Monroe bridge to get state funding for repair

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Monroe bridge to get state funding for repair

After the Ohio Department of Transportation reduced its overhead costs and improved efficiencies, $120 million in funding became available to repair and replace more than 200 bridges.

That includes the Monroe bridge over Cold Water Creek at Salzman Road, according to Rep. Tim Derickson, R-Oxford.

Earlier this month it was announced that Ohio’s Bridge Partnership will provide remediation to a network of bridges that are not on ODOT’s interstate or state highway system but still are vital to Ohio’s transportation system. The 200-plus bridges are owned by counties and cities around the state and will be repaired or replaced over the next three years.

“I applaud Gov. Kasich and the Ohio Department of Transportation for continuing a commitment to building a stronger infrastructure for our state,” Derickson said. “The Bridge Partnership program will greatly benefit the residents of the Monroe community and help keep our roads and bridges safe.”

Ohio is second only to Texas with 44,000 bridges around the state. Derickson said while the condition of the state’s bridges are better than the national average, there are many waiting for “much-needed repairs.”

Derickson said according to Ohio Department of Transportation, work is expected to begin on the first 40 bridges in 2014. It’s not known when the Cold Water Creek bridge would be repaired.

Monroe City Manager Bill Brock said while the bridge is on the list, “it is not in critical need of repair.”

“We are analyzing the funding opportunity and will take advantage of any assistance that we can receive to address making improvements to the bridge,” he said.

Badin to be honored

Rep. Wes Retherford, R-Hamilton, plans to honor the state champion Hamilton Badin girls soccer team at the statehouse.

The first-term state representative is working on a resolution to honor the girls, including having the team on the House floor with the players’ parents, sometime by the end of the year.

“When anything of significant importance is accomplished statewide, we want to recognize that achievement,” said Retherford. “That includes a state title.”

The Badin Rams girls soccer team went into this year’s state playoffs an underdog to claim the school’s second state girls soccer title since 2005. On Nov. 8, they won the Division III state title in a overtime shootout 4-3 after being down 2-0.

Badin advanced to the state finals after on Nov. 5 beating league rival Fenwick High School 2-1 in double overtime.

Income tax uniformity passes House

A revised income tax bill — Substitute House Bill 5 — passed the Ohio House by way of a 56-41 vote on Wednesday and will not be considered by the Ohio Senate.

Before the House voted on the bill, it was debated in the House’s Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Rep. Pete Beck, R-Mason.

“Because of our diverse and confusing municipal tax structure, businesses and taxpayers do not have the tax certainty that is one of the foundations for sound tax policy,” Beck said. “The current tax policy places Ohio at a distinct disadvantage for job creation and economic development when compared to our neighboring states.”

The goal of the substitute House Bill is to bring more uniformity to the state’s municipal income tax structure.

With more than 600 municipalities using more than 300 different tax forms, Beck said Ohio has one of the more complicated municipal income tax systems in the country. He said international site selectors rank Ohio’s municipal income tax system as one of the main factors discouraging location to the state.

The initial introduction of the bill was not supported by many around Southwest Ohio where officials reported the bill as introduced would significantly add to the annual operating expenses. More than 200 hours of meetings to work through the problems local governments had with the initial bill were held, Beck said.

“This substitute bill will improve Ohio’s economic competitiveness, create jobs for the middle class, is pro-taxpayer and pro-small business owner, and attempts to protect the rights of Ohio citizens and municipalities as well,” he said.

Poll: Ohio Governor, Treasurer to have tough races

In a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, and paid for by the Ohio Democratic Party, Gov. John Kasich and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel will have to work to win re-election in November 2014. Libertarian candidate Charlie Earl garnered 6 percent of support, according to the poll, while 13 percent was unsure.

Kasich and presumed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald are tied at 41 percent among a survey of 595 Ohio voters, according to the poll conducted on Nov. 5 and 6. Mandel trails his presumptive Democratic opponent, Ohio Rep. Connie Pillich, 47 to 43 percent.

The seven-question poll asked about Kasich’s approval rating, which those 18-29 disapproved of the governor’s job performance by 51 percent.Those older than 65 gave him a 35 percent disapproval rating.

While the Ohio Democratic Party paid for the poll, PPP officials said they worked with the party to develop questions and polling group formulated the final questions asked of people that took the survey.

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