October News & Updates
Village Debt Retired
The Village has received an unexpected windfall through the State’s inheritance tax. This tax has been eliminated by the State of Ohio and is set to expire at the end of this year. The Village averages about $800,000 per year in inheritance tax but the Village received a September check in the amount of $5.3 million. While the Village Council had options to utilize the monies, debt reduction was the priority. The Village’s debt involves acquisition of the former golf course nearly 4 years ago, now known as Amberley Green; the Village owes $6.2 million. While the Village had planned to pay $585,050 towards our debt this year, instead the Village will use the $5.3 million from inheritance tax plus an additional $900,000 of Village funds to retire the Amberley Green debt.
While this eliminates our debt, because of the current budget situation, the Village will continue to be very judicious with our budget and focused on controlling our expenses. The Village has experienced deficit spending for the past 4 years and the financial projection shows 2012 being the last year for deficit spending. Despite new police levy revenues beginning in 2013, cost cutting continues to be a central theme of delivering services as the Village positions itself for financial sustainability.
Recently the Village sought a financial rating from Moody’s Investment Services in anticipation of refinancing the Amberley Green debt. While a rating is forward-looking and subjective, Moody’s looked at several factors to make their analysis including financial position, cash flow, management structure and quality, debt structure, housing stock and business tax base. The rating assigned to the Village was Aa3. In listing the rationale for our rating, Moody’s cited our small tax base with high residential home incomes, healthy reserve position despite a trend of operating deficits and stabilization of operations due to the police levy. The Moody’s report went on to say “as a result of the levy authorization and the Village’s implementation of a variety of expenditure reductions, management now expects to maintain balanced operations on a go-forward basis.”
Numerous factors such as fluctuating property values and tax capacity can have impacts on the Village budget but the Village is focused on financial soundness by making fiscally responsibly choices while maintaining and improving our community.
Oct 3 Block Watch Meeting 7 p.m.
Watch the September Council Meeting
Join Your Neighbors at the AG
Residents are gathering the first Thursday each month to help care for the trees on this beautiful property. The next date is Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The group will meet in the parking lot of Amberley Green.
Tree Walk & Garden Fall Festival Oct. 7
The Environmental Stewardship Committee is sponsoring a tree and habitat tour on Amberley Green with a naturalist in conjunction with the Amberley Green Garden Fall Festival. The event will take place from 4-6 p.m. (rain date Oct. 14) to take advantage of the beautiful sunsets over the lake.
Come visit with fellow gardeners, future gardeners, and the community to appreciate the opportunities that we have at the Amberely Green. In addition to showcasing the gardens, it is a perfect occasion to solicit interest in plots for next spring and enjoy some fall refreshments.
2011 Extended Tax Returns Due
If you filed an extension for your 2011 Tax Return it is due on October 15. Filing and paying on time can save you a late filing penalty as well as interest. To contact the tax office, call Patty Meiers at 531-0130. The tax office is now staffed part-time. Please leave Patty a message and she will return your call.
|Leaf Collection Starts October 15
Amberley Village’s Maintenance Department is pleased to serve the community through the annual leaf collection program beginning on Monday, October 15 through December 30.
Again this year, the black and white advisory signs will be posted at the entrance to your neighborhood in advance, projecting the next collection day for your area. Crews will stay on schedule as much as possible, but the signs will tell residents when leaves are being vacuumed. Weather, equipment, parking on the street, and debris mixed with leaves all affect the Village’s ability to collect leaves.
Tips When Raking Your Leaves for Pickup:
Brush Pick-Up Suspended During November & December
As of part of the Village’s on-going efforts to streamline its operations with a reduced staff, the maintenance department staff will concentrate on bulk leaf collection during this period.
Brush pick-up will resume in January. The last pick-up for residents would be their regularly scheduled pick-up day during the week of October 8-12.
Political signs should be erected in a safe and secure manner and cannot be posted in the Village’s right-of-way. The Village right-of-way typically extends to the area where the utility poles are located. In the absence of utility poles, assume the Village right-of-way is 12 feet from the pavement into the yard. Signs should also be kept off of utility poles.
Signs must be posted on private property and permission should be obtained from any owner prior to posting a political sign. In addition, signs cannot be posted in the ground at the Amberley Village Hall on Election Day.
In some areas, the right-of-way may not be apparent by utility locations. In such instances, the first priority is safety and the Village will immediately remove signs that impede sight lines for traffic. Signs illegally posted on any utility pole or posted between the street and utility poles or Village right-of-way, will be removed by Village crews. Confiscated signs will be stored for seven (7) days on the south side of the Service Garage behind Village Hall at 7149 Ridge Road. If you believe your signs have been removed due to being in the right-of-way, the signs can be retrieved from behind Village Hall before they are disposed of after seven 7 days.
Village officials are pleased to offer a natural gas aggregation opt-out program with IGS Energy of Dublin, Ohio, to its residents. Letters were recently mailed to residents offering the program.
Residents will initially receive a rate of $0.397 per CCF for the November billing cycle. This equates to a billing rate of $0.423 which includes the current Hamilton County Sales Tax rate of 6.5%. The variable rate will change monthly; however, the Village has negotiated the ability to set a fixed rate for any period of time if an opportunity to set a beneficial fixed rate arises.
Residents who currently use Duke Energy as their natural gas supplier will automatically be included in the Village’s new natural gas program. Residents who received the “Opt Out Letter” and who wish to participate, do not need to do anything further since participation is automatic.
As with our electric aggregation program provided through DP&L, the IGS rate will be reflected on the customer’s Duke Energy bill.
Customers will continue to receive their bill from Duke Energy, which continues to provide the actual distribution of natural gas in Amberley Village.
If you have questions about Amberley’s natural gas aggregation program, you can contact the Village’s gas supplier:
For general information on natural gas deregulation in Ohio, you can also visit the web site of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio at www.puco.ohio.gov.
The Amberley Village Police Department encourages safety and supervision during the annual Trick-or-Treat season which will take place from 6-8 p.m. this year. It is especially important for parents to adhere to a few safety rules for their children when they are trick-or-treating.
Making Your Home Safe for Trick or Treaters
It is also important to ensure that your home is safe and accessible to trick-or-treaters. There are some very simple things we can do to make the evening safe everyone.