PRESS Your Community Press newspaper serving Addyston, Bridgetown, Cheviot, Cleves, Covedale, Dent, Green Township, Mack, Miami Township, North Bend, Westwood E-mail: email@example.com We d n e s d a y, D e c e m b e r 2, 2009 Web site: communitypress.com B E C A U S E C O M M U N I T Y M AT T E R S JEDD helps with roads Volume 84 Number 3 © 2009 The Community Press ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Moved this week Father Lou and Rita Heikenfeld, along with our weekly Things to Do in Your Neighborhood have moved – but just for this week. In order to preview the boys high school basketball season, we have moved Father Lou to B5, Rita to B6 and the calendar to B4. They will be back in their normal place next week. By Kurt Backscheider firstname.lastname@example.org Neighbors who care Maybe they delivered a home-cooked meal when you were under the weather, or watched your children while you ran a quick errand, or helped you with yard work. They are Neighbors Who Care, and we think they deserve recognition. Again this year, the Western Hills Press will devote one of our holiday issues to honoring those in the community who have given a bit of themselves to make the lives of others better. No deed is too small (or too large). If you know a Neighbor Who Cares, tell us about them. You can nominate by sending an e-mail to memral@ communitypress.com, or by regular mail to Marc Emral, Community Press, 5556 Cheviot Road, Cincinnati, OH 45247. Include your name, address and phone number, as well as their name and contact information. JOSEPH FUQUA II/STAFF Just short Elder running back Ben Coffaro rushes during the fourth quarter of the state Division I semifinal game Saturday. Elder fell one game short of returning to the state title game losing 24-20 to Hilliard Davidson. See more on B1 Surveying school thoughts Three Rivers: Do you want new building? Vertical windows Do you know where this is in the Western Hills area? If not, it’s time to go hunting in the neighborhood to see if you can find it. Send your best guess to westernhills@ communitypress.com or call 853-6287, along with your name. Deadline to call is noon Friday. If you’re correct, we’ll publish your name in next week’s newspaper along with the correct answer. See last week’s correct guessers on B10. Online community Find your community’s Web site by visiting Cincinnati.com/ community and looking for “Community News” near the top of the page. You’ll find local news, sports, photos and events, tailored to where you live. You can even submit your own articles and photos using Share, our online submission tool. To place an ad, call 242-4000. 50¢ By Kurt Backscheider email@example.com The Three Rivers Local School District is asking community members for input on an opportunity to build a new school in the district. Three Rivers Superintendent Rhonda Bohannon said the district was accepted for Ohio’s Extreme Environmental Contamination Program after it was forced to close Meredith Hitchens Elementary School in Addyston in 2005 due to dangerous emissions from the Lanxess Corp. across the street. Now, because of support from local legislators, the Ohio School Facilities Commission will pay for 50 percent of the cost of a new school. When the district considered building two new schools in 2006, and requested a $54.5 million bond issue from voters, the state was only going to provide $4 million toward the project. “It’s a huge change in the state share, and we’re really excited about the opportunity,” Bohannon said. She said the district will still have to pass a bond issue to pay for the other half of the cost to build a new school, but Three Rivers will not have to come up with nearly as much money as it would have had voters approved the August 2006 bond issue. “It seems like a really good deal to me,” she said. Bohannon said the district must decide soon whether a new pre-kinderBohannon garten through sixth-grade school, pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school or pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade school would be the best option for Three Rivers, if and when the community should decide to proceed with building a new school. She said it doesn’t matter how many grade levels the new school encompasses, but the state’s 50 percent share is only for one building. She said the new school must include pre-kindergarten through first-grade because those were the grade levels at Hitchens. She said administrators are working with an architect, the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission and a construction management company to determine the approximate costs associated with each of the three options. Kari Kuh, development director for Three Rivers, said they have sent surveys home to all the parents in the district to get feedback about the three options, but that’s only the beginning. “We also want input from the community at large,” she said. Three Rivers Local School District sues over plant’s pollution that closed elementary school See story, A4 “There is a big population of residents in our district who do not have children, and many who send their children to private, parochial or home schools.” Kuh said the opportunity to build a new school is something that impacts the entire community, both by raising property values and property taxes for everyone. “It’s important to get input from a broad spectrum of the population,” she said. She said the survey is available on the district’s Web site at www.threeriversschools.org. Hard copies are also available at the Addyston, Cleves and North Bend municipal buildings, as well as Miami Township Hall, the Miami Township Branch Library and the Miami Township Senior Center. Bohannon said the district hopes to make a decision on the matter by the end of January, and would like a great deal of feedback from the community. “We’re trying to get the word out,” she said. “We would love to hear from every single resident as to what their preference would be.” Green Township and Cheviot officials are partnering to form a Joint Economic Development District at the site of the new Good Samaritan Hospital on Harrison Avenue. The Green Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday, Nov. 23, to establish a JEDD with Cheviot at the site, which is called the Western Ridge development. Cheviot officials are expected to have a public hearing on the matter sometime in December. “This is our first venture into this type of program,” said Frank Hyle, the attorney for Green Township. “The idea behind a Joint Economic Development District is that a township can partner with a municipality for the purpose of facilitating economic development, to create jobs and employment opportunities and to improve the economic welfare for the township, the county and the city.” He said the JEDD would establish a 1 percent earnings tax on salaries and other personal service income earned by individuals who work within the district, a 32-acre site being developed by Good Samaritan and BD Western Ridge LLC. The earnings tax does not apply to the construction workers who are building the facilities. Hyle said Cheviot will manage the tax program, and Green Township will provide police and fire services and roadway improvements to the development. He said revenue generated from the earnings tax will be divided between Cheviot and Green Township, with 20 percent going to Cheviot and 80 percent going to Green Township. Both Good Samaritan and BD Western Ridge have agreed to the establishment of a JEDD, Hyle said. “It’s a win-win for everybody,” he said. Green Township Trustee Tracy Winkler said the money from the earnings tax will allow the township to recoup the money it is paying to improve the roadway for the development. “The fact that we were approached by Good Samaritan Hospital with the idea that they wanted us to help with the roadway improvements opened the door for us to enter into the Joint Economic Development District,” she said. “We think it’s a good partnership.” Trustee Tony Upton said the earnings tax not only helps the township pay for the police, fire and other services the hospital may need, but it also is a way to supplement the estate tax the township receives. He said the estate tax is a big revenue producer for the township, but the township is never certain from one year to the next how much it will receive in estate taxes.