July 22, 2020

Commissioners place existing levies for renewal without increases on fall ballot

BATAVIA, OH (July 29, 2020) – The Board of County Commissioners today passed resolutions to proceed on the Nov. 3 ballot with renewal levies that support services for abused and neglected children, people suffering from mental health and addiction problems, and senior citizens. All three levies are five-year renewals, not increases.

After reviewing requests from the Department of Job and Family Services, the Mental Health and Recovery Board and Senior Services in recent weeks, the commissioners on July 22 asked the County Auditor certify the total current tax valuation of the County and the dollar amount of revenue that would be generated by the tax levies. Certification has been received, and the Board of County Commissioners approved today’s resolutions to place the renewal levies on the Nov. 3 ballot.

BATAVIA, OH (July 22, 2020) –. The Board of County Commissioners took action today to request the County Auditor certify the total current tax valuation of the County and the dollar amount of revenue that would be generated by tax levies that pay for services for children and families, those suffering from mental health and addiction, and seniors.  Once certification is received, the Board of County Commissioners will consider additional resolutions to place the renewal levies on the Nov. 3 ballot. All three levies are renewals, not increases.

Children’s Protective Services

Clermont County Children’s Protective Services is requesting renewal of an .8-mill, 5-year. The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $24.04 a year. Voters have approved the .8-mill levy seven times since 1986.

“This is not an increase,” said Timothy Dick, Director of Clermont County Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS) at a recent Board of County Commissioners meeting. Children’s Protective Services is a part of DJFS.

The levy generates about half of Children’s Protective Services funding, with the remainder coming from state and federal sources.

Children’s Protective Services investigates allegations of abuse and neglect. Many are reported through the 732-STOP line. The agency also works with families to create safe homes for children through education, treatment and services by assessing, engaging, partnering and collaborating. Also, it seeks to find “forever families” when reunification is not an option.

Mental Health and Recovery Board

The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Directors is requesting renewal of a .75-mill levy. The levy would generate $3.1 million per year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $20.91. The previous levy campaign in 2015 resulted in passage of a .5-mill renewal plus a .25-mill increase, the first increase successfully passed since the levy began in 1980.

The Mental Health and Recovery Board contracts with providers of many mental health and drug and alcohol services ranging from crisis intervention to residential treatment. The board helps provide prevention services to schools and a program at the county jail that screens inmates while in jail and connects them to services. Among numerous other activities are the Opiate Task Force, crisis hotline, grants to coalitions for suicide and drug prevention, and medication-assisted treatment.

Senior Services

Senior Services is requesting a 1.3-mill renewal. The levy would generate $5.4 million per year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $34.21 per year.

The 5-year levy provides 73 percent of Senior Services’ revenue. It serves as a local match for other funds, accounting for a real impact of 89 percent of the total budget.

Senior Services provides services that keep older adults living safely in their own homes such as home care, transportation to medical appointments and therapies, Meals-on-Wheels, adult day services, and home repair. It also operates Adult Protective Services.

Clermont County has seen rapid growth in the number of seniors. It’s estimated that more than 51,000 residents are 60 or older, up 120 percent since 2010.

While an increase was considered and discussed, the Commissioners agreed the timing wasn’t right due to financial crises facing many during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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