State to close Huber Heights center, eliminate 214 jobs

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 2:03 PM


            FILE
FILE

More than 200 workers in Ohio will lose their jobs as the state closes two centers for people with developmental disabilities, including the Montgomery County Development Center in Huber Heights.

The Ohio Department of Development Disabilities will eliminate — or already have — 214 positions at the Montgomery Developmental Center in Huber Heights and the Youngstown Developmental Center in Mineral Ridge, according to a warn notice sent to the Office of Workforce Development. Both facilities will be closed.

The job eliminations will take effect on June 30, the letter stated, and the respective unions that represent employees have been notified.

» INITIAL REPORT: State to close local center for developmentally disabled

The Montgomery Developmental Center, which is located at 7650 Timbercrest Drive in Huber Heights, provides services for individuals with severe developmental disabilities. The center first opened in 1981.

The closure has an economic impact for the local community in Huber Heights, said Sally Meckling, spokeswoman for the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, which represents staff members at the Huber Heights Center.

In 2015, the OCSEA represented 120 staff members at the center. They now represent 87 workers who will be impacted by the position eliminations. They are working to find positions at other facilities for the workers.

In total, 94 employees — including exempt staff, OCSEA and other bargaining units — are still employed by the center. There are 10 residents still living at the facility, and many have already been transferred to other facilities or group homes.

The state has been downsizing developmental centers for several years, including one in Springfield in 2005. Meckling said the biggest impact will be on the individuals with severe disabilities and their families.

Each resident has or will be moved to another facility, some that are in other cities like Columbus or Batavia.

“I think it has a big impact on families,” Meckling said. “The great thing about these developmental centers, it’s much more convenient to be a part of their loved ones. We know that services that we provide are in high demand.”

In Youngstown, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities has worked with county boards and family members to find new homes for current center resident, who also have 10 still living there.

“The department continues to work with staff to find alternative employment opportunities,” a department spokeswoman told this news organization. “The department is grateful for Youngstown Developmental Center employees’ commitment to providing high quality care to residents during this transition.”

The closings are part of the state’s efforts to use more home-based and community-based options for development purposes, the spokeswoman said.

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New DP&L plan raises rates

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 10:38 AM

DP&L trucks were parked on the west side of Dayton as crews worked to restore power in this July photo. GRANT PEPPER/STAFF
DP&L trucks were parked on the west side of Dayton as crews worked to restore power in this July photo. GRANT PEPPER/STAFF

With Dayton Power & Light arguing that its “financial integrity” is at stake, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved new charges and a new “electric security plan” for DP&L customers Friday.

The Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) asserted that new charges — or “rider” — for DP&L would harmful to residential customers, with the “average residential ratepayer” paying $9 a month, or $107 a year, according to a filing outlining the PUCO’s decision on the case.

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In a press release Friday, the PUCO said its approval means that DP&L will end the collection of its annual $73 million retail stability charge.

“A residential customer using 750 kilowatt hours per month will see a monthly bill increase of $2.92 during the term of the” new charge, the PUCO said.

A kilowatt hour is roughly enough electricity to watch TV for 10 hours or cook breakfast for a family of four, according to Duke Energy. 

“Today’s PUCO approval of DP&L’s so-called ‘electric security plan' allows more subsidies for the utility’s power plants, payments to special interests, and various other increased charges that Dayton-area consumers will pay,” the OCC said Friday. 

The electric security plan, which governs how DP&L can do business until 2023, allows DP&L to make a new charge to ratepayers, called a “distribution modernization rider” or DMR. The DMR is designed to let DP&L collect about $105 million in revenue each year, with the option of stretching the rider another two years, with PUCO approval.

RELATEDCiting financial ‘threats,’ DP&L seeks new charges

DP&L argues that it needs the DMR to ensure reliable distribution of electrical power and to maintain its business.

Interested parties to the case, like Kroger, Honda, Walmart and the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, however, argued that customers shouldn’t have to pay new charges “to solve the company’s self-inflicted financial predicament,” the PUCO said.

And Walmart argued that even with the new cash infusion from the new rider, DP&L’s credit rating “would still not be investment grade.”

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In June 2016, S&P Global Ratings ruled that an Ohio Supreme Court ruling that month “increased the likelihood of a weaker financial profile, reflecting weaker financial measures for DPL and DP&L that could result in a near-term ratings downgrade.”

In June 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court reversed a PUCO decision that let DP&L charge customers extra in an “electric security plan service stability rider.”

In July 2016, Fitch Ratings revised its outlook for DP&L from “stable” to “negative,” the utility has said.

In its Friday filing, the PUCO said that the evidence shows that the new rider, along with a “reconciliation rider,” would result in a “marked improvement” for DP&L.

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The PUCO ruled that Ohio law allows the new charges, and that DP&L should file “final tariffs,” with the new electric security plan starting Nov. 1.

The PUCO also ordered that DP&L notify customers of the changes via a bill message or a bill insert within 30 days of Nov. 1.

Messages seeking comment were sent to representatives of DP&L.

Dayton-area home prices up, number of sales slightly down

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 10:34 AM

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FILE

Home prices in the Dayton region continued to climb in September, though the number of sales ticked down compared to the year prior.

Dayton Area Board of Realtors reported today that its multiple listing service reached a sales volume of $228 million in September, up 5 percent from the same month in 2016.

The number of sales was 1,428 transactions, down 3 percent. The average sales price reached $159,699 and the median price increased seven percent to $135,000.

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Sales year-to-date through September was 12,374, up 1 percent compared to the same period in 2016 when 12,237 properties closed. Total dollar volume through nine months hit $1.9 billion, a 7.6 percent increase from the same period last year.

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The year-to-date average sale price and median sale price posted respectable gains as well. The average price totaled $156,227 while the median price came in at $134,000, each of them gains of six percent.

Home listing entries totaled 1,710 in September, up 2.8 percent over September 2016. Listings through the nine-month period totaled 16,864, down 1 percent over the same 2016 time period.

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The overall MLS inventory at month’s end showed 4,715 active properties available for sale, which translated to a supply of 3.3 months based on September’s resale rate. Last year at the same time the inventory was higher at 5,705 available listings and producing a higher supply ratio of 3.8 months.

Ohio jobless rate ticks down in September

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 12:47 PM


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FILE

The Ohio unemployment rate slightly dipped September to 5.3 percent, down from 5.4 percent the previous month, according to the latest job report released today.

Ohio’s non-agricultural wage and salary employment increased 10,500 over the month, from a revised 5,546,500 in August to 5,557,000 in September 2017, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said Friday morning.

Some industries that saw the most employment gains compared to August were trade, transportation, utilities, health care, and hospitality. Employment gains in trade, transportation, and utilities were around 6,200 jobs, while educational and health services added 4,600, and leisure and hospitality added 2,900.

RELATED: Jobless rate continues to rise in August

Manufacturing also saw some gains in September, with 3,100 jobs added month-over-month, pushing the jobs in goods-producing industries up to 914,200.

Compared to September of last year, 61,600 non-agricultural jobs were added. Some of the top industries adding jobs since last year were education, health care, leisure and hospitality. There were 24,800 jobs added in educational and health services and 19,300 in leisure and hospitality.

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Government employment, which is at 776,300, did not change over the month since the 7,200 job losses in local government was offset by gains the 6,200 gain in state employment and 300 job federal government gain.

The seasonally adjusted U.S. unemployment rate was at 4.2 percent, down from 4.4 percent.

2 retailers get upgrades at The Greene in Beavercreek

Published: Friday, October 13, 2017 @ 2:58 PM


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FILE

Two retailers are undergoing major renovations at The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek.

Jake’s Toggery will move to a new location at The Greene, replacing its existing location in Phase II of the mall near Von Maur. The new Jake’s Toggery store will be located between the Apple Store and Bath & Body Works. The store will be Jake’s latest store design, replacing what had been an existing retrofitted storefront of its previous “Life is Good” brand.

Jake Toggery sells preppy clothing items for women and men, including brands like Vineyard Vines and Southern Marsh. The new Jake’s Toggery location will open for business in mid-November. The original storefront near Von Maur will continue to be open for business until that time.

» RELATED: German grocery retailer Lidl to expand in Beavercreek

The remodeled Occasionally Yours location is scheduled to open the week of Oct. 30. During remodeling, the store is open in a temporary location in the former Ann Taylor space next to Sephora.

Both Occasionally Yours and Jake’s Toggery are owned by Dayton-headquartered retail company Shops by Todd. Shops by Todd operates 19 stores throughout the region under the brand names Occasionally Yours, Pandora, and Jake’s Toggery. It employs over 350, and is headquartered in the PNC Building in the Water Street District in downtown Dayton.

“As native Daytonians, we are proud not only to be headquartered here, but also to continuously offer Dayton residents our latest and greatest concepts,” said company president Todd Bettman. “Though not our first store location, our Occasionally Yours location at The Greene became the catalyst for so much of our substantial growth since its opening in 2007.”

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