March News & Updates
Lower Electrical Rates for Residents
In November, the voters of Amberley Village passed two ballot issues to allow the Village to create a Natural Gas Aggregation Program and an Electric Aggregation Program. Since that time, the Village has been working to acquire its certifications from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to complete the process. On Friday, February 3, the Village received its certificates for both programs, thus making it OFFICIAL!
On February 13, the Village Council passed legislation entering into an agreement with DP&L Energy Resources (DP&L) to serve as the “Alternative Electricity Supplier” for the Village’s Electric Aggregation Program. DP&L has agreed to provide energy generation services for Amberley at a rate of $0.0455 through May 2014. The current Duke Energy “Price to Compare” is $0.0597. The Village’s aggregation rate is more than a 20% discount of the Duke Energy price to compare. There are still a number of steps that must be completed prior to the community being able to enjoy the fruits of this labor. Some of those steps have already begun.
The next step in the process is the Village requesting from Duke Energy the “Village’s Customer List” and that has occurred. This list contains only those Amberley customers (residents, small businesses, synagogues, etc.) who are current customers of Duke Energy (Dominion transferred customers to Duke after December 31). For residents that were in the electric opt-in program with Dominion during 2011, the rate to compare was $0.0580. During the year 2011, our residents saved $269,000 during the 10 months Amberley Village was in the opt-in program. The new supplier rate from DP&L will lower bills based on prior aggregation rates by 6.6%. Average residents will save $175 annually from the current Duke Energy rate.Continue Reading
Homestead Exemption Lowers Taxes
The Homestead Exemption allows senior citizens and permanently and totally disabled residents to reduce their property tax burden by shielding some of the market value of their home from taxation. The Exemption, which takes the form of a credit on property tax bills, allows qualifying homeowners to exempt $25,000 of the market value of their home from all local property taxes. For example, through the Homestead Exemption, a home with a market value of $100,000 would be billed as if it is worth $75,000. The exact amount of savings will vary from location to location. But overall, across Ohio, qualified homeowners should save an average of about $400 per year. To see if you qualify, contact the auditor’s office:
Utilizing Brine Saves Money and Time
Pre-treating the roadways with brine has saved the Village time and money this season even though our area has seen little accumulation of snow.
The Village Maintenance Department responded to four winter events in February. Two were non-issues in the Village due to the pre-treating of the pavement with the brine solution.
The brine, rock salt in solution with tap water, was applied to the pavement surface prior to the snow and ice arriving. This kept the roads clear and while commuting to work on these days there were salt trucks out in many communities treating the roadways before and through rush hour, the Village pre-treated during normal hours the day before.
No overtime was involved with these two storm responses and no additional rock salt was utilized, thus saving both the cost of the salt and the labor hours of applying the salt. Another example of the cost-efficient practices within the daily operations of the Village.
March 5 Board of Zoning Appeals 7 p.m.
Police Levy, Issue 3 on the March 6 Ballot
Just a reminder, the police levy, Issue 3, is on the ballot Tuesday, March 6. Polling locations in the Village include Village Hall and Wise Temple. If you are unsure of where to vote, contact the Board of Elections at (513) 632-7000.
For the first time in 56 years, residents will have the opportunity to vote on a 10 mill police levy that will partially fund our Police Department. The last and only time residents voted on a Village property tax increase was in 1955 when 7 mills were approved for general Village expenses. This hasn’t increased in 56 years and there is no current police or fire levy in place for the Village.
Monies generated from the police levy are dedicated sources of funds that can only be utilized for the police department operations. These levy funds will be used strictly for the expenses of providing police services to the community.
The 10 mill, 5-year levy will generate $1.6 million next year. One mill is equivalent to $30.40 per $100,000 market value so for a home valued at $200,000 the 10 mill levy will cost $608 per year. Currently, the owner of a $200,000 property pays $429 in property taxes to Amberley Village.
If you would like more information about Village finances or the levy, please feel free to contact Village Manager Scot Lahrmer at (513) 531-8675.
Grant Helps Deploy New Technology
The Amberley Village Police Department is pleased to announce that it will soon deploy an automated license plate reader (ALPR). This state-of-the-art equipment will assist officers with finding and locating stolen vehicles, missing children and adults, and tracking down people who are wanted.
Valued at approximately $11,000, this high-tech camera system was obtained through a Homeland Security grant. Mounted to a police vehicle, the camera automatically take photos of license plates and can record plates at about one per second at speeds of up to 100 MPH and it utilizes infrared technology for clarity and to facilitate reading at any time of day or night.
The images are compared in real-time against a database of known crime information associated with AMBER alerts, warrant subjects, criminal registrants, and other criteria. If a match is found, the officer is immediately alerted.
This invaluable technology provides Amberley officers with another tool to keep a watchful eye on the village.
Chief Wallace Thanks the Residents
Chief Wallace would like to thank all of the residents who attended the recent public information meetings regarding the upcoming police levy and toured the facilities. It was a great opportunity to showcase the Village’s services and a pleasure meeting and talking with the residents. To contact Chief Wallace, call 531-2040 or send an email.
New Block Watch Program!
Amberley Police Officers hosted lunch for residents today, March 1st, from noon-2 p.m. to kick-off the new block watch program.
Officers provided information about block watch programs to encourage residents to get to know their neighbors, share information on crime, and work together with the police officers to reduce and prevent crime by forming neighborhood watch groups.
Another block watch meeting will be held on Monday, March 19 at 7 p.m. in the community room. Registration is not required.
All residents must file an Amberley Village Income Tax Return–even if no tax is due. Here are some pointers to avoid a follow-up letter from the Village’s Income Tax office this year.
If you need assistance in preparing your Amberley Village return or have questions, call 531-0130 to set up a time to meet with the Tax Administrator. If you need additional forms, they are available online at www.amberleyvillage.org or you may stop by the Tax Office.
Spring Preparations for Fruit & Vegetable Gardening Amberley’s Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC) will host a lecture on March 29 at 7 p.m. in the community room. The featured topics will focus on spring preparations for fruit and vegetable gardening. The guest speaker is David Dyke, Amberley resident and horticulture educator with The Ohio State University Extenison office.
This lecture will coincide with Vice-Mayor Natalie Wolf’s introduction of the new Amberley Green Garden. This spring a community garden will be constructed behind the clubhouse on the Amberley Green property, a project brought to the Village by the We Thrive! grant from the Hamilton County Public Health and the CDC.
The garden site will serve as a community gathering space where residents can cultivate healthy food, participate in physical activity and exercise, share information about gardening, and nurture social relationships and community engagement.