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2004 City Comp Plan Update - Lessons Learned???

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    Posted: Jan 16 2018 at 5:51pm
Mr. Adkins -  There's much to consider from this forty-four page component of the city's Comprehensive Plan Update (2004).

City of Middletown Financial Analysis and Cost of
Service Study Comprehensive Plan Update (May 2004)

In conjunction with McKenna Associates, Inc.
Strategic Public Policy 1960 Stoney Hill Drive, Hudson, OH 44236
Tel: 330.655.5171 eFax: 208.979.3880 smckew@strategicpublicpolicy.com

Chapter 6: Recommendations (Pages 43 and 44)

Recommendations are included in this draft in summary form, as the final recommendations need to be blended with other analysis being conducted as part of the Comprehensive Plan process. Several issues, however, need to be highlighted as the result of the SPP Fiscal Analysis.

1. The city revenues derived from real and personal property tax are unusually low. With the potential dampening of the productivity of the Income tax, property tax revenues will have to play a larger role in the funding of basic operational costs. For that reason, it appears that tax levies to support Emergency Services and recreation facilities should be seriously considered by the City. Police and Fire services will continue to place major stresses on local expenditures and indeed will increase their percentage of overall operational costs based on current practices. This trend will prevent the City from making needed expenditures in the areas of Road Improvements and quality recreational facilities. Other funding sources must be developed to address Emergency Services costs.

2. Over 30 % of current homeowners in Middletown are above 65 years of age. This indicates that an increasing number of owner occupied structures will be coming on the market in the next ten to fifteen years. These homes will tend to be older, and not as desirable from a market standpoint. Analysis of current data suggests that an increasing number of homes in Middletown are shifting from owner occupied to rental property. The City already has a relatively high concentration of rental properties (41%). High percentages of rental properties tend to reduce public participation and civic involvement particularly when they represent a high subsidized housing component. From both a financial and social involvement perspective, the City needs to address redevelopment of obsolete rental areas in a serious effort.

3. Based upon this Cost of Service study as well as many regional economic studies, it is SPP's recommendation that Tax Increment Financing and tax abatement programs not be used for retail development projects on undeveloped land. The State of Ohio stopped allowing tax abatement participation in retail projects for the same reasons highlighted in this study. The financial benefits derived do not compensate for the lost property tax revenues. The one exception to this would be the use of Tax Increment Financing for a mixed-use downtown redevelopment project that would include a retail component.

4. At present the City utilizes its Community Development Block Grant Funds in a widespread manner. In order to be able to create critical masses needed for successful redevelopment efforts, the CDBG funds should be used in a much more targeted fashion.

5. The report has noted the lack of investment in open space and recreation facilities in Middletown. In addition to the consideration of a dedicated property levy on this issue the City should revise its Zoning and Subdivision regulations to create more productive open space as new development occurs. This is also important in the area of new office park development. The GEM Report noted the need for high quality office park environments from a marketability perspective. It is more likely that this will occur if zoning requirements include environmental quality issues. These items are an insignificant cost in the overall office park development, but will substantially increase marketing potential and income tax potential.

6. In older industrial Cities, full income tax credit was often given as a benefit to residents. The high proportion of income -tax paying jobs offset the full credit policy. For the last ten years the relationship between residents and local employment has changed substantially. The highest and most enduring expenditures for the City are occurring in the areas providing direct resident services i.e., Police and Fire Protection. These costs will continue to grow with the population. Since all residents use these services, it is appropriate that all residents contribute to their funding in a more direct way. The City should consider elimination of a portion of the income tax credit as a means of dealing with this issue.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 16 2018 at 8:17pm
"property tax revenues will have to play a larger role in the funding of basic operational costs."

That's fine as long as the focus is on corporations and businesses who have the capacity to pay more for operational costs. Many seniors and low income people in this city can't afford to constantly be considered a money source for the city. We just don't have it Mr. Adkins. You seem to be a smart man and I know you have the capacity to realize this fact. Wrong focus if your money source is constantly the residents. Hell, the dam schools do enough damage to adding costs for the people.


"Over 30 % of current homeowners in Middletown are above 65 years of age. This indicates that an increasing number of owner occupied structures will be coming on the market in the next ten to fifteen years. These homes will tend to be older, and not as desirable from a market standpoint."

Not necessarily. May be 30% over 65 living here, but most are baby boomers who have nice incomes or are set up in retirement by now. Probably not living in low quality housing stock either after decades in the working world. Furthermore, Middletown has a reputation of having an undesirable market for housing. This is due to the undesirable condition of the city, the poor schools and lack of entertainment and shopping and decent paying jobs more so than any other factors. Add the embarrassment of overabundant HUD low income housing, high crime/drug usage for a city this size and the ghetto image projected and you have the perfect storm for non-desirability. YOU and those before you created this cluster of a city. YOU and your predecessors are to blame for the malaise found here. Your city game has been and is a projected disaster. Anyone who can assess information and past history knows the city has not been successful the last four decades.

"4. At present the City utilizes its Community Development Block Grant Funds in a widespread manner. In order to be able to create critical masses needed for successful redevelopment efforts, the CDBG funds should be used in a much more targeted fashion."

Oh, NOW you want to use grant money for it's intended purpose? When did you discover this revelation? Interesting that you have a change of heart here.

"For the last ten years the relationship between residents and local employment has changed substantially."

What? No, not for the last 10 years. More like the last four decades here in Middletown. Ever since the higher paying jobs at the paper mills left and Armco/AK Steel took a dive in manpower from 9600 workers in the 60's to the current 2300, union wages went down the toilet with replacement workers at much lower wages being the accepted tradition at AK and the downsizing of Armco Research in employee numbers and higher wages being paid. Bottom line.....what was once considered high wages in this city are no longer around being replaced by industrial park wages. The $30/hr jobs are gone replaced by the $15-$20/hr wages. People in the so-called "high wage" jobs of today have less earning power than their predecessors of the 50's, 60's and 70's and therefore, can't afford the "nicer things in life" such as a nice upscale house and a new car every once in a while. If you don't bring employers to town who will put decent wages in the worker's pocket, the worker won't buy as often and will buy cheaper. That isn't helping any business climate you are trying to create in this city, INCLUDING YOUR PRECIOUS DOWNTOWN AREA BUSINESSES. No one can afford the higher priced articles in the specialty shops downtown. Most aren't interested in what is offered downtown as well. It is a bust to most Middletonians.

"These costs will continue to grow with the population"

What???? The population is DECREASING with more moving out than in Mr. Adkins. Check the city population over time and see the decrease. You are trying to find MORE revenue to fund services for LESS people. Want to make your services money go further within the police and fire departments? Get the dam druggies out of town and stop responding to the same addresses for drug overdoses multiple times. Let the user buy/provide the Narcan. Not the city's responsibility to provide the service and not the taxpayer's responsibility to pay for the Narcan. Stop helping people who won't help themselves. Dam!!!

"The City should consider elimination of a portion of the income tax credit as a means of dealing with this issue."

That would be a tax increase using a back door method of taxation. That is unacceptable Mr. Adkins.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote middletownscouter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 17 2018 at 7:18am
Just a note that the document is about 4 months shy of being 14 years old.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 17 2018 at 9:53am
Originally posted by middletownscouter middletownscouter wrote:

Just a note that the document is about 4 months shy of being 14 years old.


True, but has anything changed with relation to the information in this post?
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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