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Special Improvement District One Step Closer For Part Of OTR

Proposed boundaries for the OTR South Special Improvement District that City Council will vote on Wednesday.
Proposed boundaries for the OTR South Special Improvement District that City Council will vote on Wednesday.

Cincinnati City Council is expected to formerly approve a special improvement district (SID) for the southern portion of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood at its meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The initial area for the OTR South SID would be Liberty Street to the north, Central Parkway to the west and south, and Broadway to the east.

At least 60% of property owners in the proposed SID have vote to approve it.  That's the threshold for the plan to move forward.

Definition of a special improvement district provided to the Hamilton County commissioners.
Credit Provided

The SID would be funded by property owners in the district with an assessment on their annual property taxes. Those same owners would elect a board of trustees and decide what additional services would be provided. Those include things like litter pickup, graffiti removal, snow removal and beautification projects.

"These are city services on steroids," said Greg Olson, with Urban Sites and co-chair of the working group on the SID. "Truly making what has turned our city around, making these services very obvious and something that everyone wants to be able to participate in because it's clean."

A similar SID has been in place for the downtown Central Business District for 20 years.  That district now contracts with 3CDC to provide services, and before that it was handled by Downtown Cincinnati Inc. (DCI) Probably the most noticeable part of that program are the downtown ambassadors.

3CDC estimates the budget for the OTR South SID at $775,000. Of that amount, $125,000 would be contributed by 3CDC and community partners.  The remaining $650,000, increasing eventually to $700,000, would come from property owners.

"The preponderance of the dollars are being put into cleanliness, some safety," said Bobby Maly, who's the CEO of The Model Group and a working group co-chair. "I think getting a great bang for our buck in terms of dollars going into the neighborhood onto the street, as opposed into an office."

That assessment is based on 25% street frontage and 75% on the county auditor's assessed value.

Organizers plan to eventually expand the SID to the entire OTR neighborhood.  But right now the property tax values in the neighborhood north of Liberty wouldn't support it.

Examples of how much OTR property owners would pay to participate in the the proposed special improvement district.
Credit Provided

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