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Monroe could change tax deal for brewery after missed payment

Monroe City Council will be looking at modifying a tax abatement for the Rivertown Brewing Company on Ohio 63 for failing to pay property taxes due. Council on Tuesday accepted a recommendation from the Butler County Tax Incentive Review board to modify its agreement with the brewery. FILE PHOTO
Monroe City Council will be looking at modifying a tax abatement for the Rivertown Brewing Company on Ohio 63 for failing to pay property taxes due. Council on Tuesday accepted a recommendation from the Butler County Tax Incentive Review board to modify its agreement with the brewery. FILE PHOTO

A tax abatement could be modified for a local business by Monroe City Council in the coming weeks.

Last week, council approved a resolution to renegotiate the terms of a Community Reinvestment Area tax abatement for the Rivertown Brewery, 6550 Hamilton Lebanon Road.

The CRA agreement for Rivertown Brewery was the focus of a review on May 21 by the Butler County Tax Incentive Review Council that was triggered when Rivertown failed to pay its first-half Butler County property taxes in February 2020.

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The TIRC is required by state law to review the compliance status of tax abatement agreements and recommend further action to City Council. A provision in the CRA agreement says all unabated taxes must not be delinquent.

Council approved the resolution as an emergency action as it needed to accept the TIRC recommendation within 60 days of receiving it.

City officials said council’s next step will be to determine what modifications of the rate and/or terms of the tax abatement agreement should be with Rivertown in light of itsnon-payment of real property taxes. Council can choose to accept, modify or reject the TIRC recommendation. In the event council wishes to remove the incentive entirely, the abatement can be rescinded or modified to a 0% abatement.

Rivertown had a payment plan with Butler County for unpaid property taxes. As a result of the nonpayment and a failure to make the April payment, the existing Butler County payment plan for previously-due taxes that had not been paid is no longer valid.

Proposed bike path passes latest milestone

Council gave final approval on two resolutions to enter agreements with the Ohio Department of Transportation to construct the 2.3-mile section of bike path that will be part of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail as well as use $650,000 in federal grant funding awarded to Monroe.

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City Manager Bill Brock previously told council the city is responsible for all planning and design of the trail project, and ODOT is responsible for the bidding, awarding and contract administration.

The estimated cost is about $1.3 million, and the $650,000 in federal funds were received through the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Government’s Transportation Alternatives Grant Program. The city was also awarded a secondary grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Clean Ohio Trails Grant of $500,000 for construction costs for the bike path.

In other business, council:

  • Approved spending $15,112 to demolish the old Monroe swimming pool and other structures at 401 Old St.
  • Approved $16,500 for engineering services to remedy the Rosemont Park drainage issue.
  • Approved several equipment purchases for the new police facility: $82,617 for the facility’s camera system; $51,283 for the facility’s access control system; $36,313 for fitness equipment for its wellness center; and $69,514 to move the two existing communications consoles to the new facility and purchase two additional communications consoles for future growth.