Member Spotlight Archive

Hamilton, Ohio

Focusing energy, creativity and vision on a bright future
Published September 2011

The city of Hamilton is the center of government, finance, industry and culture of Butler County, centrally located between Dayton and Cincinnati in one of the fastest-growing areas in Ohio.

Hamilton, which has a population of nearly 63,000, was first settled more than 200 years ago as Fort Hamilton. Named for Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers and first Treasurer of the United States, this frontier outpost on the Great Miami River was built by General Arthur St. Clair in 1791 and enlarged by General Anthony Wayne in 1792. Today, the Soldiers, Sailors & Pioneers Monument marks the site of that long-gone structure.

Business and development
With access to excellent transportation networks, major metro area markets and a large skilled workforce, Hamilton is home to more than 1,700 businesses in a diverse range of industries. These sectors include healthcare (Fort Hamilton Hospital, Butler County Surgical Campus), aviation (General Electric Aviation), paper (Smart Papers, Mohawk Fine Papers), automotive (Valeo Climate Control, ThyssenKrupp Bilstein), metal products (United Performance Metals, Matandy Steel & Metal Products) and financial (First Financial Bank).

A popular recreational asset for Hamilton and its citizens is the Great Miami River. Besides biking and hiking on the Great Miami River Recreational Trail, river activities include the annual Great Miami River Days two-day festival and Great Miami Rowing Center (GRMC) events, including spring and fall regattas. The planned RiversEdge Park/Amphitheater is a critical element in efforts to attract even more activity to the riverfront. This project, which also includes improvements to the trail, is the centerpiece of Hamilton’s riverfront development efforts.

Hamilton is growing its reputation as a city devoted to the arts. Named the “City of Sculpture” by former Gov. Bob Taft, Hamilton prominently displays dozens of sculptures by artists of national and international acclaim in public spaces around Hamilton. Other contributors to the city’s cultural reputation include:

  • The 256-acre Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum
  • Fitton Center for the Creative Arts
  • Hamilton Fairfield Symphony Orchestra/Chorale
  • Numerous live theatre groups

World-class water
Hamilton earned the title “Best Tasting Tap Water in the World” in 2010 at the annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Competition. This Gold Medal followed up the city’s 2009 award for the “Best Tasting Tap Water in the U.S.” This acclaimed water, obtained from the Great Miami Valley Buried Aquifer, is now being bottled by the city for sale at select area stores and through its website.

Reliable Public Power Provider
Hamilton has owned and operated its electric utility system since 1893. Its electric system is an integrated generation, transmission and distribution system serving approximately 30,000 meters. As a result of its efforts to meet the current and future energy needs of Hamilton and its residents, the Department of Electric earned the RP3 (Reliable Public Power Provider) Platinum designation in 2010 from the American Public Power Association (APPA). The city earned the honor following a comprehensive assessment by the APPA of City’s Electric System in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.

Hamilton generates power at two municipally owned and operated plants with a combined generating capacity of 205,000 kilowatts. One is a thermal energy plant, located in the city, and the other is the 70-megawatt (MW) Greenup hydroelectric power facility, the largest on the Ohio River, near Franklin Furnace, Ohio. Greenup provided more than 40 percent of Hamilton’s power sold in 2010, with renewable “green power.” This percentage is projected to increase to about 70 percent of Hamilton’s energy-generation portfolio by 2014, when the 111-MW Meldahl hydroelectric power project is expected to be completed. The Meldahl project, being developed near Maysville, Ky., in partnership with American Municipal Power (AMP), will become the largest hydroelectric plant on the river.

Hamilton is also in the midst of the largest transmission and distribution project in its history. Begun three years ago, the $25 million project includes construction of three new substations, adding 75 megavolt amperes of new capacity to the city’s electric system, to be completed by the end of 2011. In addition, by the end of 2013, all of Hamilton’s existing substations will be retrofitted with next-generation SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition system) and intelligent relays.

As a founding member of AMP, Hamilton participates in numerous AMP programs and projects that assist in providing reliable energy and other benefits to the community and its citizen/owners. In addition to the Meldahl hydro project, these include:

  • Prairie State Energy Campus, a state-of-the-art generating station that will be among the cleanest coal-fueled plants in the U.S. and a valuable power asset to Hamilton and other AMP member communities in five states starting in 2012
  • OMEGA JV2, a shared ownership of distributed power generation units
  • Fremont Energy Center, a natural gas combined-cycle generation plant that will begin operation in 2012
  • Business/Economic Development
  • Municipal Energy Services Agency (MESA)
  • Mutual Aid Agreements
  • Southwest AMP Service Group (SWASG)

Visit Hamilton’s website