Montgomery City Council
2019 Elected Officials
- Lee Ann Bissmeyer
- Mike Cappel
- Chris Dobrozsi
- Gerri Harbison
- Craig Margolis
- Lynda Roesch
- Ken Suer
In November of 2019, Council Members Mike Cappel, Gerri Harbison and Craig Margolis were successfully reelected and sworn into their new terms in December. Their new terms will expire in December of 2023.
The City of Montgomery operates under a council-manager form of government with seven elected City Council members working with a city manager, clerk of council and law director, all appointed by City Council. All City Council members are elected at large by a popular vote of residents for staggered terms of four years. Once seated, City Council members choose the Mayor who serves for a two-year term.
City Council is responsible for establishing policies and enacting legislation necessary for municipal operations. By charter, the city manager serves as the City's chief executive, administrative, and law enforcement officer.
City Council operates with six standing committees:
- Financial Planning
- Government Affairs
- Law and Safety
- Parks and Recreation
- Planning, Zoning, and Landmarks
- Public Works
Several initiatives are undertaken each year to maintain communications between City Council and the boards, commissions and civic organizations, including:
- Annual updates to City Council on the activities and work of the respective board/commission for the previous year.
- Annual Board and Commission member orientation and training.
- A Community Leadership Forum is held to provide an opportunity for volunteers, neighborhood association representatives, civic groups, local school officials, business leaders, elected officials, and City administration to discuss topics of interest.
As part of City Council’s responsibilities for establishing policies and enacting legislation, it oversaw operations and administration of a budget of $33,901,330 and adopted 20 ordinances and 39 resolutions in 2019.
2019 Council Action
- An Ordinance Accepting Orchard Club Drive as a Public Improvement
- An Ordinance Amending Portions of Chapter 97, Parks and Recreational Facilities
- An Ordinance Accepting Dedicated Right-Of-Way Along Kennedy Lane
- An Ordinance to Amend Appropriations for Current Expenses and Other Expenditures of The City of Montgomery, State of Ohio, During the Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2019
- An Ordinance Authorizing the City Manager to Dedicate Certain Portions of City Owned Property as Right-of-Way for the Ronald Reagan Highway/Montgomery Road Interchange Modification
- An Ordinance Accepting Publicly Dedicated Easement Rights for Pedestrian Sidewalk Improvements From Terra Firma-Conner Crossing, LLC on Kennedy Lane At Montgomery Road
- An Ordinance Declaring Improvements To Parcels Of Real Property Located In The City Of Montgomery, Ohio (Montgomery Quarter Commercial TIF), To Be A Public Purpose Under Section 5709.40(B) Of The Ohio Revised Code, Exempting Such Improvements From
- Real Property Taxation, Authorizing The Execution Of A Tax Incentive Agreement And A Service Agreement And Such Other Documents As May Be Necessary, Establishing A Tax Increment Equivalent Fund
- An Ordinance Declaring Improvements To Parcels Of Real Property Located In The City Of Montgomery, Ohio (Montgomery Quarter TIF Incentive District Phase I), To Be A Public Purpose Under Section 5709.40(C) Of The Ohio Revised Code, Exempting Such
- Improvements From Real Property Taxation, Authorizing The Execution Of A Tax Incentive Agreement And A Service Agreement And Such Other Documents As May Be Necessary, Establishing A Tax Increment Equivalent Fund
- An Ordinance Declaring Improvements To Parcels Of Real Property Located In The City Of Montgomery, Ohio (Montgomery Quarter TIF Incentive District Phase II), To Be A Public Purpose Under Section 5709.40(C) Of The Ohio Revised Code, Exempting Such Improvements From Real Property Taxation, Authorizing The Execution Of A Tax Incentive Agreement And A Service Agreement And Such Other Documents As May Be Necessary, Establishing A Tax Increment Equivalent Fund
- An Ordinance Levying Assessments for Stormwater Improvements in the 7800 Block of Jolain Drive
- An Ordinance Authorizing an Agreement Between the City of Montgomery And the Board of Hamilton County Commissioners Relative to The Improvement of Montgomery Road
- An Ordinance to Amend Appropriations for Current Expenses and Other Expenditures of The City of Montgomery, State of Ohio, During the Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2019
- An Ordinance Authorizing a Development Agreement for the Development of the Montgomery Quarter Project
- An Ordinance Approving and Authorizing the Transfer of Real Property Acquired for Economic Development Purposes to the Montgomery Community Improvement Corporation
- An Ordinance Accepting Publicly Dedicated Easement Rights for Stormwater Improvements from Various Property Owners on Jolain Drive
- An Ordinance Accepting A Bid and Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into A Contract with John R. Jurgensen Company for The Montgomery Road and Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway Multi-Lane Roundabout Project, And Declaring an Emergency
- An Ordinance Authorizing The Issuance Of Not To Exceed $12,500,000 Special Obligation Revenue Refunding Bonds Of The City Of Montgomery; Providing For The Pledge Of Revenues For The Payment Of Such Bonds; Authorizing A Trust Agreement Appropriate For The Protection And Disposition Of Such Revenues And To Further Secure Such Bonds; Authorizing An Official Statement; Authorizing The Execution Of An Escrow Deposit Agreement Securing The Refunded Bonds; Authorizing Other Necessary And Appropriate Documents; And Authorizing Other Actions In Connection With The Issuance Of Such Bonds And Declaring An Emergency
- An Ordinance to Make Appropriations for Current Expenses and Other Expenditures of the City of Montgomery, State of Ohio During the Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2020
- An Ordinance to Amend Appropriations for Current Expenses and Other Expenditures of the City of Montgomery, State of Ohio, During the Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2019
- An Ordinance Revoking Any Rule, Regulation, Resolution, Practice or Other Action Enacted by The City of Montgomery In Conflict with R.C. § 9.68
- A Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Reaffirm the City’s Contract with National Inspection Corporation for Professional Services to Serve as Building Official and to Provide Plan Review and Field Inspection Authority and Services for the City’s Building Department for the Calendar Year 2019
- A Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a contract with CT Consultants, Inc. for Professional Services Related to General Engineering and Architectural Services for Calendar Year 2019
- A Resolution Delegating Authority to Make Declarations of Official Intent and Allocations with Respect to Reimbursements of Temporary Advances During Fiscal Years 2019 And 2020 Made for Capital Improvements for The Gateway Redevelopment Project to Be Made from Subsequent Borrowings
- A Resolution Reaffirming the City of Montgomery Credit Card Use Policy
- A Resolution Authorizing the Hamilton County, Ohio Amended and Restated Mutual Aid Agreement for Law Enforcement
- A Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a contract with Greve Chrysler Jeep Dodge for the Purchase of Three (3) 2019 Dodge Charger Sedans
- A Resolution Authorizing Membership in The Houston-Galveston Area Council Cooperative Purchasing Program
- A Resolution Giving Consent to The Director of Transportation to Replace Barriers and Add A Sidewalk to Bridge Ham-275-3188 (Cornell Rd. Over I-275), Replace the Deck of Bridge Ham-275-3270 (Weller Road Over I-275) and Incorporate a Sidewalk
- A Resolution Accepting a Bid and Authorizing the City Manager to enter into a Contract with Rack & Ballauer Co., Inc. for the 2019 Street Resurfacing Program
- A Resolution Authorizing A Contract with Dynegy Energy Services East, LLC
- A Resolution Establishing Compensation for The City Manager
- A Resolution Recognizing the Month of May 2019 as National Historic Preservation Month in The City of Montgomery
- A Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into A Contract with Vogelpohl Fire Equipment Company to Purchase Twenty (20) Self Contained Breathing Apparatus Through the Houston-Galveston Area Council Cooperative Purchasing Program
- A Resolution Accepting a Bid and Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Contract with Ford Development Corporation for the Montgomery Road Phase 1 Water Main Replacement Project
- A Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into an Agreement with the Township of Sycamore, Ohio to Jointly Construct Pedestrian Sidewalk Improvements Along Kennedy Lane
- A Resolution Accepting A Bid and Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into A Contract with Fred A. Nemann Company for The Kennedy Lane Sidewalk Project
- A Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Contract with Frost Brown Todd, LLC to Provide Special Counsel Services (If over $50,000)
- A Resolution Adopting a Tax Budget for 2020
- A Resolution Authorizing an Assessment for The Cutting of Noxious Weeds and Removal of Debris/Trash
- A Resolution Authorizing Internet Auction of Surplus Personal Property Through Govdeals.com
- A Resolution Establishing City Contributions to Employee Health Savings Account and Health Reimbursement Accounts
- A Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into A Federal Local Let Project Agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the Project Known as the HAM.CR284-1.33 Pfeiffer Road and Deerfield Road Intersection Modification Project, PID #107130
- A Resolution Accepting a Bid and Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Contract with Strawser Construction, Inc. for the 2019 Crack Seal Program through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Cooperative Purchasing Program Contract #101L-20
- A Resolution Establishing City Contributions for Health Care Benefits
- A Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into A Contract with Humana Health Plan of Ohio, Inc. To Provide Medical Coverage for Full-Time Employees (Resolution No 19, 2018 approved Humana Health Plan for one-year commending October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019)
- A Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into A Contract with Dental Care Plus, Inc. to provide dental insurance coverage for Full-Time Employees (Resolution No. 29, 2017 approved Dental Care Plus for 24 months commending October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2019)
- A Resolution Authorizing an Agreement with The Ohio Department of Transportation for Bridge Inspection Services
- A Resolution Authorizing a Contract with Patented Acquisition Corporation D/B/A/ Think Patented for Design and Production Services
- An Ordinance to Amend Appropriations for Current Expenses and Other Expenditures of The City of Montgomery, State of Ohio, During the Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2019
- A Resolution Authorizing a Contract with Strand Associated for the Deerfield Road/Pfeiffer Road Intersection Modification Design Services
- A Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into An Agreement with The Sycamore Community School District Board of Education to Assign Two School Resource Officers
- A Resolution Amending Resolution No. 34, 2017 Authorizing A Reimbursement Agreement to Purchase Certain Design and Engineering Services for The Development of The Gateway Redevelopment Area Project Now Known as The Montgomery Quarter
- A Resolution Authorizing an Assignment Agreement Between the City of Montgomery, Ohio, The Montgomery Community Improvement Corporation, And Certain Development Partners Within the Entity Now Known as Gateway Development Partners, LLC
- A Resolution Authorizing an Intergovernmental Agreement for Fiscal Year 2020 Between the City and The Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District
- A Resolution Accepting the Amounts and Rates as Determined by The Budget Commission and Authorizing the Necessary Tax Levies and Certifying Them to The County Auditor
- A Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Enter into a Contract with Cargill, Inc. for the Purchase of De-Icing Rock Salt for the 2019-2020 Season
- A Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Service Agreement Governing Phase I of the Montgomery Quarter Project
- A Resolution Authorizing an Amendment to The Current Contract with Donnellon, Donnellon & Miller for Legal Services to The City of Montgomery
- A Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to enter into a Labor Agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police Ohio Labor Council, Inc., for Wage and Benefits from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2022
- A Resolution Adopting a Five-Year Capital Improvement Program for the City of Montgomery
Community and Information Services Department
The community and information services department is responsible for the planning and implementation of community engagement efforts, volunteer coordination, information technology services, front-desk customer service, and administrative support and services. The department also serves as the focal point for all City communications. The community and information services director oversees an administrative coordinator, a communications and engagement coordinator, a customer service representative, and a volunteer coordinator. The department also works with a contracted director of citizen engagement.
Montgomery Citizens’ Leadership Academy
With the largest class ever at 30 participants, the City of Montgomery celebrated the twelfth year of the Montgomery Citizens’ Leadership Academy (MCLA). The academy continued to be a popular activity for some of our most engaged citizens. These residents and local business professionals became highly engaged citizens over ten weeks by diving deep into issues of local importance and gaining first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of local government and each of our partners: Sycamore Community Schools, Bethesda North Hospital, Twin Lakes Senior Living Community, and Ohio National Financial Services.
Distinctly Montgomery Branding and Imaging Campaign
City Council and the department held a winter Community Leadership Forum for local leaders in February to review the rebranding survey responses from the community and to provide additional feedback about the future brand of the City of Montgomery. The attendees participated in a planning session facilitated by Kolar Design and Rasor Marketing Communications that focused on the visual aspects of Montgomery’s brand.
Using the data collected from the communications audit, interviews, conversations, surveys, and the Community Leadership Forum, Rasor, working with City Council and Administration and facilitated by the Community and Information Services Department, created a messaging brand strategy touching on Montgomery’s pioneering spirit, passionate preservation of our heritage and charm, hospitable environment, and the City’s progressive planning for a vibrant future. The brand messaging informed Montgomery’s new tagline: A Charming Past. A Glowing Future.
After much community conversation, additional surveying of the community for color and logo choice, and some deliberation, we chose the new logo. While still maintaining the traditional blue, yellow, and beloved streetlight, we introduced a vibrant and colorful red, that draws upon our community’s history. Think red brick that dots our historic homes and paver paths! The city first saw these brand updates in the 2019 December Montgomery Bulletin and the 2020 City Calendar. The City departments continue to implement the brand in 2020.
The City of Montgomery contracted with RESLV, a full-service video agency that produces content for website, social media, and public relations, to assist City staff with message development and engagement. RESLV attended several City events such as the Bastille Day Celebration, the Diversity Dinner, and Holiday in the Village to capture stock video footage. They also worked with City staff to produce three vignettes on proper procedures for brush collection, which are available on the City website and social media. The City has extended its partnership with RESLV to create more engaging video messages for the next several years.
“Weathering the Storm”
Our community will never forget April 9, 1999. On that date, an F-3 to F-4 tornado touched down in the Lakewater area of Montgomery in the pre-dawn hours, around 5:17 a.m. Four lives were lost, and many homes and businesses were destroyed or damaged. To remember that devastating day, the City of Montgomery, in partnership with Sycamore Community Schools, Symmes Township, and Sycamore Township, held a remembrance ceremony on April 9 at the Sycamore High School 1999 Tornado Memorial.
The City of Montgomery also captured the recollections of City employees, residents, and former WCPO meteorologist Pete Delkus. We turned those narratives into a podcast, telling the story of the 1999 Tornado. Go to Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Sticher, or wherever you download your favorite audio series and search for “Weathering the Storm.” For those who are unfamiliar with podcasts, you may also go to storm.montgomeryohio.org to listen to “Weathering the Storm,” episodes. The page contains supplemental information on each episode. Our thanks to Arts Commission Chair Greg Leader for his stewardship and expertise in creating an award-winning podcast.
Neighborhood Leaders Forum
The community and information services staff, with participation from the police and community development departments, hosted a Neighborhood Leaders Forum on October 29 to focus on crime prevention with Officer Alexis Guilkey and Sergeant Mike Plaatje. Assistant City Manager and Acting Community Development Director Tracy Roblero presented information specifically on commercial development projects in Montgomery, including the recently named Montgomery Quarter development. Communications and Engagement Coordinator Faith Lynch previewed Montgomery’s new brand.
Montgomery Quarter Groundbreaking
The community and information services department contributed mightily to the execution of the Montgomery Quarter groundbreaking. The October 24 groundbreaking celebration was for the new $130 million Montgomery Quarter development and its accompanying $7.8 million roundabout. From securing the venue, coordinating speakers, serving as the media contact, and managing several vendors needed for the production, the department, City Administration, and City Council created a groundbreaking that left a positive impression on commercial realtors, developers, contractors, and local government officials. Staff also worked with RESLV, local business leaders, and residents to produce two engaging videos about the Montgomery community and the Montgomery Quarter development.
Master of Ceremonies and Mayor Chris Dobrozi invited several officials to participate including Denise Driehaus, Hamilton County Commissioner; Lorrie Platt, Ohio Kentucky Indiana Council of Governments Representative; Tammy Campbell, Deputy Director of the Ohio Department of Transportation District 8; Ted Hubbard, Hamilton County Engineer; Mike Brandy, Gateway Partners Montgomery LLC; and Ohio State Senator Louis W. (Bill) Blessing, III, representing Ohio’s 8th Senate District.
A surplus generator was donated to Sycamore Community Schools in 2019. Montgomery Elementary currently serves as the junction that connects the City Hall network to the Sycamore Community Schools data center, which is located at the Junior High. Montgomery Elementary did not have a backup generator at the time. In the event of a power outage, City Hall and the Safety Center would lose access to the phone system, and Public Works would lose access to the Internet. A redundant connection was installed in 2018 by utilizing dark fiber that was established as part of the traffic signal upgrade project. Still, the generator adds a layer of redundancy to maintain access to critical network infrastructure. Another benefit is the addition of emergency power to essential areas of the school to enhance life safety measures for the faculty and students.
Community Development Department
The community development department is responsible for administering the City’s building and zoning codes as well as property maintenance code enforcement. The department consists of three full-time staff, which includes a director, zoning, and code compliance officer and a building and development office manager. The department benefited from a part-time special projects coordinator as well as support from the community and information services staff and an inspector in the public works department.
The City contracts for building, engineering, electrical and plumbing plan review and inspections with outside agencies. In addition to issuing building permits, the community development department is also responsible for strategic and long-range planning, economic and business development and general community development projects. It provides staff support to the Planning Commission, the Landmarks Commission, and the Board of Zoning Appeals.
The City originally approved the establishment of the Vintage Club Planned Development in 2006 for approximately 68 acres along Montgomery Road north of I-275 to allow the creation of a mixed-use village with residential and commercial uses. The updated General Development Plan reflects months of work by the developer to meet the expectations of the City and the residents of the Vintage Club while working with the current market conditions. In many ways, the development is very similar to the original proposal in 2006 and the final product will be an attractive mixed-use development with retail, office, restaurants, and condominiums that will complement the existing homes at the Vintage Club and The Christ Hospital Health Network medical office building.
Construction of the public improvements for the northern side of the Village Section of the Vintage Club were substantially completed in 2019. The first two condominium buildings, known as The Wicks at the Vintage Club were also substantially completed with a model opening in February of 2020.
Site work for Buildings A and B as well as construction of Building A began and was substantially complete in 2019. Building B will be the home of GE Credit Union, which is scheduled to open in March of 2020.
The Planning Commission approved Phase 9 of the Vintage Club in March of 2019, which included the building architecture and design of Building A. Construction of Building B began in the Spring of 2019 and the building is nearing completion. Orange Theory Fitness will be the occupant of Building A and is scheduled to open in April of 2020.
The Planning Commission approved Phase 10 of the Vintage Club in October of 2019, which included the building architecture and design of Building C. A building permit has been secured for this building and construction should start in spring of 2020. City staff will continue to work with the developer in 2020 to bring this project to fruition.
On the southern end of the City, work continued on the planning of the Montgomery Quarter. This mixed-use project will feature a unique urban-suburban lifestyle blend and will include professional office, boutique hotel, condominiums, and a restaurant row built around a new community green.
As part of the project, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) approved and awarded funding for a grant application submitted by the City for an interchange modification project at Montgomery Road and Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway. The project includes the construction of a modified two-lane roundabout, installation of a traffic signal in and around the interchange, and demolition of the existing bridge at this location. The project would have a safe and positive impact on traffic while opening more land for redevelopment. Work on the project will begin in spring of 2020.
The Planning Commission approved a General Development Plan for Phase 1 of the Montgomery Quarter in March of 2019. A Final Development Plan for Phase 1A of the project, which includes site preparation, utility relocation and the street network for Phase 1 was approved by the Planning Commission in October of 2019. Work is expected to begin in April of 2020 of Phase 1A of the project.
Twin Lakes Senior Living Community
Twin Lakes completed construction of 22 new villa homes just south of the Safety Center on Montgomery Road. With access from Arborcreek Lane off of Hopewell Road, these villa homes are an extension of Twin Lakes North Campus and all of the homes are occupied. Twin Lakes has begun to study the vacant property north of First Financial Bank at the intersection of Montgomery Road and Schoolhouse Lane on the east side of Montgomery Road to determine the appropriate future use of this property. Staff will continue to work with Twin Lakes in 2020 on proposed plans.
Thomas Comprehensive Care Center
The Planning Commission approved a Final Development Site Plan in March of 2018 to allow TriHealth to construct 135,000 square foot medical office building and associated parking garage on the Bethesda North Campus. The Thomas Comprehensive Care Center will create a patient-centered, multi-disciplinary approach to comprehensive care and consolidate outpatient care services of the TriHealth Cancer Institute, TriHealth Heart Institute, and the Mary Jo Cropper Family Center for Breast Care and TriHealth Imaging departments.
Work on this exciting project began in May of 2018 and was completed in February of 2020. The Thomas Comprehensive Care Center will allow TriHealth to continue to meet the needs of their residents today and for years to come.
Villas of Montgomery
The Planning Commission approved a Final Development Site Plan in October of 2018 to allow Robert Lucke Group to construct 12 new villa homes along Montgomery Road north of the Safety Center. The existing single-family homes have been demolished to make way for The Villas of Montgomery, which will include six new single-family attached dwellings and open space. Drivers may access this latest development by a private drive which will be right-in/right-out. The plans call for the addition of a sidewalk along Montgomery Road and well-designed new buildings with landscaping along Montgomery Road and throughout the site. Two of the six buildings have been constructed and two units have been sold to private individuals.
Work continued on the Orchard Trail subdivisions, and six building permits have been issued for the development. The 29-lot, single-family, detached subdivision is on the site of the former Montgomery Swim and Tennis Club on Orchard Club Drive. Camden Homes received approval for the development; however, Daley Design Build took over the project in 2018. Following the transition of ownership, Daley Design Build sold multiple lots to several different builders. This is a significant change in the development, as it was originally intended for all the houses to be built by the same builder. Due to the change of ownership, the new subdivision saw a significant increase in lots sold in 2019, as well as a few houses completed and sold. The new subdivision will feature high-end, empty-nester type housing with a pocket park and a walking trail.
There were other positive developments in the city during 2019:
- Fourteen new businesses opened.
- Issued two commercial building permits for new construction and expansion.
- One commercial building permits was issued for Orange Theory, 11206 Montgomery Road, which is in the Village Section of the Vintage Club.
- Issued a building permit for exterior renovations at 9749 Montgomery Road for Heritage Bank.
The total value of improvements for new commercial developments, expansion, and additions was significantly lower in 2019 at $831,790 versus $129 million in 2018. This is due to the fact that the majority of the significant projects that were being constructed in 2019 were permitted near the end of 2019.
The residential sector was busy in 2019 with the building department issuing 23 permits for new homes and 60 permits for residential remodeling/room additions. The total value of residential construction was estimated at $11.7 million. The City issued 15 demolition permits in 2019, which is six less than were issued in 2018. Since 2001, there have been a total of 291 teardowns in the city.
The finance department is responsible for preparing and maintaining the operating and capital budgets, cash management and investments, purchasing, payroll, and income tax collections. The finance department consists of two offices, income tax, and accounting.
In 2019, Montgomery's operating budget totaled $35.7 million. In addition to the operating budget, the City’s finance department administers a capital budget, with a four-year cash forecast.
In 2019, the finance department continued its participation in the City’s performance measurement process. This effort involves the tracking and collection of performance measurement data, which will ultimately be used by the department and the City to benchmark against finance departments in other municipalities.
Revenue and Expenditures
The charts titled "Where the Money Comes From" and "Where the Money Goes" provides a snapshot of how resources are collected and programmed for expenditures. In 2019, the finance department was responsible for the collection of approximately $9.5 million in income tax revenues and $6.2 million in property tax revenues. Also, the department is responsible for managing an investment portfolio of more than $20.4 million.
As with most municipalities, public safety, property protection, and emergency services are the most important governmental functions. General government and public works, including solid waste and recycling, account for over 29 percent of the remaining expenditures.
The finance department prepares quarterly and annual reports, including the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). In 2019, for the twenty-fourth consecutive year, the City was awarded the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the City’s 2017 CAFR. Moody's Investor Services continues to recognize the City's creditworthiness by assigning an Aaa credit rating to our debt. Montgomery is one of only ten communities in the State of Ohio to be rated in this category.
Income Tax Revenue
Income tax collections rose dramatically in 2008 from 2007, as a result of construction activity with one of the City’s major employers; however, in 2009, income tax revenues decreased 10 percent from the amount collected in 2008. Income tax revenues have been increasing each year since the 2009 economic downturn; with 2017 revenues exceeding collections from 2008 by 22.5 percent.
For purposes of balancing operations with capital investments and related debt service, income tax revenues are distributed into two funds according to the following allocation: 80 percent to the General Fund and 20 percent to the Capital Improvement Fund.
Total Revenues and Expenditures
The line chart titled “Total Revenues and Expenditures including General Fund 2009-2019" provides a historical perspective of the City's ability to program and budget services, capital improvements and related debt service within the resources provided through the annual budget process.
Sound Financial Policies
To maintain a healthy fiscal environment, the City Council has adopted an array of financial policies:
The graph titled "Investment Income" reflects revenues which range from $1,350,943 in 2007 to $520,956 in 2019. City Council adopted a conservative investment policy which applies to cash management and investment activities of the City of Montgomery. The policy is reviewed periodically, and City Council adopts updates. The primary objective of the City's investment activities is the preservation of capital and liquidity, maximizing investment income, and conforming to State laws governing the investment of public funds.
Fund Balance Policy
The fund balance is an essential measure of the City's overall financial health. City Council adopted a policy requiring maintenance of a six to twelve-month reserve of operating expenditures for both the General Fund and Fire/EMS Levy fund, a minimum cash balance of $1,000,000 in the Capital Improvement Fund, a targeted fund reserve for Arts & Amenities is established at $376,237, and one year reserve of debt service payments in the General Bond Retirement Fund.
On December 31, 2019, the City had $23,821,431 of bonded debt; of this amount $23,596,551 is special obligation debt and $224,880 is special assessment debt.
In October 2019, Montgomery City Council authorized the issuance of Special Obligation Revenue Refunding Bonds to refinance the outstanding Series 2013 Bonds (Vintage Club Project). The Series 2013 Bonds were issued for the purposes of (i) paying the cost of acquiring and constructing public infrastructure improvements including, acquiring real property and constructing parking facilities, a public street, street lighting, landscaping, and other related improvements; (ii) and paying certain costs related to the issuance of the Series 2013 Bonds.
The Series 2019 Special Obligation Revenue Refunding Bonds closed on December 10, 2019, resulting in over $2,330,000 of gross savings in total debt service for the City of Montgomery. The 2019 Bonds are special obligations of the City and are expected to be paid from service payments in lieu of taxes payable by certain owners of residential and/or commercial property in the Vintage Club. Residents may anticipate continued public improvements at the site, including additional streets, curb cuts, and lighting.
The fire department staffs the fire station with dedicated and professional personnel 24-hours per day.
Fire department staffing levels
- sixteen full-time firefighter/paramedics
- one customer service representative
- twelve part-time firefighter/paramedic/emergency medical technicians
- two medic ambulances
- one rescue pumper
- one fire engine
- one Quint fire truck
- one support/hydrant maintenance vehicle.
Emergency medical service incidents continued to be one of the priorities of the department and represented 70 percent of the total incident volume.
Insurance Service Office (ISO) Rating
The department received an Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of 2 as a result of the review of the department’s operations. The ISO rating system uses a scale of 1 to 10 for its rating system. If a community has a score of 10, its residents will pay a much higher premium than a community with a lower score. Current data show there are 43,094 fire departments across the country. In 2019, 305 departments were rated Class 1, and only 1,482 departments were rated as Class 2. The other 41,307 fire departments were a Class 3 or higher, resulting in those communities seeing higher insurance costs for their businesses and residents.
Fire Department Funding
After 19 years of funding the department from a 5.5 mil levy, the City proposed to the community a new 6 mil levy in the spring of 2018. The levy was approved by the community to fund the operations of the fire department. Through careful planning and budget controls, the current levy should fund the department through 2030. The department also receives revenue through the billing of EMS patients who are not property owners in the City.
Total loss from fire in the community was $82,700. The department attributes the low number of fire incidents to fire prevention efforts and the fire inspections conducted by fire safety staff. In a modern fire service, preventing the outbreak and serious spread of fire is considered as essential to public safety as proficiency in fighting fires.
EMS Incidents for 2019
Public education programs are a critical component of a modern fire department as the department strives to prevent injuries and accidents from occurring in the community.
Fire prevention education available for groups:
- Safety Center tours,
- CPR/First Aid classes, and
- Fire Prevention Week activities.
Approximately 54 individual safety programs were offered to the community.
- The Child Car Seat Safety Program taught 82 citizens how to place their children in car seats correctly and properly install the car seats in vehicles.
- Since the beginning of this program in 1999, the department has instructed over 3,510 individuals in the proper installation of child car seats.
Partnership with the American Red Cross to supply and install free photoelectric smoke alarms:
- Began in 2016
- Offered with a free home safety check
- To date, 533 smoke alarms have been installed in 221 homes.
A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) was organized in 2012 and educated 28 residents on how to handle emergencies in the event they are first on the scene to a crisis in their neighborhood. The CERT members are dedicated to assisting emergency services in responding to significant emergencies that affect the region when local resources are exhausted but still awaiting regional, state, and federal resources. Such large-scale emergencies include tornados, long-term power outages, winter storms, and other natural disasters. Additionally, CERT members are responsible for assisting with public education as they work with their neighbors in preparation for disasters and emergencies. In 2019, CERT members also supported the department with traffic management during the Independence Day Parade and in mock disaster drills.
Smart911 is a web-based program available to the residents of Montgomery to assist with information that is needed during an EMS emergency. Once a resident registers on the secure website through this link on the City website, the City’s paramedics can quickly, reliably, and securely access the resident’s health history to aid in providing emergency care during a 911 response. Smart911 is an abbreviated version of a person's health history stored on a secure personal webpage. It includes items such as medications, chronic health conditions, allergies, and doctor’s contact information. This service is free of charge and is in partnership with the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency. Learn more at alerthc.org.
The police department is responsible for providing safety services to the community, including crime prevention and education.
Police Department staffing
- Two full-time customer service representatives, and
- One full-time mayor’s court clerk.
- 22 full-time officers,
- the police chief
- one assistant chief (captain),
- five sergeants,
- two detectives,
- one full-time Sycamore High School resource officer (SRO),
- one part-time junior high resource officer (SRO),
- one traffic safety officer, and
- ten patrol officers.
In 2019 the department hired two officers to fill positions created through retirements.
In 2019, officers handled approximately 14,500 incidents, including
- 41 operating vehicle under the influence arrests
- 517 auto crash reports
- Issued 1,691 citations
- 384 arrests
In 2019 the police and fire departments hosted a session of the Montgomery Citizens’ Leadership Academy at the Safety Center. The event provided community members the opportunity
- to interact with the public safety personnel,
- view facilities and equipment, and
- participate in the Firearms Training Simulator (FATS) machine.
Several class participants experienced the challenge of deciding whether to use deadly force while in several scenarios.
In conjunction with the DEA our department maintains an narcotics and prescription pill drop-off box in the Safety Center lobby. This allows the public a method of safe and convenient method of disposal of unused medicines. Each year the collection process yields several hundred pounds of prescription pills which are destroyed to prevent misuse and other environmental issues if disposed improperly.
The police department continued its public education efforts.
- Safety Village program for five- and six-year-old children
- Crime prevention presentations
- Bike safety demonstration
- Internet safety courses
- Neighborhood association and community group talks on a variety of other issues
"Ricky," a Dutch Malinois, along with his handler, Officer Alex Janszen, completed an intensive, training program at Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania in late 2018 for drug detection as well as patrol duties.
After his initial handler/canine training, in 2019 Ricky has logged 364.8 training hours, 65 detection exercises, and 210 patrol exercises. He attends regular bi-monthly training with his canine training group.
In his patrol duties, he has been used in 54 drug/article searches, 15 tracks of individuals, which combined has assisted 12 agencies with 20 narcotic seizures and 14 arrests.
An officer from the department is assigned as a liaison to the Terrorism Early Warning Group (TEWG). The TEWG is a regional cooperative effort among public safety and health agencies throughout the greater Cincinnati area to address potential terrorist activity. Increased information and resource sharing among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies continue to improve the overall effort of combating terrorism.
The department continued to support the Drug Abuse Reduction Task Force (DART). Montgomery is a founding member of the task force formed in 1988, and periodically assigns officers to the task force. DART is comprised of approximately 14 local law enforcement agencies that primarily address drug enforcement at the local level. The task force also has a pharmaceutical diversion unit that investigates physicians, nursing staff, and pharmacy staff suspected of abusing drugs, forging, altering or writing illegal prescriptions or trafficking in drugs.
The partnership between the police department and Sycamore Community Schools continued in 2019. The school resource officer (SRO) at Sycamore High School and the part-time Sycamore Junior High SRO worked with students and staff to provide a safe and secure learning environment. The SRO positions are funded through a partnership with Sycamore Community Schools with the district paying 60 percent of the officer’s salary. In addition to the day-to-day activities, the SROs attended many extracurricular activities, such as dances, athletic events, and meetings. Officers also presented a seat belt safety program to third graders at Montgomery Elementary School.
The Montgomery Mayor’s Court hears most of the City’s misdemeanor and traffic cases, including first offenses of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under suspension.
In 2018, the Court heard 1,377 cases resulting in $160,826 in fines, court costs, and computer fund charges. After assessing the required State fees, the City’s portion of the fund was $118,214.
The Montgomery Juvenile Court, with Referee Meghan Donnellon presiding, heard ten criminal cases involving 47 juveniles. The disposition of these cases often resulted in community service being performed by the offender. Serious criminal cases, second offenders, and all juvenile traffic cases are sent directly to the Hamilton County Juvenile Court system and are heard by a juvenile court judge.
The police department received the American Automobile Association’s Gold Award. The Gold Award is an award given by the Association to agencies demonstrating outstanding success in addressing community traffic safety issues. The City of Montgomery was one of a few jurisdictions within the greater Cincinnati region to receive the award. Also, the department remains a founding member of the Hamilton County OVI Task Force for its participation in working within the region to combat driving while intoxicated.
Public Works and Recreation
In 2019, the public works staff coordinated the completion of major infrastructure repairs and rehabilitation of approximately 1.76 centerline miles of roadway resurfacing all or portions of 9 streets:
- Cooper Road (Village Green Dr to Montgomery Rd),
- Hopewell Road,
- Windzag Lane (Baywind Dr to north terminus),
- Hickory Bluff Court,
- Tradewind Court,
- Baywind Drive (Windzag Ln to west terminus),
- Driftwind Court,
- Fairwind Court, and
- Crestwind Circle
In 2019, the Public works staff also coordinated the replacement of 21 of the 704 total fire hydrants within the City. This work was done in conjunction with the Street Resurfacing Program and was the sixth year of a multi-year comprehensive plan to address the aging fire hydrants in the community. To date, the department has replaced 135 fire hydrants with new hydrants.
Public works staff completed the annual Street Crack Seal program. Crack seal is the best performing, yet least expensive, maintenance activity for extending the life of asphalt pavement. Approximately 9 centerline miles of roadway were treated in 2019, including all or portions of 42 streets.
Another yearly program completed in 2019 is the Corrugated Metal Pipe lining program. This new program began in 2019 to address the City’s aged metal storm sewer pipe infrastructure. Lining the corrugated metal pipes extend their life, add structural integrity, and is more cost effective than performing a complete pipe replacement. In 2019, 170-feet of 66-inch diameter corrugated metal pipe was lined at 9546 Montgomery Road.
During 2019, public works staff also completed several additional capital improvement projects, including the Kennedy Lane Sidewalk Project, which included the installation of a sidewalk on the north side of Kennedy Lane from Montgomery Road to Shadetree Drive. The project was completed in partnership with Sycamore Township since Kennedy Lane is located in both Township and City jurisdictional areas, therefore the cost of the project was shared.
A new flashing pedestrian crosswalk LED sign system was installed on Cooper Road by Swaim Park. The new crosswalk system features double-sided LED flashing pedestrian signs that are solar-powered. Pedestrians wanting to cross Cooper Road activate the signs via a push-button. This system greatly increases the visibility of the signs to drivers, thus greatly increases the safety for crossing pedestrians.
The Schoolhouse Lane Extension project was constructed on the east side of Montgomery Road. This additional 330-feet of new public street provides access to First Financial Bank, as well as future development of the property owned by Twin Lakes (to the north) and the Meadows of Peterloon Subdivision located in Indian Hill (to the east).
Lastly, the Montgomery Road Watermain Replacement project was completed in 2019. This project consisted of installing approximately 1100-feet of new 12-inch watermain on Montgomery Road between Cooper Road and Hartfield Place. The watermain replaced an aged 8-inch water main, thus the new water main will increase the water supply to meet the needs of the Montgomery Quarter Development project.
Upgrades to the Recreation Annex facility and equipment upgrades enhanced the group fitness classes that were offered regularly throughout 2019. Attendance continued to be strong in 2019 with 920 fitness program participants.
The summer mini-camps help keep kids active and learning in the summer. In 2019, 12 camps provided a fun summer activity to 291 participants. The annual School’s Out Day Paintball trip in October is always a hit and sold out again this year.
In 2019, pool memberships sold strong and the amount sold was comparable to the 2018 pool season. Pool program attendance skyrocketed in 2019. 322 children learned the lifelong skill of swimming through swim lessons which is an increase of 72 kids as compared to 2018. The Makos Swim team ran at full capacity with 230 swimmers which is an increase of 66 swimmers as compared to 2018. A new Junior Swim Team was added in 2019 and the Mini Makos program continued for a second year due to the high demand.
In 2019, the City received the Tree City USA Award (23 years) and a Tree City USA Growth Award (20 years) for its ongoing commitment and action focused on environmental stewardship through, care of public trees in the City’s urban forest. These awards continue the recognition received during 2009 when the Arbor Day Foundation recognized Montgomery as a “Sterling” Tree City USA, which at the time recognized Montgomery as just the sixth community in Ohio to earn this prestigious honor.
Americana hometown special events help make Montgomery unique and help to make Montgomery a great place to live, work and play. Local sponsors continue to add to the revenues generated for these events.
The Arts and Amenities budget supports the work of the Arts Commission and the Sister City Commission. Both commissions are active in supporting several events, including the annual Photo Contest, Live at the Uni concert series, Dinner Around the World, Bastille Day, and the July 3 Concert.