New Richmond considers forming seperate township

The New Richmond Village Council voted to petition the Board of Clermont County Commissioners for the formation of a new township Tuesday, Nov. 23.

The township, which would be called New Richmond Township, would follow the current New Richmond Village border.

The village recently approved a survey of its perimeter which puts the size of the village at more than 2,330 acres. Part of New Richmond is located in Ohio Township and part is in Pierce Township.

“Over the last 20 years, we have had discussions about looking at township status for the village,” Council Member Rich Mathews said.

He reported that he recently met with officials from the Village of Fairfax which was the last municipality in Hamilton County to form its own township, in 2007. In Clermont County, Loveland and Milford have already formed their own townships.

Mathews estimated that Ohio Township gets $40.95 in property tax money for every $100,000 valuation of a property and Pierce gets a similar amount.

“That means our citizens pay approximately $50,000 to Pierce and Ohio Townships each year,” Mathews said.”The village would not get any additional money, but we don’t lose any.”

The reason for the township formation would be to save money for its taxpayers. The money received by the townships flows from the county auditor’s office directly from the tax money.

New Richmond has its own police and fire department so it is not dependent on Ohio and Pierce Townships for services. Mathews said that the only thing the village had to lose would come from the requirement that it pay any old millage from old debts. Mayor Ramona Carr said that, to her knowledge, New Richmond owes no old debts.

Mathews pointed out that although village solicitor John Korfhagen would file the petition with the county commissioners, there was no guarantee that the petition would be approved. The council voted unanimously to submit the application.

“We want the city to know we aren’t just taxing them,” Mathews said. “We are thinking about them and if we can save them money, we should do this. This is a good thing to do. This is the right thing to do.”

When asked for comment, Frank Renn, chair of the Ohio Township Trustees, said he was not informed about the issue until after the meeting.

“They want to form a paper township,” Renn said. “It would not have trustees or fiscal officials. “They want to collect the (property tax) money.”

Renn did not believe that New Richmond would get to keep the money saved by bypassing the townships.

“It is my understanding that would not be the case,” he said. “According to (Clermont County Auditor) Linda Fraley, that money would just stay with the county.”

Renn said that he didn’t blame New Richmond for trying to save money.

“In these economic times, everyone is just trying to make it better. I liked working with the people in New Richmond. Right now, though, there’s more questions than answers.”