Tuesday, April 10, 2001
Loveland studies assessment
City seeking funds for beautification
By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer
LOVELAND City Council will discuss tonight whether to create an assessment district to help foot the bill for a downtown historic beautification project, or pay for it out of city coffers.
About $65,800 is needed to complete the second phase of the $458,000 proj ect. That phase involves sidewalks and improvements to several buildings along Second Street.
The assessment district could cover about 14 businesses that would be asked to pay for sidewalks the city installed.
Emil Caldwell, who runs a welding shop at 112 N. Second St., opposes it. He said he didn't want the sidewalks in the first place, and he doesn't want to pay for something he didn't want.
They are really forcing this assessment on us, he said. He has gathered petitions opposing the plan.
City Manager Fred Enderle said he has sent a memo to council members asking for direction.
He said the first phase of the project was completed in 1997 and eight businesses were assessed $10,000 each. The work involved renovating several office buildings and antiques shops along West Loveland Avenue and Carl Brown Drive.
This phase of the project does not involve as many commercially owned properties where there are tenants, Mr. Enderle said. Sometimes property own ers with tenants are able to pass on the cost. With the smaller businesses, they don't have that option.
Mr. Enderle thinks the assessment might not have to be $10,000 in this phase of the project.
Councilman Lee Skierkiewicz said he is in favor of assessing the businesses $4,700 spread over 20 years.
"You are talking about $235 a year for 20 years. That is hardly nothing when you look at how property values will increase, Mr. Skierkiewicz said. After the completion of the first phase, figures show that property value increased from 150 to 200 percent.
Councilwoman Heather Russell said she has not made up her mind on the issue.
I am waiting to hear from the city manager, she said. It looks as if the assessment may be a lot less than $10,000.
The meeting will start at 8 p.m. in the Loveland City Hall Building, 120 W. Loveland Ave.
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