Wednesday, January 14, 2009

ReCap from the Information CMHA Meeting ...

If you needed to be at a Springfield Township meeting this year, this was the meeting. Fortunately, it will be available on the community access cable station.

Before you read on, I'd like to say that there is a process to report homes falling in disrepair in Springfield Twp. by notifying the township. It works. I've seen two houses in Viewplace already where neighbors worked together to report, assess, and resolve the issues.

The point of the meeting was to help educate the community about the process by which a home or rental property suddenly becomes inhabited by families or individuals who have vouchers and to dispel the myth and misinformation that Springfield Twp. is being targeted by CMHA & HUD to settle a disproportionate number of people using vouchers into the community.

Although CMHA re-iterated that they have absolutely no control over where people use the vouchers, it was pretty clear that the 10% bonuses CMHA offers to voucher-ready homes and rental properties in Springfield Twp., Colerain Twp., and Norwood is steering the high concentration of voucher-users in Colerain Twp., Springfield Twp, and Norwood.

In general, most Township residents in attendance were in support of helping people by providing housing. What they didn't like is that this system which was designed to lift people out of their poverty was actually dragging the property value down in neighborhoods where many homes are falling into disrepair. Another big concern was about how rental properties are driving up the property taxes for additional township services and schools levies that are needed by people using federal and state housing vouchers who are not paying property taxes.

Township trustees assured residents of the procedure to report homes by calling 522-1410 to report homes that are falling into disrepair. Also, if the property is currently occupied through a voucher, it is also important to notify the CMHA that the property is in trouble so they can contact the owner. If there is any criminal activity, call Chief Dave.

The main frustration I heard at the meeting is that many homes in Springfield Township are owned by people living outside of the state with no ties or commitment to keep up the conditions of the home.

Many of the residents in attendance at the meeting expressed that home owners who rent their homes to voucher holders should live within a close proximity or that money should be escrowed into an account for repairs to be made if they are not going to be around to fix the home. It was also suggested that before they rent their homes, notification should be given to neighbors who own and reside near the property so that phone numbers can be exchanged to report unusual activities.

The flip side to this is in regard to the voucher holders who are are being "taken" by unscrupulous home owners who do not take responsibility for the homes they own and blame the "neglect" it on the voucher holders.

Many voucher holders with whom I have had contact tell me that the owners will sometimes blame the families for stuff that the owner neglected to repair over time.

News From Finneytown Civic Association ...

This Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009 ... The Finneytown Civic Association is meeting to update people about the civility project; Section 8 (again); report by a nomination committee; and an update about the school and quality of life issues.

Springfield Township Senior and Community Center
9158 Winton RoadCincinnati, OH 45231
Phone: 513-325-5202

Get directions

7 p.m.

Here's something I picked up from the their blog ....

Finneytown Civic Association now has a Green CommitteeContributed

By Joseph Gorman Finneytown Civic Association
David Gaines and Joe Gorman

The goal of the FCA Green Committee is to involve Finneytown residents in projects that improve our local environment. A list of possible projects includes community clean up days, rain barrel installations, rain garden development, recycling projects, and creation of a Finneytown community garden. "Plans are already in the works to team up with the Finneytown High School Go Green Club," said David Gaines, "and we are hoping to coordinate events with a variety of organizations such as scouting troops, church groups and garden clubs.

All are welcome." "There are a bunch of cool resources in the green community that we can tap into," said Joe Gorman. For instance, Cincinnati State has a coordinator of green resources who can share practical information on geo-thermal cooling and heating systems, and, solar energy ideas. Roof gardens can lower the "urban heat" index.If you are interested in the environment and want to make Finneytown a healthier, greener community, please contact committee chair David Gaines at 522-6696.

Springfield Township Information

Springfield Township Citizen Police Academy
SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP – The Springfield Township Police Department will once again be holding their annual Citizens Police Academy at the police station located at 1130 Compton Rd. The classes are scheduled to begin on February 16, 2009 and will be held on Monday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The classes are ten weeks long and are open to all residents of Springfield Township with a limited number of spots available for residents of other communities on a first come, first serve basis. Since the first class in 1997, there have been over 150 graduates of the program. Participants will also have the opportunity to join the Springfield Township Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, which is a non profit organization that supports the police department and has become instrumental in and around the Springfield Township community in various civic activities. Graduates will also have the opportunity to attend additional training to become a member of the Citizen on Patrol program that started in 2008. The class topics will again include patrol functions, domestic violence, K-9 operations, and investigations ranging from traffic crashes to homicides. There will also be classes covering the functions of township government and the townships property maintenance program. Anyone interested in attending may pick up an application at the police station, visit the townships web page at, or call 729-1300 for additional information. The contact person is Lt. Rick Bley.

CERT Training Offered(The Community Emergency Response Team)

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP – The Springfield Township Fire Department will hold Community Emergency Response Team training at the fire station located at 9150 Winton Rd. The classes are scheduled January 27, 29, February 3, 5, 10 and 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Participants must attend all classes. CERT is open to residents of Springfield Township with a limited number of spots available for residents of other communities on a first come, first serve basis.

The registration deadline is January 19, 2009.

Applications are available at Following a disaster, community members may be on their own for a period of time because of the size of the area affected, lost communications, and impassable roads.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program supports local response capability by training volunteers to organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers at the disaster site, to provide immediate assistance to victims, and to collect disaster intelligence to support responders’ efforts when they arrive.In the classroom, participants learn about the hazards they face and ways to prepare for them. Skills learned can be used to help themselves, their loved ones, and their neighbors until help arrives.

Local government, or one of its representatives, sponsors CERT training in the community. Training consists of 20 hours of instruction on topics that include disaster preparedness, fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster psychology. Upon completion of the training, participants are encouraged to continue their involvement by participating in training activities and volunteering for projects that support Springfield Township’s disaster preparedness efforts.