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Mason Matters December 2013 / January 2014

Inside This Issue: 2 3 3 4 6 7 8

Brush Collection Volunteers Tax Information Pond Health Safety in the Home Business and Education News Around Mason

New Public Works Garage Will Save On Equipment, Time

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ason City Council recently approved a $5 million land, building, and improvement package that is expected to save at least that amount over the next ten years. Council authorized the purchase of a vacant 122,000 square foot building on State Route 741 that will become garage and storage space for the city’s service departments. The building is located just a few hundred feet north of the existing Public Works garage and will house staff and equipment for Public Works and Parks Maintenance. Because the space must be converted from warehouse/light manufacturing use to a garage with constant vehicular activity, significant modifications must be made before the building can be used, such as floor drainage, air quality systems, electrical needs, etc. Typically—for a project of this magnitude—the city hires a single architectural firm to complete the design and then bids are sought for construction. Construction contracts are then awarded on the basis of cost.

A process that has not previously been available to the city is being used for this project. This fall, City Council hired a criteria architect to define the modifications that must be made. A criteria architect does not do the actual design of the modifications but does define what specifications must be met by the design, such as air flow rates and amperage. Once all the criteria are defined, selected design/ build firms will submit designs and construction costs to meet the criteria. Each company submitting a bid will have different suggestions for meeting the criteria. Evaluating the different design options allows the city to select one that best meets both the defined criteria and cost parameters of the project. A contract to complete the modifications is expected to be awarded early in 2014. Staff should be able to move into the new facility in time for the 20142015 snow season.

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City Strengthens International Ties

he City of Mason was honored to host a delegation of 17 attorneys from the city of Chongqing, China, this fall. Chongqing is located in southwest China and has a population of about 33 million residents. It is one of China’s largest cities. In 2012, Mason partnered with Wood & Lamping LLP law firm to host 14 representatives from the Beijing Lawyers Association. The meeting was to help the attorneys understand the different roles and the relationship between government and businesses in the United States so they can counsel their clients as they look toward global expansion. Building on the success of that meeting, Wood & Lamping invited the Chongqing Bar Association and again partnered with Mason.

Mason Matters

City of Mason legal partners at Wood & Lamping, LLP, joined Mason officials in hosting the Chongqing Bar Association at Mason Municipal Center. Ken Schneider, Bob P. Malloy, and Doug Westendorf (on left) and Jing Zhang (far right) of Wood & Lamping joined Mayor David F. Nichols (center), City Law Director and Wood & Lamping partner Jeff Forbes (left of the mayor) and Vice Mayor Victor Kidd (right of the mayor) in welcoming the lawyers.

This former industrial facility on S.R. 741 will be home to the city’s service departments by the end of 2014. Some work will be required to turn what now looks like a cavernous space into a garage, vehicle maintenance shop, and equipment storage facility.

—see INTERNATIONAL TIES on pg. 4 www.imaginemason.org

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From the City Manager Dear Mason Resident, An article elsewhere in this issue talks about the city’s purchase of a new facility for our Public Works and Parks Maintenance staff—and the savings it will generate for the city. The city has been searching for a suitable solution for many years and I believe this building has several advantages. Purchasing an existing building eliminates the cost of constructing the shell and accelerates the timeline for moving in. By not having to search for vacant land and then designing a building to suit the property, city staff can move in months earlier. Other advantages to this site are its compatibility with surrounding uses, close proximity to the city’s salt barn on Mason-Morrow-Millgrove Road, and access to a railroad spur, which could potentially save on the cost of shipping road salt Eric Hansen, and equipment to the city. Mason’s Public Works Department currently operates out of City Manager a 40-year old facility with less than 7,000 square feet. The floor space, smaller than the leisure pool room at Mason Community Center, has room for only four dump trucks—provided no vehicles are in for repair. The city has 21 dump trucks and a total of about 175 pieces of equipment, most of which must currently be stored outside. The current structure and property need over $1 million in maintenance that has been deferred in the last few years and about $3 million more in repairs and improvements. The newly purchased building will provide space to store all the equipment and trucks inside, saving an estimated $100,000 a year just in equipment deterioration. Further savings will be realized through vehicle maintenance efficiency and time efficiencies, particularly during the winter snow season. This is an exciting project for the city that will improve our ability to conserve costs while providing you with the best service possible.

A storage shed currently in use provides only moderate protection from the weather and some equipment must be stored in the yard. New indoor storage space will prolong the life of the equipment

We appreciate your calls, visits and e-mails to Mason Municipal Center to discuss what is going on in the city. I encourage you to call 513.229.8500 or stop in any time during business hours if you need information or assistance. Mason Matters is published by the City of Mason. For information about this publication, or if you are a Mason resident and do not receive this newsletter, either through OurTown magazine or mailed separately with the CenterPoint program guide, please contact the City of Mason at 513.229.8510.

City Of Mason - Contact Information

6000 Mason-Montgomery Road • Mason, Ohio 45040 Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday

513.229.8500 • www.imaginemason.org Main Number 513.229.8500

Parks & Recreation 513.229.8555

City Hotlines 513.229.8502

Police Department Administration 513.229.8560

Administration 513.229.8510

Mason Matters

Community Center 513.229.8555

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Emergency 9.1.1 Engineering & Building 513.229.8520 Finance 513.229.8530 Fire Department Administration 513.229.8540

Public Utilities 513.229.8570 Public Works 513.229.8580 Tax Office 513.229.8535 Utility Customer Service 513.229.8533 Utility Billing Questions Greater Cincinnati Water Works 513.591.7700

December 2013 / January 2014

Utility Service Questions: Sewer Service and Emergencies 513.229.8570 (nights, holidays & weekends, emergencies only)

513.925.2525 Stormwater 513.229.8570

Brush Collection Begins Second Monday

Beginning with the second Monday of each month, city crews visit each neighborhood to collect brush. It can take up to two weeks for all areas in the city to be served. To help keep crews on schedule, please stack brush with the cut ends toward the curb. If you have a lot of brush, spread the pile out along the curb so the branches don’t become entangled. Because the brush chipper is built with a long chute for safety, branches that are shorter than four feet should be placed in the trash.

Waste Collection and Recycling 513.229.8533 Water Service and Emergencies Greater Cincinnati Water Works 513.591.7700

Brush piles like this one help city crews serve neighborhoods more quickly.


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Service to Residents Enhanced by Volunteers

hinking about volunteering? The City of Mason has a very active volunteer program that provides opportunities for willing individuals to give to the community as well as assist City of Mason staff with projects and issues. Hundreds of volunteers provide thousands of hours of service to the city each year. Some volunteers choose to help a few times a year or for specific events, while others have established routine assignments that exceed ten hours each week. Volunteers have raised the quality of service the city is able to provide to residents. They offer experience, skills, and enthusiasm to help stretch the city’s ability to handle growing workloads. A few examples illustrate the breadth and volume of service that volunteers provide to the community via the city organization: •  150 basketball coaches provide approximately 7,500 hours of volunteer service through basketball programs alone. •  80 baseball coaches provide approximately 500 hours of volunteer service through the Mason Baseball Softball Association. •  The City of Mason swim team, the Mason Manta Rays, boasts 300 parent volunteers with over 12,000 hours of service to manage the program. •  The Finance Department uses volunteers for scanning tax forms, filing, and as additional seasonal help during tax season. •  The Parks & Recreation Department relies on volunteers for large community events and VIPs (Volunteers In the Parks) check

fishing passes and educate patrons on park rules and policies. •  Many of the senior activities at Mason Senior Center would not exist without the volunteers who plan, coordinate, or teach the programs. •  Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) members gave a combined 2,433 hours this past year, which includes training and assistance with planned events. CERT volunteers receive 20 hours of training over five weeks to learn basic response skills to disastrous events, including basic first aid, CPR, light search and rescue, and team organization. Sixteen hours of refresher training are required each year so that members are ready to assist in disastrous events that overwhelm or delay the response of police and fire, such as in extreme weather events. Having a team ready to provide basic response could help save and sustain lives until help arrives should a disaster occur. Members also assist with planned community events. Mason CERT volunteer Timothy Mullis received the CERT Advanced Award from the State of Ohio Emergency Management Agency. Tim is the first member of Mason CERT to receive this award. It was presented in recognition of his completion of 20 additional FEMA classes in addition to the Basic CERT class. The benefits to the City of Mason are obvious, but the volunteers themselves enjoy knowing that they are helping provide a

Help Mason celebrate its 200th birthday! Volunteers are needed to help with the bicentennial celebrations in 2015. Visit www.imaginemason.org/things-to-do/ bicentennial.cfm or call 513.229.8508 to sign up or to learn more. valued service to the city. Volunteers are always welcome, especially as the city nears its 200th anniversary. To learn about city volunteer opportunities, visit www.imaginemason.org/things-to-do/getinvolved.cfm or call the volunteer coordinator at 513.229.8555. For bicentennial volunteer information, please see the box above.

Volunteers who gave 100 or more hours in the past year were honored at a Mason City Council meeting. They are listed here along with the main area in which they volunteer and the number of hours they gave in the past year (from left): Charles McCauley (CERT, 100), Tracey McCauley (CERT, 109), Miriam Jacobs (Community Center dietician, 200), John Jacobs (Computer Classes, 116), Michael Kramer (CERT, 126), Vice Mayor Victor Kidd, Mayor David F. Nichols, Patrick Palmer (CERT, 241), Gary Miller (Community Garden, 102), William Chin (CERT, 113), Timothy Mullis (CERT, 527), Albert Crider (Senior Center Thursday lunches, 120), and Joe Macke (Senior Center Duplicate Bridge, 132). Not shown: David Astles (CERT, 228.5), Michael Clements (CERT, 135.5), Theresa Galluppi (Picasso Painters, 107.5), Jack Tager (Community Garden, 102), Mary Tobias (CERT, 130), and Charlie and Mary Yu (Tai Chi, 102).

Tax Office Continues To Go Green

f you expect to owe Mason city income taxes for 2013 and they aren’t deducted from your paycheck, the Tax Office would like to remind you that it’s time to make a quarterly payment. Please remember that ninety percent (90%) of your 2013 tax liability is due by January 31, 2014. Please make your final quarterly payment by this date. Payments can be made online using the online tax tool at www.imaginemason.org/services/tax-information.cfm. If you prefer to mail your payment, blank estimated payment vouchers are available at www.imaginemason.org/services/taxinformation/tax-forms-for-individuals.cfm. If you need assistance in determining whether you need to make estimated payments or if you need to adjust your declaration, the Tax Office is glad to help. Please call 513.229.8535 for assistance.

Letters Replace Bulky Forms

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he Mason Tax Office began a green initiative with the introduction of online filing in 2009. In 2012, this option was expanded so more residents could e-file their city tax return using the online tax tool or a new EZ fillable PDF form. Residents can also make payments using the online tool. Over 4,800 tax returns were e-filed for tax year 2012. For tax year 2013, the city will continue its efforts to go green by not sending bulky tax packets to residents. In January, residents will receive a letter via mail or e-mail with their account number and instructions for finding the online tax tool to assist in completing their tax return. Blank tax forms will be available online and at Mason Municipal Center, Mason Community Center, and the Mason public library. The online tax tool for filing 2013 taxes will be available in mid February. www.imaginemason.org

Mason Matters

Expect To Owe 2013 Taxes?

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Multiple Factors Contribute to Pond Health

n this area of Ohio, there are a lot of ponds and lakes, but none are natural. They are all manmade. Ponds are a necessary part of the community in residential areas. They are great for storing and cleaning the extra runoff water that occurs as open land is converted to hard surfaces (streets, rooftops, driveways, etc.). Ponds are also dynamic aquatic systems, sometimes in balance and frequently changing. The quality and diversity of the pond’s aquatic community is greatly influenced by its water source, underlying geology, pond construction characteristics, and surrounding land use. There are a number of characteristics to consider to keep your pond healthy.

Oxygen Levels

Dissolved oxygen is a critical component of a healthy pond, especially to the fish population. Normally, pond water contains 10 to 15 parts per million (ppm) of oxygen. Fish require about 4 ppm, but other organisms, both plant and animal, require oxygen as well. When the dissolved oxygen level in the upper four feet of water drops below 4 ppm, fish will start to show stress. They may come to the surface and appear to gulp air. Snails, crayfish, and other organisms may actually climb out of the water. Oxygen depletion can be caused by a number of factors. Decomposing aquatic plants (such as algae) use oxygen in the decay process, whether they die from natural causes or are killed by herbicide treatment. Large influxes of nutrient-rich runoff water from domestic animal waste, goose droppings, or commercial fertilizer can cause excessive plant growth, leading to higher oxygen use for decay. Occasionally, the pond water “turns over” when a large rain event brings in a lot of colder water. This starts a convection current that brings bottom water, which is lower in oxygen, to the top of the pond. Close to 95 percent of all fish kills in Ohio are the result of low oxygen levels. Pond

Mason Matters

International Ties from pg. 1

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Topics discussed included immigration; the relationship of federal, state, county, and local governments; and how laws concerning business development and operations are structured. The group was also interested in seeing venues that contribute to quality of life in Mason. They included Mason Community Center and the Lindner Family Tennis Center on their tour. The visit allowed Mason officials December 2013 / January 2014

Algae in this pond may be due to excessive fertilizing and pet waste and can deplete the oxygen necessary to sustain fish life.

owners, especially in residential areas, should consider aerators to help with regulating oxygen levels.

Temperature

Temperature is also important from a pond management standpoint. Chemical treatments for weed and algae control do not work well when the temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the upper two feet of water. Conversely, it is recommended that when the water temperature is above 75° F, it should not be treated because too much kill may result in oxygen depletion.

and 10. Occasionally, pH results in fish kill, but these instances are rare. Spills or illegal dumping are often the cause of unusually high or low pH levels.

Watershed Management

Management of the watershed that contributes runoff to the pond is important. Fertilizers applied to lawns and gardens can wash off and, when collected in the pond water, greatly raise the nutrient level. Educational information on the proper use and application of fertilizer can help in pond management.

pH Levels

For more information and advice on ponds and their maintenance, please call the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District at 513.695.1337. They will be happy to look at your pond with you and check for any sign of problems.

to strengthen their outreach to foreign companies looking to expand into other parts of the world. Mason has one of the largest complements of foreign companies in the region. City corporations have ties to Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and other countries, and many of the American companies in Mason are known worldwide for quality and service. The global business community is reflected in the city’s multicultural population. “We wanted to showcase a community with a successful business-government

partnership,” said Jing Zhang, an attorney in Wood & Lamping’s Global Business and Immigration group. “Mason is a perfect example of a local government establishing long-term relationships with sophisticated economic development projects.” Mayor David F. Nichols introduced the guests to Mason and spoke to them about the success of both the Mason community and its businesses. “We welcome the opportunity to strengthen our international ties and create the potential for new investment in the city,” he said.

Problems with pH levels only occur in extreme circumstances. Ohio ponds normally have a pH between 7 and 9.5. Most freshwater fish can survive with pH levels between 5


Good Neighbors Make Good Cities

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y now, you are probably aware that Mason was named the 7th Best City on Money magazine’s list of best places to live among cities with fewer than 50,000 residents. This is a community-wide accomplishment that everyone in Mason can be proud of. Congratulations and thank you to everyone! Your involvement in the community, your support of the schools and the city, your care of your home, and your neighborliness have all played an important part in capturing this unsolicited award. Occasionally, it is worthwhile to review some of the activities that contribute to good neighbor relations. Sometimes, the activities are covered by local ordinances. If you have any questions about the tips below, please call us at 513.229.8500. •  Monthly brush collection is a curb-side service that is funded through your tax dollars. Brush is collected beginning the second Monday of each month. Depending on the amount of brush, it may take over a week for crews to get to your neighborhood. Please do not place brush

or leaves on the street or sidewalk, where they may inhibit the safe passage of cars, bicycles, or pedestrians. •  Trim dead tree branches, particularly if they are hanging over a neighbor’s yard. Dead branches can fall at any time, creating a safety hazard. •  Stormwater structures, such as drains, drainage easements, catch basins, and detention basins, should be kept clear of sticks, logs, tall grasses, shrubs, and construction materials so that water can flow freely and proper drainage can occur. Some of these structures are the responsibility of the property owner to clear. Others are maintained by the city and serve more than a single property. If you are in doubt about who should clear a clogged stormwater structure, or if you would like to report one that is clogged, please call the Public Utilities Department at 513.229.8570. •  City ordinance addresses solar units and dish satellite receivers greater than 18” in diameter, including their placement, height,

and number. For information, please refer to ordinance 1171.07 in the codified ordinances, which may be found at www.imaginemason.org/city-government/ legislation/codified-ordinances.cfm. Similar regulations govern ham radio towers. •  Permanent dumpsters and trash receptacles on commercial property should be screened from view on all sides. •  One of the most common complaints the city receives is about tall grass and weeds. Property owners are required to mow when grass, weeds, and vegetation are 8” high. •  Excessive clutter in a yard may be addressed through the Warren County Health Department at 513.695.1220. •  W hen walking your dog, please carry some plastic bags so you can pick up any waste deposited anywhere off your property. Applying these simple courtesies will help maintain property values, preserve safety, and keep Mason beautiful.

Ball Fields Always in Demand

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to Parks & Recreation Department activities and events. Mason City School District receives second priority, followed by youth recreational organizations, youth competitive organizations, adult competitive organizations, recreational organizations, competitive organizations, and then single teams. In January, each organization is sent a packet of information explaining the guidelines. By the middle of February, fields will be allocated based on the 65% rule and Park Board priorities. Worked into the mix of scheduling are specific dates that are set aside for tournaments and city-sponsored softball games. For several years, the city has partnered with the Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau to bring quality baseball tournaments to the city. Past events have also included the U.S. Olympic Archery Trials, the U.S. Australian Football League National Championship, and the Ultimate Frisbee Ohio High School Championship. The revenue generated by these events is used to maintain and enhance the parks for residents, players, and visitors.

League Play in Mason Heritage Oak Park •  Baseball/softball •  Soccer •  Cricket •  •  •  •  • 

Corwin M. Nixon Park  aseball/softball B Soccer Lacrosse Flag football Football

Mason Sports Park •  B  aseball/softball •  Football www.imaginemason.org

Mason Matters

he City of Mason is pleased to provide soccer, lacrosse, football, baseball, and softball fields in three different parks for use by residents and sports leagues. Fields at Heritage Oak Park, Corwin M. Nixon Park, and Mason Sports Park are in high demand at least three seasons a year. The fields are made available to qualified sports leagues at no charge. In return, the city partners with the leagues to maintain and improve the fields. League organizers have collaborated with the city to provide grass seed and fertilizer; to rent pneumatic rollers to smooth out ruts at the soccer, lacrosse, and football fields; to provide infield dirt, brick dust, and drying material; to drag the infields; and to provide other field maintenance. In addition, the city has allowed the leagues to build storage sheds for their equipment at or near the fields they use. City park employees mow the grass and provide general maintenance of the fields and park facilities. In late winter of each year, the Mason Parks & Recreation Department schedules the fields for the coming sports seasons. A meeting is scheduled at the end of each January to discuss field needs and policies with the groups that are in need of field space. To ensure the fields serve as many residents as possible, Mason City Council established a policy that 65% of a league’s players must be residents of Mason. Based on that criterion, the Park Board established a priority for field use. First priority goes

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Is Your Home Safe?

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or the Mason Fire Department, the safety of the entire community is a top priority. To help achieve this goal, a fire safety selfinspection program is being developed for businesses. The new, voluntary, program will provide a valuable opportunity for the fire department to collaborate with the business community in fire and life safety. The program is expected to make efficient use of time and resources for both local business owners and the City of Mason. While inspections are not required for homeowners, it’s a good idea to conduct one

in your home at least once a year. Why not take a few minutes today to walk around your home and complete the checklist at right? Then take corrective measures for any questions where you answered “no.” You should also have an escape plan for your home. Start by sketching the floor plan of your house. Include all avenues of travel toward the outer exits and identify two ways out of each room, particularly in bedrooms. If you can’t go out the door, you may have to use a window. Does everyone know how to open the window? How will

you get to the ground? These are questions that should be answered when urgency is not an issue. Include in your plan a location outdoors where everyone should meet after an emergency exit or drill. Review your escape plan with all members of your household and post it where everyone can see it, such as on the refrigerator or another common place. The few minutes you take now to review the safety of your home and plan an escape route could save you from possible disaster later.

Home Self-Inspection

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Yes

No

2. A  re the exit doors operable from the inside without the use of a key?

Yes

No

3. Are exits, hallways, and stairways clear of obstructions?

Yes

No

4. Do you have a fire extinguisher accessible, and ready for use?

Yes

No

5. Are all electrical outlets, switches, and junction boxes covered with proper cover plates?

Yes

No

6. Are circuit breakers in panels labeled to identify the area protected?

Yes

No

7. A  re all areas free of extension cords used as permanent wiring? Extension cords should not be used in place of permanent wiring. They may be used to supply power to a single small appliance such as a fan, radio, or power tools.

Yes

No

8. Are power strips, with a built-in breaker, plugged directly into approved electrical outlets?

Yes

No

9. A  re portable electric space heaters plugged directly into wall outlets and a minimum of 3 feet away from combustibles?

Yes

No

10. H  ave your smoke detectors been tested within the last 6 months?

Yes

No

11. A  re batteries replaced in your smoke detectors annually?

Yes

No

12. Is there at least 30 inches of clearance from combustible items around hot water heaters and furnaces?

Yes

No

Do’s and Don’ts of Online Shopping

Mason Matters

f you’re like most Americans who use the Internet, you have purchased or will purchase an item online. The convenience of making a purchase from your residence and avoiding long lines, traffic jams, and parking issues is hard to beat. The key is to avoid becoming a victim of Cyber Crime. The chance of becoming a victim of fraud is something to consider when making a purchase online. Here are several ideas to consider when purchasing items online to avoid becoming a victim: •  Shop only at secure sites. These sites encrypt your information before transferring it. Look for the “s” in the address bar at the beginning of the website name. The name should appear as “https://....” A closed padlock in the address bar is also a secure site indicator. If the lock is open, it is not a secure site. •  Research the website before providing your financial information.

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1. Are your house or unit address numbers/letters visible from the street?

December 2013 / January 2014

•  D  o not send cash or wire money. •  Do not use a debit card. Using a debit card provides access to your checking or savings account. This is hard to overcome if your account is hacked and the liquid money is taken directly from your account as opposed to a credit card. •  Make sure you’re comfortable with the website before providing your financial institution’s information. •  If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you feel that you have been the victim of an online scam or fraud: •  Contact your local police department. •  If you used your credit card to make the purchase, contact your credit card company. •  If you used an electronic check or debit card, contact your financial institution. For more online shopping tips, visit www. privacyrights.org/fs/fs23-shopping.htm. Online shopping is a great convenience. Remember these tips and practice sound judgment for a successful experience.


Sinclair College Courseview Campus in Mason Has Vision for 2035

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Expansion Will Accelerate Workforce Training and Economic Development

inclair College is investing in the future of southwest Ohio with a multi-year plan to expand the Courseview Campus Center in Mason. The college, the first and oldest community college in the United States, outlined its “Vision 2035,” a phased master plan for creating a full-service regional education center by 2035. An estimated 20 buildings will be spread over a 69-acre campus surrounding the existing building on Courseview Drive. Sinclair College began as a skills development program in Dayton in 1887. “For the past 125 years, we’ve spent each day focusing on the workforce training needs of this region,” stated Dr. Steven Johnson, President and CEO of Sinclair. The City of Mason and Sinclair have committed to a long-term partnership to develop resources in post-secondary academics both for the benefit of residents as well as the high tech and advanced manufacturing industrial community. Mason will continue to work with Sinclair on customized certifications, curriculum development, and even apprenticeship programs targeted to specific company technologies. This cross collaboration between the college, private sector industry, and local government positions Mason as a leader in the competitive market to attract new investment and jobs to southwest Ohio. Companies like Rhinestahl and Portion Pac in Mason have already partnered with Sinclair on workforce development training. “Sinclair’s growth is crucial to job growth

Sinclair College’s vision for the Mason Courseview Campus includes workforce training for up to 10,000 students per term by 2035.

in the area,” said Dieter Moeller, CEO of Rhinestahl Corporation. Sinclair will be in the forefront in providing training for companies in the growing industry sectors of biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, and digital information technology, all of which are targeted sectors for Mason’s economic development growth. The campus opened in 2007 in a building designed for 1,000 students. Enrollment grew faster than expected and new classroom space for an additional 1,000 students per term was added this fall through the acquisition and renovation of a nearby office building. The new building includes laboratories that allow the college to add new technical programs,

including biotechnology and healthcare programs. Forty-two degree and certificate programs are now offered. The new facility will allow another twelve to be added in the near future. The long term vision for the college will provide an expansive campus offering a full complement of degrees and certificates for 10,000 students. Sinclair also plans to expand partnerships with other colleges and universities to provide even greater access to higher education options convenient to Mason and Warren County residents. The central mission of the college will continue to focus on bringing high quality, low-cost programs and services to prepare the region’s workforce for sustained economic growth.

Pioneer Returns to Mason

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City Council approved a relocation incentive of a 10-year, 100% tax abatement on real property improvements as authorized under the State of Ohio Community Reinvestment Area program. The incentive was granted contingent upon the company making an annual payment to the Mason City School District for the term of the abatement period. The company's investment to the community during this time will be nearly $800,000. The project will create approximately 63 new fulltime jobs in 2014 and an additional 50 jobs over the next three to five years, with a projected annual payroll of approximately $6.3 million within three years.

A January 2014 move-in date is expected. Pioneer Cladding & Glazing maintains complete control of their products, from preconstruction to installation, allowing them to provide a first-rate product in addition to a superior customer experience. Their product line includes custom curtain walls, windows, skylights, sunshades, structural and point supported glass walls, multiple types of entrances and doors, metal panels, and louvers. They specialize in large-scale projects such as universities, museums, convention centers, office buildings, corporate headquarters, and lodging facilities. The city extends a warm “welcome back” to Pioneer. For more information about the company, visit www.pioneerglazing.com.

Mason Matters

ne of the nation’s premier glazing and manufacturing companies is returning to Mason as it continues an impressive growth cycle. Pioneer Cladding & Glazing, LLC, at one time had operations in Mason’s Castle Park. The company expanded several times and moved outside the city when they outgrew their space in Mason. Now, seven years later and still growing, they are returning to Mason to locate their corporate headquarters, engineering, and manufacturing assembly operations. Pioneer will more than triple their current square footage as they move to an existing building at Bethany Road and State Route 741. The company will invest nearly $1 million to make site improvements and upgrade the 215,000 square foot facility using green technologies.

www.imaginemason.org

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Around

Mason

Hope for the Holidays The City of Mason is proud to continue its annual Hope for the Holidays program for the 16th year. The city has again partnered with the Mason Food Pantry to more fully meet the needs of program recipients. The Mason Food Pantry is providing food assistance and Hope for the Holidays is providing clothing and gifts for children under the age of 18 in the Mason City School District. If you would like to help someone in need this season, please consider adopting a family or donating individual items. Families, neighborhoods, and businesses that adopt a family will receive age and clothing size information for the family members. Donations of individual items will be accepted through Friday, December 6. Non-perishable food items, household items, gift certificates, and new and unwrapped toys for boys and girls ages 1 to 17 are welcome. Donated items may be dropped off at Mason Municipal Center, 6000 Mason-Montgomery Road, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and at Mason Community Center, 6050 Mason-Montgomery Road, whenever the facility is open. Suggested gift items include board games, building block sets, cars, trucks, sports balls, new stuffed toys (sorry, we cannot accept used stuffed toys or animals), dolls, craft kits, stationery, and journals. Gifts for teens are especially needed. Gift cards are also welcome. To arrange for special assistance in making your donation, or if you would like to adopt a family, please call 513.229.8507 and leave a contact name and phone number, or e-mail hopefortheholidays@masonoh.org. The Mason Food Pantry provides year-round assistance to families or individuals in need of food. To register for assistance, please contact the Mason Food Pantry at 513.754.0333. Registrations are accepted any time of the year.

Mason Historical Society

State law requires all dogs more than three months of age to be licensed each year by January 31. Licenses purchased after January 31 will have a $15 penalty added. A regular tag is $15 and can be purchased at the Warren County Auditor’s office at 406 Justice Drive in Lebanon, at Mason Animal Hospital and Mason Family Pet Hospital in Mason, at Landen Veterinarian Hospital and O’Bryan’s Wine & Liquor in Loveland, at A Fortunate Dog Spa & Salon and Landen-Maineville Animal Hospital in Maineville, and at other selected locations in the county. For information and the license application, visit www.co.warren.oh.us or call 513.695.1240.

Save the Date!

Christmas in Mason Friday, December 6, 2013 6 – 9 p.m. in downtown Mason www.festivalsofmason.com

Order Peanut Brittle Now It’s time for Mason Grange’s special holiday peanut brittle at just $6.95 a pound! Place your order now by calling Evelyn Thompson at 513.934.5638, Lydia Zachman at 513.228.2220, or Frances Gilbert at 513.398.3936. If there is no answer, please leave your name, telephone number, and the number of pounds you would like. more about the society and its programs. In preparation for Mason’s bicentennial in 2015, the Mason Historical Society has been spending time on several projects, including digitizing collection records, publishing a Bicentennial Edition of Around Mason, Ohio: A Story by Rose Marie Springman, a walking/driving tour of historical sites and markers for the sites, William Mason’s family tree, and a Mason History Day curriculum for children. Don’t hesitate to jump in on one of these projects as volunteers are needed to make these projects a success for the community. To help, call 513.398.6750 or e-mail masonhistorical@yahoo.com. Be a part of history!

Around

After a busy fall season, which included booths at Mason’s Heritage Festival, the Arts Alliance FallFair Arts Festival, and the Patriot Fair, the Mason Historical Society will host a Christmas Open House on Friday, December 6, during Christmas in Mason. While touring the period-decorated museum, enjoy some cider and Christmas cookies. If you listen closely, you’re sure to hear stories of holidays past. 2013 has been a busy year for the members and community, but wait till you see the plans for 2014! Visit www. masonhistoricalsociety.org to view upcoming events and learn

Dog Licenses

Mason

Common Ground Receives Grant

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Mason Matters

he Mason Parks & Recreation Foundation was awarded a $5,000 grant from the CareSource Foundation for Common Ground. CareSource’s Leona Johnson (center) visited Mason Municipal Center to make the award to the foundation’s president, Rachel Kopfler (left), and Board Member Jen Casey. The CareSource Foundation devotes resources toward non-profit organizations in Ohio who are improving the lives of the underserved. The Foundation provides grants

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December 2013 / January 2014

for innovative and impact-based programs such as Common Ground. Common Ground is an inclusive playground that will allow people of all abilities to play together. The foundation is seeking private and corporate donations and is about a third of the way toward its goal. The foundation hopes to build the playground in 2014 at a site on Reading Road between Snider and Western Row Roads. To donate or learn more, visit www.masonparksfoundation.org.

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Mason Matters City of Mason Ohio newsletter December 2013 - January 2014