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Learn about City of Hamilton, Ohio Investor Relations, including Featured News, Key Projects, The Team, and Utility System Summaries.
Located on the Great Miami River in the heart of the Cincinnati-Dayton metroplex, Hamilton is a historically significant city with approximately 63,000 residents. Home to Miami University Hamilton and the County Seat of Butler County, Hamilton is the area center for government, finance and industry. Hamilton is continually expanding its quality of life offerings through art, cultural and recreational activities. The City was the recipient of the 2015 Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting "Best Water in the World" award and received the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) Diamond level designation in 2017. For more information, please visit www.hamilton-city.org
A higher-safety crossing for pedestrians, featuring blinking lights, will be activated Thursday morning on Eaton Avenue near the Flub’s Dariette ice cream shop where the Beltline biking/walking path eventually will cross.
Once people get used to it, the HAWK (High intensity Activated crossWalK) system is expected to make crossing the heavily traveled roadway safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Invented in Tucson, Arizona, HAWK systems are pedestrian-friendly, but at the same time are better for flow of vehicles than regular traffic signals would be.
Here’s how they work:
The crossings have poles that extend above the street with lights similar to ordinary traffic signals. But unlike regular signals, they only operate when a bicyclist or pedestrian activates them.
Once a walker or bike-rider sets off the signal, the same way people do to cross a street at a traffic light, they see a don’t walk hand. Once the signal is activated, they know it’s safe to cross the intersection, after making sure traffic stops.
The lights facing drivers at the crossing are dark until a pedestrian activates them. After that, the lights flash, before eventually glowing solid red. Two red signals overhead toggle back and forth in red, telling motorists that once the bikers or walkers have left the intersection, they are free to drive through. Drivers behind the first vehicle should check the intersection to make sure nobody has entered it before passing through themselves.
The signals cost about $67,000, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources agreed to pay 75% of that cost, because other costs of installing the first part of the beltline, from Cleveland Avenue to Eaton, was lower than expected. Costs also were lowered because the city was able to reuse poles and city employees helped with installation.
“We plan to go to construction next year with Phase 2, from Cleveland to North B Street, said Allen Messer, senior civil engineer for the city. That will link the beltline to the Great Miami River near the Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill indoor sports complex and convention center.
Preliminary plans also have been developed for Phase 3, along the Spooky Nook complex, along the top of the concrete flood levee, from Black Street to Main Street. Those should be submitted this week to the Ohio Department of Transportation.
The path ultimately is to be a 2.96-mile asphalt strip that will extend in a large curve from the former Champion Paper mill and the Great Miami River to near Millville Avenue.
Plans for a Phase 4, in the areas west of Eaton Avenue, have yet to be determined. By far, the largest expense of that project will be crossing Two Mile Creek just west of Eaton Avenue.
The unseasonably warm weather, peoples’ desire to be outdoors and the “buzz” in the city attracted record crowds last weekend to the 10th annual Operation Pumpkin in downtown Hamilton.
After the event was scaled back last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Operation Pumpkin returned to its usual format this year, said Paige Hufford, co-chair of the event with Jason Snyder.
She estimated Saturday’s crowd at 20,000 and close to 40,000 for the three-day event that concluded Sunday night.
Hufford said the pumpkin festival provides an opportunity to highlight the locally-owned downtown businesses.
“That’s our mission,” said Hufford, who thanked her 16-person committee.
Sara Vallandingham, owner of Sara’s House, a specialty boutique downtown, said sales in her store during the pumpkin event set records, even more than Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
“It was like that for a lot of the business owners I talked to,” Vallandingham said. “There is a certain buzz downtown and I think people wanted to come see for themselves.”
Hufford said the event saw its largest pumpkin in its history, weighing more than 2,000 pounds. Besides the pumpkin patch that featured giant and carved pumpkins, other activities included a pet parade, arts and crafts, live bands, food and beverage booths, and a kid zone along High Street.
She called Operation Pumpkin “a real staple event” in Hamilton.
“We’re at a point where people look forward to our event,” said Hufford, who said the 11th annual Operation Pumpkin will be the second weekend next October. “It just seems to get bigger and draw more people throughout the region.”
Everyone on the committee takes notes throughout the event and suggests ways to improve it every year, Hufford said. The committee also surveys vendors and downtown businesses to see if they have any suggestions, she said.
“It’s all about growing the event and making it better for the community,” she said.
Miami University and several highly technical Hamilton companies will have 10,000 square feet of space at Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill’s convention hall area to seek solutions for issues the businesses face.
The facility, to be called the Ideation Green Lab, will harness the mind power of Miami University faculty, students and alumni, as well as Cincinnati-based Centrifuse, to help some of Hamilton’s most innovative companies.
Miami’s “entrepreneurial program is rated No. 7 in the country,” Hamilton City Manager Joshua Smith said in an interview after his State of the City speech last week. Also working with the program will be Cincinnati-based organization Centrifuse, whose stated mission is to make Greater Cincinnati “the #1 tech startup hub in the Midwest.
One participant will be Hamilton-based iMFLUX Inc., which Smith said several years ago adopted the goal of reducing plastics in packaging for Procter & Gamble by 90 percent in a decade.
Another will be thyssenkrupp Bilstein, which makes highly adjustable shock absorbers for Tesla, BMW and Mercedes Benz. Yet another will be Saica, a Spain-based manufacturer of recycled cardboard boxes, building its first North American facility, costing more than $70 million, in Hamilton’s Enterprise Park industrial park.
Across the street from Saica is another participant, 80 Acres Farms, which grows crops entirely indoors, all year round, across the street from the Saica facility.
“The collaborators, if they have a problem, they can bring it to the ideation center, give it to the students, give it to the Centrifuse mentors, and they will come up with possible solutions to the problems.”
The center will be located at the southern tip of the former Champion Paper’s “Mill 2,” the building located between B Street and the Great Miami River.
Randi Thomas, Miami’s vice president of ASPIRE (Advancing Strategies, Partnerships, Institutional Relations and Economy), who works at all the university’s campuses, said city government also will add its expertise.
“From our perspective, we want to provide high-quality, tangible, real-world, experiential learning opportunities for our students, where they can learn and grow, and at the same time, contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Hamilton, Oxford, Southwest Ohio,” Thomas said.
Another approach the center will take is to approach companies and organizations such as Wright-Patterson Air Force Base that own patents “that are just sitting there because they weren’t successful,” Thomas said. “So we say, ‘Why don’t you loan us he patent?’ And we may look at it, we may put it with another patent, we’ll take it through commercialization and then once it reaches a dollar amount that’s profitable for you, you come back in and buy us out, and take it back.”
The organization will focus on industry sectors that REDI Cincinnati focuses aims to grow as the region’s main economic-development agency.
Pete Blackshaw, CEO of Cintrifuse, said the goal is to have from successful companies such as rapidly growing 80 Acres Farms who are “experienced founders, who have done it before, who do it again.”
Blackshaw called the ideation lab “a hugely promising idea because the best ideas on green are coming from youth, and I believe this could be a national model.”
“Miami has a fantastic track record in green (technologies), have for many, many years,” Blackshaw said. Also, Centrifuse has made one of its top priorities the improvement of sustainability, he said.
Among local board members of Centrifuse are Smith; 80 Acres founder and CEO Mike Zelkind; and Miami President Greg Crawford.
Miami also is creating an incubator program for startup businesses in Oxford, Thomas said. That and the Ideation Green Lab will complement each other, he said.
“Last year alone, students started 35 companies on their own,” at Miami, Thomas said.
The City of Hamilton has owned and operated its electric utility system since 1893. As the City’s electric service requirements increased, the utility has grown into an integrated generation, transmission, and distribution system serving approximately 30,000 customers. As a leading clean energy utility, nearly 50% of our energy is produced by renewable energy sources with the remainder emanating from coal, diesel, and natural gas. The result is clean, reliable, affordable energy for our customers.
In 2017, the Electric System earned the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3)® Diamond Level designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service. Diamond level, the highest level of recognition, is earned by approximately 5% of the nation's 2,000 public power organizations. The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement.
Total Debt: $28,020,000
Bond Rating: A3
Customers Served: 30,000
Natural Gas System
The City of Hamilton has owned and operated its own natural gas utility since 1890. The natural gas utility is the second oldest in Ohio and 21st oldest in the United States. Hamilton’s gas rates are among the lowest in Ohio and the region as a whole.
Furthermore, Hamilton’s Gas System is the largest municipally-owned gas utility in Ohio and 31st largest in the United States. The Gas System serves approximately 23,000 customers through approximately 275 miles of pipelines. The City has 2 direct interstate pipeline connections to supply its natural gas needs; Texas Gas Transmission, LLC and Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.
In late 2014, the City of Hamilton completed construction of the area’s first public compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station. This station provides a clean alternative to gasoline and diesel to local businesses and residents.
Total Debt: $6,965,000
Bond Rating: A1
Customers Served: 23,000
The City of Hamilton has owned and operated its own water utility since 1884. The City begins by drawing its raw water from one of the finest sources of water in North America, the Great Miami Valley Buried Aquifer. Using 21 deep wells, the City extracts water from the aquifer and then treats the water using a unique chlorine dioxide disinfectant process. The City processes raw water from the aquifer at 2 water treatment plants.
The underground distribution infrastructure of the Water System currently consists of over 289 miles of water mains throughout and in areas adjacent to the City. The City provides, on average, over 18.5 million gallons of water per day (MGD) to approximately 25,000 customers in Hamilton and portions of Butler County.
Total Debt: $34,274,461
Bond Rating: Aa3
Customers Served: 25,000
The City of Hamilton Wastewater System is made up of two primary divisions:
Located along the eastern bank of the Great Miami River, the City’s initial wastewater treatment plant was placed in service in 1959. The plant was expanded in 1978 and again in 2002 to provide complete treatment services. Today, the Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) provides primary and secondary treatment to remove approximately 99% of the solids and organics from the wastewater flow and treats approximately 80 tons of solids daily. The WRF has a biological treatment capacity of 32 million gallons per day (MGD), and a hydraulic capacity of 62 MGD.
Total Debt: $49,594,315
Bond Rating: A1
Customers Served: 23,600
The City's Storm Water Management System was created by council ordinance in 2002 and has since evolved into the Storm Water Division. This division is located within the Department of Public Works and is responsible for managing the City’s storm water drainage system. Storm water is water that originates from precipitation events, such as rain or snow. While most storm water is soaked into the ground, some becomes runoff that either flows directly into surface waterways or is channeled into storm sewers and eventually discharged into surface waterways.
Total Debt: $3,813,300
Total Budget in 2018: $885,000
Customers Served: 27,098