“Based on the information in the packet your reporting was accurate. At this point they have not committed and I should have corrected that memorandum and legislation. That was my mistake. I will contact Jeff and explain the error.” – City Manager Dave Kennedy
EDITOR’S CORRECTION: This story has been corrected to reflect the correct date of the council meeting which is June 26. Also corrected to reflect that Angie Settell voted against the expenditure. Thanks you Councilwoman Settell for alerting us to these factual errors.
Loveland, Ohio – Loveland Athletic Boosters (LAB) President Jeff Williams said his phone “blew up” moments after Loveland Magazine published the story, Loveland Athletic Boosters may pay to add school logo to water tanks.
Almost immediately, he immediately emailed Loveland Magazine and said, “LAB has not agreed on doing the water tower. I received a text message that you reported that LAB is paying for the painting of the water tower. That would not be accurate.”
The story was generated from a memorandum to City Council from Clerk of Council, Misty Cheshire about awarding a contract for painting and maintenance of two City water tanks, one in the White Pillars subdivision and one in the Loveland Commerce Park. The memorandum said, “Jeff Williams has been consulted and he has verbally agreed that the Loveland Athletic Boosters will fund $12,200 total for painting a logo on each of the two tanks.” Trouble is it was not true.
In addition, in the packet of information included in the agenda for the June 26 Council Meeting is a piece of legislation for Council to consider – a “Resolution authorizing the City Manager to enter into a contract with Utility Service Co., Inc. for the 2018 Commerce Park and White Pillars Tank Maintenance.” A whereas clause in this formal document reads:
WHEREAS, the Loveland Athletic Boosters has verbally agreed to fund $12,200.00 for the painting of the school logo on each tank, which was bid as alternates number one and two.
Getting closer to the truth
Following the email from Williams, Loveland Magazine emailed Loveland City Manager Dave Kennedy about Williams concerns. He said, “No we did an alternate bid for them to add their logo to one or both towers but they have not agreed to anything yet. We gave them the cost but it would be separate from the contract to paint the towers.”
After showing Kennedy the City documents that stated as fact that Williams had made the verbal commitment and asking the City Manager to clarify, he emailed back saying “Based on the information in the packet your reporting was accurate. At this point they have not committed and I should have corrected that memorandum and legislation. That was my mistake. I will contact Jeff and explain the error.”
Williams said that he did discuss the painting project with City officials, but at the time no one knew what it might cost. He was told that the City would put the cost of painting the school logo into the bidding documents as an “alternative” bid item and when the bids were received they would let him know. Williams did receive the estimate for $12,200, but said, that’s where the discussion ended. “It was my intention all along to see if I couldn’t raise the money separately by making a few phone calls to some people I thought might be interested in helping with such a project.” Williams said he had often used this approach for the millions of dollars he has helped raise for school projects, giving potential donors a specific project to donate toward and avoiding dipping into LAB general funds.
At the June 26 council meeting, Kennedy announced he removed the language from the Resolution about Williams giving the verbal commitment. Council then voted 6-1 to approve the ordinance which will result in painting the City Logo on the tanks, and the school logo – if the Boosters later decide to donate $12,200. Angie Settell voted against the expenditure.
Opposition from Loveland’s neighbors
Miami Township residents, Bob Rutter and Lisa Proctor who own homes near to the White Pillars elevated water tank spoke at the council meeting against painting any logos on the tank. The tank is now free of any advertising and they do not want any because of aesthetic concerns and the potential to lower property values. They commended the City for painting the tanks because of their deteriorating condition, however, want the tank in their neighborhood to remain the sky-blue paint color it is today so it blends with the sky.
Proctor says, “Loveland should not spend $6,100 per logo to spread ill will with these communities that would prefer to not have attention called to the tower.”