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Published: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 11:14 AM
Updated: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 7:26 PM
Dayton government officials blamed a postal error as the reason some city tax returns mailed to a PO box in Akron bounced back to senders as undeliverable.
Dayton individual income tax forms directed residents and workers to mail their tax returns to a postal box in Akron if they did not owe any additional taxes or requested a refund.
But at least 15 tax filers have said they had their letters returned as undeliverable, according to city estimates.
The number could be higher — nearly 2,000 filers received refunds last year — but city officials believe the problem was limited to items postmarked on just one day.
The city said Friday the issue appears to be on the post office’s end and indicated the Akron office was looking into the matter.
The city instructed taxpayers whose returns could not be delivered to send the documents and the original mailing envelope directly to the city to avoid being counted as late.
David Van Allen, an Ohio spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, said the PO box is active and accepting deliveries and a piece of mail that was returned and he reviewed appeared to result from an “anomalous” service error.
“We apologize for the inconvenience,” he said.
The city of Dayton on Friday posted a special notice on its website about tax returns mailed to PO Box 7999 in Akron. The notice was posted after this news organization contacted the city to inquire about potential issues.
The city received roughly 15 calls from taxpayers this week about their tax returns bouncing back, said Toni Bankston, city of Dayton spokeswoman.
The city uses a vendor in Akron to process refunds, and the vendor checked on the issue with the post office and indicated a small number of customers were affected, Bankston said.
The vendor confirmed Friday morning that mail was being accepted at the PO box as normal, the city and postal service said.
The issue evidently occurred on April 17, based on the postage stamps, Bankston said, but most returns sent to the Akron PO box were accepted and processed correctly.
In 2016, an estimated 27,235 tax returns were filed with the city of Dayton, which includes returns from both businesses and individual taxpayers, according to data obtained by this newspaper.
The city issued more than 1,920 refunds to businesses and individuals last year, totalling about $2.6 million.
The impacted taxpayers will not be assessed a penalty or interest, but the returns should be mailed back within 15 days, Bankston said.
Citizens whose returns bounced back should mail their tax forms and the original envelopes they used to: City of Dayton, Division of Tax and Accounting, PO Box 2806, Dayton, OH, 45401.
Published: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 @ 9:52 AM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 11:10 AM
— A two-time winner of one of Dayton.com’s Best of Dayton Food & Dining awards is moving to a vacant space at 44 W. Third Street in the ground floor of the parking garage next to Stop-N-Save Food.
The owners of the Olive Mediterranean Grill at 6129 N. Dixie Drive in Dayton have signed a lease for about 5,000 square feet of space located on the ground floor of the building at the southeastern corner of West Third and Ludlow streets.
The space used to be home to a food court. Olive Mediterranean Grill expects to open by mid-June or early July.
Olive, which opened in 2015, won first place in Dayton.com’s category for Best Mediterranean/Greek Dining in both 2016 and 2017.
“We know we are going to make it and make it big in downtown,” said Fred Shokri, one of the restaurant’s owners.
Brothers Fred and Mahdi Shokri originally intended to open a hookah bar on North Dixie Drive, but after signing a lease, they were unable to obtain the proper approvals from the city of Dayton to allow patrons to smoke inside.
But instead, they decided to open a restaurant specializing in Mediterranean and Greek food that Mahdi learned to cook from a chef well versed in the cuisine.
Mahdi, 23, is head chef and handles the bulk of the kitchen and cooking responsibilities. Fred, 33, keeps busy doing everything else associated with running a restaurant.
Some of the main food items include gyros, lamb shanks, sandwiches, kabob platters, falafel, salads, feta rolls, Baba Ganouj and Greek potatoes.
Fred says they always wanted to be in a higher-traffic and busier location like downtown but they had to first learn how to run a successful business and get more experience.
>>FOOD NEWS: Beloved deli owners retiring, selling business
Olive Mediterranean Grill will retain its menu but might make some tweaks after moving downtown, Fred said.
“We’ll see what’s hot here and what’s not,” he said.
>>JUST IN: Brown Street restaurant closes temporarily
Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 @ 4:07 PM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 10:04 AM
— The city of Dayton has scratched a proposal to close streets in east Dayton to disrupt crime — now saying the city wants to avoid disrupting transit service.
The city, however, still plans to install concrete barriers in some alleys to try to combat drug activities and prostitution.
Residents of the Burkhart neighborhood had talked with the city and supported closing several streets in the neighborhood, mostly south of East Third Street.
The Dayton Daily News reported on this information, which was shared with Dayton city commissioners at their recent special meeting.
But the city decided it will not close the streets after hearing about the potential hardships that could create to the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority and the Dayton Public Schools, said Dayton police Major Joseph Wiesman.
Buses need to be able to pick up and drop off residents, especially individuals with disabilities, and putting up barriers could make it impossible for transit providers to deliver those services, he said.
But the city plans to install temporary concrete barriers in some alleys in the general area between South Garfield and South Jersey streets.
The new barriers won’t impact transportation and bus service and shouldn’t even disrupt trash pick up, Wiesman said.
Many people “cruise the alleys” near East Third Street looking for prostitutes or to buy and sell drugs, and the new barriers will disrupt that traffic and activities, Wiesman said.
The new barriers are part of a “place-based” crime-fighting strategy implemented by the Dayton Police Department.
The new strategy uses a package of city services from a variety of departments to try to reduce crime. The collaboration is between police, housing, waste collection, street maintenance, planning and other departments.
Police focus on enforcing laws, but the city also may try to fight crime by demolishing blighted structures that are used for prostitution or drug use and evicting criminals from housing.
Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 9:11 AM
— The city of Dayton has agreed to loan $10 million to a partnership that is working to revive the Dayton Arcade.
It is one of the city’s largest economic development investments since the construction of the Schuster Center and the ballpark where the Dayton Dragons play. The loan was announced today at the Dayton City Commission meeting.
The resurrection of the nine-building arcade complex would have the same kind of dramatic and far-reaching impact as the opening of Fifth Third Field in 2000 and the Schuster performing arts center three years later, which are among the main reasons why downtown welcomes about 7.2 million visitors annually, said Dayton officials and local economic development leaders.
“Much like Schuster, RiverScape and baseball, the arcade seeks to be catalytic because there is 1 million square feet of vacant space around it that already is in conversation with developers who are waiting to see what happens with the arcade,” said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.
She later said, “The city hasn’t invested in a project like this, to this level, in 15 years.”
Most of the funding for the project has been secured, and if this plan does not succeed, it’s extremely unlikely there would be another opportunity like this again to bring the long-vacant complex back to life, officials said.
City officials said the arcade project would be another major downtown destination and would increase the tax base and be a magnet for new investment in that part of downtown.
But officials also said the arcade’s innovation hub will have a programming presence in all corners of the city to ensure the entire community benefits from the project.
The Dayton City Commission today will authorize the loan of up to $10 million to the Dayton Arcade LLC to help provide one of the last major pieces of funding for the first phase of the project, officials said.
The city’s loan only will be “activated” if the development partners close on the project’s financing, which is expected to take place in August.
The loan will be interest-only for seven years. The city will internally borrow its own funds and repay that over seven years with economic development funds. At the end of seven years, the borrower will need to repay, refinance or reach another agreement about the loan.
The funding means the city will have a “participatory” piece of the revenue generated by the arcade moving forward, said Diane Shannon, Dayton’s director of procurement, management and budget.
The interest on the loan will be the same return as the city would have earned had it left the funds invested, Shannon said.
“This keeps us active in the game for a seven-year period, and then we’ll have a day of reckoning,” she said.
The development agreement approved today provides an early release of up to $2 million in funds to pay for demolition work inside the arcade to help obtain accurate construction bids. Internal demolition is expected to begin in early June, with bids being solicited the f0llowing month.
The loan is a big commitment for the city, but it was already invested in the project.
In 2015, the city of Dayton contributed about $450,000 for repairs and other work on the arcade to keep it dry and stable and prevent further deterioration. The city also agreed to contribute about $1 million to the project help pay for architectural, engineering and other professional services.
The city also committed $2.5 million of its federal HOME dollars to help create new apartments inside the arcade.
The $1 million the city committed to professional services will be returned by the developer when the city brings the $10 million to the closing, officials said.
The Dayton Arcade is a civic piece of real estate that has been expected to perform as a conventional piece of real estate, which is not financially feasible, said John Gower, urban design director at CityWide.
“You have to bring all these other financing sources to the table, because you would never be able to debt finance this thing,” Gower said.
The arcade partners have been awarded tens of millions of dollars in low-income housing tax credits, new market tax credits, state and federal historic tax credits and other incentives.
Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 @ 4:12 PM
— Presidential adviser and son-in-law to the president Jared Kushner has had his security clearance downgraded, according to media reports citing unnamed government sources.
BREAKING: Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has lost access to President's Daily Brief - two government officials pic.twitter.com/KcNSwqqOr4— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) February 27, 2018
The downgrade means that Kushner, a senior presidential adviser and the husband of President Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, will no longer have access to top secret, classified documents, according to CNN.
Kushner was not the only White House staffer affected by the move. In a memo sent last week, access for all staffers with an interim security clearance was also downgraded, according to media reports.
The move follows the resignation last month of former staff secretary Rob Porter amid allegations of domestic abuse by two former ex-wives. During the media storm that followed the Porter allegations, sources revealed that Porter, Kushner and dozens of other White House aides had regular access to top secret U.S. documents without permanent security clearances.
According to Politico, which first reported the story Tuesday, Kushner's clearance has been reduced to secret and his foreign policy responsibilities are expected to be reduced as well.
New: The White House just downgraded Jared Kushner's access to classified information.— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) February 27, 2018
Pres. Trump has the power to override the decision, but chose NOT to -- per Politico report.https://t.co/w1pIHDSL9f pic.twitter.com/msViQ9OIEU
For months, Kushner has been unable to pass an extensive FBI background check, something that's required for top security clearances.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly moved this month to end the temporary clearances of staffers who have been operating under them since last summer, CNN reported.
Kushner's attorney said in a statement that the change in security clearance would "not affect Mr. Kushner's ability to do the very important work he has been assigned by the president," Politico reported.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would not answer a question about Kushner's security clearance at Tuesday's briefing, but Kelly said last week in a statement that he expected Kushner to continue with his work without any trouble.