Thursday, September 21, 2017

More Property Taxes?!

I don't know about you, but I am very tired of every organization (for profit or not) putting a PROPERTY TAX INCREASE on the ballot. Once again there is one on this November's ballot and it's for drugs. Various local organizations have imported people addicted to drugs from around the state to Portsmouth, and they stay here. We have plenty of our own to treat. These organizations' staff members can write grant proposals.

Those of us who pay our property taxes have had enough! Tell your family and friends to vote AGAINST the tax levy on the November ballot...and make sure to get out and vote! Remember, this is county-wide. Here is the ballot language:

Proposed Tax Levy(Additional)
Scioto County ADAMHS

A majority affirmative vote is necessary for passage.
An additional tax for the benefit of the joint county alcohol, drug addiction, and mental health service district for the purpose of current expenses by the Adams, Lawrence, Scioto Counties Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board, at a rate not exceeding 1 mill for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to $0.10 for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for 5 years, commencing in 2017, first due in calendar year 2018.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

One Year Anniversary - What the Media Never Reported

July 14, 2015

2730 Shawnee Road
"Dear Ms. Murray:
City employees and City Police went door to door last night after the rain event.  I was present and coordinated this effort.  We went to every house we could (however, you are correct we did not go to yours) and asked if the residents had water or flooding in their basement.  We stopped going north in the 2700 block of Grandview when every resident stated that they were dry and had no water at all in their basements." [part of email from City Manager Derek Allen dated July 15, 2015]


. . . and we are right now under threat of another thunderstorm today July 14, 2016. All of us in this neighborhood suffer whenever a storm is indicated. Shame on you city officials and shame on you Strand & Associates!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

It's Called A Water or Sewer Line Replacement Plan

Plan, program, etc. The main thing is a city has to have one and a method to fund it. Old lines HAVE to be replaced! That is what real governments do and what the residents and businesses deserve in Portsmouth. Not just the city reacting to emergencies and then taking something off the table that needs to be done too. Tsk. Tsk.

Sewer on Third Street in Portsmouth collapses
Distel crews busy themselves making repairs
First Posted: 1:54 pm - May 16th, 2016
By Frank Lewis -

Workers with Distel Construction work to repair a section of Third Street in Portsmouth where the roadway and sewer collapsed. 

Workers with Distel Construction were busy Monday repairing a collapsed sewer on Third Street between Market Street and Jefferson Street in Portsmouth. Workers were down in a huge hole that had been dug to try to find the extent of the collapse.
“We had that heavy rain the other night and there was a sinkhole and it was an old brick manhole that had collapsed,” Portsmouth City Manager Dererk K. Allen said. “We brought a contractor in, Distel Construction, and his guys climbed down into the sewer, a 48-inch brick sewer, and there was a collapsed portion that had a void large enough you could stand up in it.”
Allen said the crew went to the next manhole and it too had washed out.
“We’re doing 200 feet of sewer replacement and two new manholes,” Allen said. Allen said on Monday he did not know what the cost would be, but because of the depth of the problem, it had to be treated as an emergency and taken care of right away. To make matters worse, it is just the latest in a series of problems that include broken water mains and other infrastructure issues.

In April, a major waterline break on Kinney’s Lane, between Waller Street and Offnere Street in Portsmouth caused that street to be shut down for several days. The problem occurred when the main feeder line that goes up to the reservoir suffered a major break.

“There’s no real rhyme or reason other than you’ve got temperature change. You’ve got pipe that’s been in since the early 20s,” City Waterworks Director Sam Sutherland said. “It’s a combination.”

Allen seems to be up to his waist in alligators with no time to drain the swamp. “Things are collapsing and failing faster than I can get them fixed,” Allen said. He does no know what affect the project will have on the current budget for streets.

By Frank Lewis

Thursday, May 5, 2016

57% and 32% Increase in Montly Sewer Fees for Residents, Not Others

Did you get your bill for the month of April? Subtract your old amount from new and divide the difference by the first number. That's your rate of increase assuming you used the same amount of water. Sewer rates are based on the amount of water you use.

Guess what it is for the large users who create the storm water problems in our neighborhoods, caused the sewer backups into homes in the Grandview area, and largely caused the increase costs to fix the problems? 0%

That's right, 0%. How fair is that? And we already had an increase in 2013. Read this.

Why did the city not institute a Storm Water Fee and let SOMC, Hillview, the government properties and non-profits that have huge parking lots pay the increase? They have created the problem.

City Manager told Council he did not know how to do it. That's why the city council should contract someone who does.

Oh, and in case you missed it...and, since the media did NOT report on it at all...we had massive backups last July (see my blog news) and the $4.5 Million spent fixed NOTHING. more info and photos But, we still get to pay for it.

What are they doing in Flint, Michigan and Washington D.C. with people who do their jobs this way?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

First We Are Treated Like Flint, Michigan...and Now City Wants Us To Pay For The Backups Created By Others!

The less than competent persons in charge of this city never cease to amaze me. Now the city manager wants you and me to pay more than twice the sanitary sewer rate than the large institutions (hospitals, retirement center, university, etc.) that have disproportionately created the storm water/combined sewer problems including backups into our homes!

And the city manager convinced 4 councilmembers that he needed a raise and a month and a half off!!! I'd settle for two weeks paid vacation. How about you?

City sewer rates are going up
First Posted: 3:00 pm - February 8th, 2016
By Frank Lewis -

Beginning in April of this year, your sewer rates will be going up if you live in the city of Portsmouth. At the end of 2015 the city had every fund in the black except for the Wastewater Fund. The last time the city’s finances were not in deficit was 2007.

The city’s Wastewater Fund has been in a deficit 9 of the past 11 years and ended 2015 with a deficit balance of $965,198.31. In October 2013 the city of Portsmouth entered into a consent agreement with the United States EPA to make millions of dollars’ worth of maintenance and capital improvements to its aging sewer system.

Some of the projects have already been started and completed and there are several yet to be started. As a result the deficit condition has worsened over the past two years.

The Wastewater rates were last raised in March 2013, and according to Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen, were insufficient to meet the financial needs of the city.

The current base chage which includes the first 1,000 gallons, is $7.01, and in April that will climb to $11. Every 1,000 after the first 1,000 is currently $3.78 and will raise to $5. Every 1,000 after 13,000 will remain at $5.13 and every 1,000 after 33,000 will remain at $5.54.

The base charge remains unchanged for New Boston consumers since the village already has placed an additional charge for their EPA mandated sewer projects.

Allen said the rate change will remove the deficit condition in the fund as well as position the city to make the mandated improvements to the city sewer system.

By Frank Lewis

Time to complain bitterly to your councilmember. Ask them to establish a storm water fee instead of this UNFAIR approach.

Find council member contact information here: Portsmouth City Council - Except it does not have the newly elected members of the 6th and 2nd Wards. Tom Lowe is the new 6th Ward member and you can contact him at: