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Cincinnati Neighborhood Enhancement Program's Second Year Kicks Off with U.S. Bank to Improve Communities

New Volunteer and Donation Opportunities for 2008 Program

CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 19, 2007--Today, City of Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. stood with community leaders from Clifton Heights/ University Heights/Fairview (CUF), Westwood, and Evanston and U.S. Bank (NYSE:USB) Cincinnati Market President Jim Schwab to announce the 2008 Neighborhood Enhancement Program is coming to those neighborhoods. The program, begun in 2007, brings together city staff and neighborhood partners for 90 days to focus and integrate services and community redevelopment efforts to jumpstart improvements to the quality of life for residents and businesses. For 2008, the program is also launching a volunteer and donation component to help increase the program's effectiveness.

Through the program, partners focus on developing neighborhood assets. Integrated services delivery include:

    --  Concentrating building code enforcement

    --  Identifying and 'cooling down' crime hot spots

    --  Cleaning up streets, sidewalks, vacant lots

    --  Beautifying landscapes, streetscapes and public right of way

    --  Engaging property owners and residents to create and sustain a
        more livable neighborhood, after the first 90 days.

"We know that people in the area care a great deal about the health of Cincinnati's communities," said Dohoney, "so we are inviting people to donate money and time to help the quality of life in the city." He added, "When we can successfully address issues in neighborhoods in need, the entire city and the entire region benefits."

U.S. Bank is providing $3,000 seed money to each of the neighborhoods to help in their community enhancement efforts and as a call for others to also support the program.

Schwab said, "On behalf of our 3,000 employees who live, work, give and play in this community, U.S. Bank is stepping up to the plate to help the City of Cincinnati and its community partners. We applaud the City for this focused, coordinated effort, and challenge other businesses and residents to also give their time, talent and treasure to the Neighborhood Enhancement Program." Schwab noted that U.S. Bank recently received an outstanding rating from the Office of the Comptroller of Currency for its efforts in meeting the credit needs of its communities, including the Greater Cincinnati and Tri-State area. "Partnering with the City on this project furthers our goal of helping to revitalize communities in our market."

People may donate to the program at any U.S. Bank branch in the Cincinnati area and may designate a particular neighborhood, or contribute to the Neighborhood Enhancement Program overall. Each community will help to identify what the funds are most needed for in their neighborhood such as paint, ladders, flowers, trash cans, litter sticks, etc. that will help improve the cleanliness, beauty, safety and quality of their neighborhood. Keep Cincinnati Beautiful will administer the funds to each neighborhood.

Additionally, in 2008, the Neighborhood Enhancement Program is seeking volunteers from corporations, community groups and other organizations to help with clean up, beautification projects, and other improvement projects. At today's announcement, Job Corps was recognized for their commitment of volunteers for the 2008 Neighborhood Enhancement Program. Job Corps is the nation's largest and most comprehensive residential education and job training program for at-risk youth, ages 16 through 24, and has skilled and unskilled workers who can help on projects. Keep Cincinnati Beautiful is coordinating volunteers and can be reached at (513) 352-4380 or at http://www.keepcincinnatibeautiful.org.

Each area of the three neighborhoods in the 2008 Neighborhood Enhancement Program, was identified through an analysis of building code violations, vacant buildings, disorder and drug calls for Police service and drug arrests, as well as incidences of graffiti, junk autos, litter and weeds.

The program's measures of success are: achieving decreases in baseline "blight index" and crime statistics, completion of inspections of properties for building infractions, and serving as an overall catalyst for community re-building.

In 2007, Price Hill saw a 16% decrease in blight at the end of the 90 days according to the Keep Cincinnati Beautiful Blight Index, a visual survey of elements such as graffiti, litter, weeds, and neglected properties. Avondale experienced a decrease in the baseline blight index by 12% in that neighborhood's focus area and Northside experienced a 17% decrease.

On going community partners for the Neighborhood Enhancement Program include: U.S. Bank, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, People Working Cooperatively, Inc., The Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati, Inc. and the United Way Place Matters Initiative, Community Partnering Center, Duke Energy, Uptown Consortium, Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Citizens on Patrol, Xavier University's Community Building Institute, and the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission.

The City services team includes staff from Police, Fire, Board of Health, Community Development, Buildings & Inspections, Cincinnati Recreation Commission, Transportation & Engineering, Park Board and the Public Services departments.

For more information about the Neighborhood Enhancement Program, visit the City of Cincinnati's website at http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov./

CONTACT: City of Cincinnati
Meg Olberding, 513-352-5358
cell: 513-368-1083


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