberley's Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC) hosted a variety of events and programs in 2017, including a village tree walk to celebrate Arbor Day, the Heritage Tree Program, Clean the Green events, and the 5th Annual One Stop Drop. ESC's efforts helped to increase recycling rates from 27 percent to 31 percent, one of the highest rates in the county. The village also received its 13th straight Tree City USA award.

WeTHRIVE!'s mission is to create a culture of health, safety, and vitality throughout Hamilton County. Visit us at WatchUsThrive.org or find us on Facebook and Twitter ( @WatchUsThrive). WeTHRIVE! is an initiative of Hamilton County Public Health.
Garden Plots Available
There's still time to sign up for a community garden plot.   For $50 a growing season (April - November) you will get:
  • A 9' x 15' garden plot to plant as you desire (some restrictions apply)
  • Access to a garden cart, water and shed
  • Friendly gardeners with whom to share your expertise (or learn from if you have no expertise of your own)
  • Access to the Amberley Garden education
If you are interested, visit amberleyvillage.org and click on Contact Us to complete the 2018 Amberley Village Garden Application form    online. Applications are considered complete once payment is received.

Organic practices will be utilized in the Amberley Green Garden and assistance will be available to anyone who needs it. 

We hope you'll join us this year!  Just take a look at the beautiful results!
Environmental Stewardship Committee
Upcoming Events
The 6th Annual One Stop Drop Recycling Event will be held on Sunday, April 8
at the Amberley Green, 7801 Ridge Road from 12-4 p.m.  Paper shredding will be available and acceptable items which will include electronics will be announced soon.
The tree planting and Arbor Day program has been set for Thursday, April 26
at 6 p.m.  This will be an evening program on Village grounds where the Mayor will present a proclamation to acknowledge the Village's commitment as a Tree City community and there will be a tree planting in recognition of Arbor Day.
Green Clearing days for light tree maintenance at the Amberley Green property will resume in April .  Watch for announcement of the dates in an upcoming E-News and on the Village website calendar. 
2018 meeting dates for the Environmental Stewardship Committee: February 26, March 26, May 21, July 23, September 24, October 22 and November 26.  All are welcome to attend and meetings are at 7 pm in the Community Room.
January Legislation
The following ordinances were presented at the regular Village Council meeting January 8, 2018.  Questions about these ordinances may be directed to the administration office at 531-8675.  To view or download these ordinances, including the council packet in its entirety, click here and select the January 8 Village Council Meeting from the recent events list of meetings shown.
Resolution 2018-1

Authorizing Professional Service Rate Schedule for the Village Engineer
Ordinance 2018-1
First Reading
Authorizing a Contract with Cost Recovery Corp for the Collection and Reimbursement of Certain Public Safety Expenses
Resolution 2018-2
Authorizing the Village Manager to Enter into a Contract for Asbestos Removal at Amberley Green Clubhouse
Resolution 2018-3
Authorizing an Easement to Greater Cincinnati Water Works for Water Line on North Site
Ordinance 2018-2
Authorizing an Addendum to the Village Manager's Employment Agreement
Tax Notes - Check Your W-2s
This time of year as you are receiving mail marked "Important Tax Return Documents Enclosed" please take a moment to review any W-2s you receive.
For Amberley income tax returns boxes 5, 18, 19 and 20 are used for local income and tax credits. Box 20 is designated for the locality and should list the municipality you are working in or Amberley Village income tax withheld as a courtesy.
If the wrong municipality is withheld it does not automatically get transferred to the correct location.  Why pay a city or village you do not live or work in?
Check with your employer if the withholding is not correct or call the Amberley Village t ax office at (513) 531-0130 or send an email to taxoffice@amberleyvillage.org .
Gas & Electric Aggregation
The Village's electric aggregation program with IGS Energy offers a rate at $0.0527 per kilowatt hour for a three-year term from September 2017 through August 2020. 
Residents can also choose from a green power rate option that will be $0.002 higher per kilowatt hour.  The green power option can be requested by residents after enrollment into the Village's aggregation program and contacting IGS directly.
If you are with another supplier and would like to switch to the Village's aggregation program, contact IGS Energy at 1-877-353-0162 (8 am - 8 pm weekdays) to sign up.  There are no additional fees associated with the Village's aggregation programs, but before you switch you should check with your existing supplier for related cancellation fees.
IGS Energy                                                                  
6100 Emerald Parkway                                              
Dublin, OH 43017                                                       
Customer Service: 1-877-353-0162 (8 am - 5 pm Monday-Friday)              
Natural Gas Aggregation
The Village's natural gas aggregation program with IGS Energy offers a variable rate with the ability to secure a fixed rate to provide price certainty should a favorable opportunity present itself.

This aggregation rate and contact information are available on the Village website for your convenience by clicking on Resident Services, then Electric and Gas Aggregation.
Reminder - Water Works Changed to Monthly Billing

Greater Cincinnati Water Works began monthly billing in 2018 as a response to customer feedback.  Residents can expect their monthly bill to be about 1/3 of their quarterly bill.  For January, the bills were pro-rated and amounts varied depending upon the days of service since your last quarterly bill.  Customers will receive their first "true monthly" bill in February.  Bills will also begin arriving at the same time every month to allow better cost planning and regular updates.

Additional options available to residents when it comes to their bill are managing your account online and auto pay.  To learn more about the move to monthly billing or set up your online account, visit www.cincinnati-oh.gov