Kathleen Williams

May 10, 2019

CTC to hold 3 public hearings on route elimination

BATAVIA, Ohio (May 10, 2019) — The Clermont Transportation Connection (CTC) will hold three public hearings seeking input on the proposed elimination of CTC Route 1 Felicity – Eastgate via Amelia on the following dates:

  • 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 22, third floor of the County Administration Building, 101 East Main Street, Batavia, during regular Session of the Board of County Commissioners.
  • 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, in the Queen City A Meeting Room at the Union Township Civic Center, 4350 Aicholtz Rd., Cincinnati.
  • 10 a.m. Friday, May 31, at the Felicity Branch of the Clermont County Library, 209 Prather Road, Felicity.

The route, which provides service to Felicity, Amelia and Eastgate on Tuesdays and Thursdays, has very low ridership, said CTC Director John Rayman. The proposed change would eliminate the route, and allow CTC to provide more Dial-a-Ride service, which is very popular, and is a flexible alternative to the current Route 1.

The public is invited to attend one of the sessions, or direct comments or questions to Rayman at 513.732.7577 or jrayman@clermontcountyohio.gov.

The CTC website has information on bus and Dial-A-Ride services: https://ctc.clermontcountyohio.gov/dial-a-ride-service/.

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May 3, 2019

How $5 vehicle registration fee and gas tax increase will impact county roads, bridges

BATAVIA, Ohio (May 3, 2019) — Commissioners approved at their May 1 Session a request from County Engineer Pat Manger to advertise for bids to resurface approximately 19 miles of roads and repair 17 miles of roads at an estimated cost of $2.08 million.

Approximately half of the revenue for the 2019 Road Resurfacing Program is coming from a $5 increase in vehicle registration fees, which the Commissioners approved in 2018. This allows roughly $1 million more per year to flow into the Engineer’s Road Improvement Program, increasing the number of miles that will be repaved each year.

Also during the May 1 Session, Manger spoke to the Commissioners about the recently enacted $10.5 cents-a -gallon increase in Ohio’s gasoline tax. It is the first increase in the gas tax since 2005. Neither increase was indexed for inflation, and Manger said that has put every county behind in its attempts to keep up with road and bridge needs. The gas tax increase is expected to generate an additional $1.5 million a year for each of Ohio’s counties.

Townships, villages and cities will also see additional revenue from the gas tax increase.

The Engineer’s Office is responsible for approximately 400 miles of county roads and 416 bridges in Clermont County. Funding comes exclusively from Ohio’s gasoline tax, which is divided equally among all 88 counties, no matter the population, and annual vehicle registration fees. Each county receives approximately 70% of the vehicle registration fees generated in their county.

In 2018, the county Engineer’s Office received $7.2 million  vehicle registration fees and $2.3 million in fuel tax revenues.

In 2020, the first full year that increased revenues will come from the fuel tax increase, the Engineer’s Office is expected to receive $8.2 million in vehicle registration fees and $3.8 million in fuel tax revenues.

The additional revenue from the vehicle registration fee will be used exclusively for road resurfacing, reducing the paving cycle from the current 38 years to 22 years. The additional gas tax revenue will address deficient bridges, Manger said.

He noted that Clermont County’s topography makes it susceptible to landslides, and that currently 13 county roads are affected by landslides.

The Engineer’s Office said resurfacing on 2019 projects is expected to begin in late June.

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April 30, 2019

Tire Collection Days May 15, May 18 in Adams, Clermont counties

BATAVIA, Ohio — The Adams Clermont Solid Waste District will hold discounted Tire Collection Days on May 15 and May 18 with help from a grant from the Ohio EPA. There is no charge for the first 10 tires per household; after that customers will be charged $2 per tire. The district will accept passenger, truck, and tractor tires both on and off the rim. Methods of payment include cash or credit card.

Tire Collection Day will be held in Adams County from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 15 at the Adams Waste & Recycling Facility (AWAR), 95 Trefz Road, West Union, OH 45693. In Clermont County, Tire Collection Day will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 18 at the Jackson Township Lot, 3341 U.S. Hwy 50, Williamsburg, OH 45176.

The district will not collect tires from junk yards, trucking, or other companies, but can assist businesses in finding recycling options for proper tire management.  Call 513.732.7894 for more details.

Scrap tires lying around a property are aesthetically unpleasing and can pose a health and safety risk by acting as breeding grounds for mosquitoes and vermin. If left in the environment for long periods of time, abandoned tires can leach toxic chemicals, such as zinc, heavy metals, vulcanization and rubber chemicals into ground and surface waters. Municipal solid waste landfills won’t collect tires on trash routes and can’t accept them at their landfills. Dumping scrap tires over the hillside or on the side of the road is illegal and harmful to the environment.

If orphan tires have been dumped on your property, the Solid Waste District can have these tires removed and properly recycled. If you have been the victim of illegal dumping, please call 513.732.7745 to make clean-up arrangements.

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April 19, 2019

Ohio Supreme Court Justice French to present check to Common Pleas Court

Justice Judi French

BATAVIA, Ohio (April 19, 2019) — Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judi French will meet with Clermont County Common Pleas judges on Thursday, April 25, to deliver grant checks from the Supreme Court’s Ohio Courts Technology Grant Fund.

Justice French will present two technology and security grant checks: $40,000 to upgrade video surveillance, and $14,608 for courtroom audio/visual equipment replacement.

When: 2 p.m. Thursday, April 25

Where: Clermont County Common Pleas Court, Judge Richard Ferenc’s courtroom, 2nd floor, 270 E. Main Street, Batavia, Ohio 45103

About Justice French:

Justice French was elected to her first full six-year term in 2014, after being appointed by Gov. John Kasich to fill a vacancy.

Justice French has spent the last two decades in public service.  She has served as an appellate judge, chief legal counsel to the governor, an assistant attorney general, and a state government lawyer.  Her legal experience also includes working as a corporate attorney and in private practice.

The daughter of a schoolteacher, Justice French appreciates her Ohio roots and education, and she is committed to being a part of civic education in Ohio.  She speaks frequently to high school students, particularly those studying the Ohio judicial system.  She serves as a mentor in a local program supporting students in foster care who want to go to college.

Justice French served on the court’s Access to Justice Task Force and continues to be an advocate for granting all Ohioans access to the civil justice system.  Working with legal aid organizations around the state, she encourages lawyers to engage in pro bono activity.

She received three degrees from the Ohio State University: a bachelor’s in political science, a master’s in history and, with honors, her law degree.  In 2018, the OSU Moritz College of Law awarded her the Distinguished Jurist Award for her work on the bench. ####

 

April 19, 2019

Changes to conservation program should appeal to farmers

BATAVIA, Ohio (April 19, 2019) — The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding in fiscal year 2019.  Applications must be submitted by May 10.

Lori Lenhart, NRSC district conservationist for Brown and Clermont Counties, said, “This program is a great way for agricultural producers to take conservation activities on their farm to the next level. While this program has not been as popular as other NRCS programs in the past, the 2018 Farm Bill made several changes to CSP which should increase interest.”

The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes NRCS to accept new CSP enrollments from now until 2023, and made some important improvements to the program. These updates include:

  • NRCS now enrolls eligible, high-ranking applications based on dollars rather than acres. For fiscal 2019, NRCS can spend up to $700 million in the program, which covers part of the cost for producers implementing new conservation activities and maintaining their existing activities.
  • Higher payment rates are now available for certain conservation activities, including cover crops and resource conserving crop rotations.
  • CSP now provides specific support for organic and for transitioning to organic production activities and a special grassland conservation initiative for certain producers who have maintained cropland base acres.

CSP is offered in Ohio through continuous sign-ups. The program provides many benefits including increased crop yields, wildlife habitat improvements, and increased resilience to weather extremes. Eligible land uses for CSP enrollment include cropland, pastureland and forested land.

While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by May 10 to ensure consideration for 2019 funding. For more information, contact Lenhart at lori.lenhart@oh.usda.gov, or (513) 732-2181 ext. 3.

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April 17, 2019

Career Expo on May 9 to showcase in-demand jobs

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The United Way of Greater Cincinnati and Partners for a Competitive Workforce are hosting a Career Expo & Hiring Event on May 9 to spread the word that many good-paying jobs are available locally in supply chain, construction, manufacturing and health care industries. The expo is being held during Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs Week, which is May 6-10 this year.

“These sectors are seeing significant growth in the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana region, with a promising outlook,” said Greg Hudson, adjunct supply chain management at Gateway Community & Technical College.

The Career Expo & Hiring Event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 9 at Southern Hills Post-Secondary Campus, 2225 Hales Way, Mt. Orab, Ohio 45154. More than 20 companies representing these growth industries will be participating.

The event will have two sessions. The first session, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., will be restricted to Batavia/Goshen/Williamsburg students. The second session, from 2-4 p.m., will be open to all adults seeking employment in any of the listed sectors.

More than 200 jobs in Ohio are considered “in demand,” based on labor market information, job postings on OhioMeansJobs.com, JobsOhio regional forecasts and employer forecasts.

In-Demand Jobs Week is an opportunity for students and job seekers to learn more about the rewarding and high-demand careers available locally.

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April 15, 2019

County elected officials meet with state leaders

COLUMBUS, Ohio (April 15, 2019) – Clermont County Commissioners David Painter and Ed Humphrey, along with County Treasurer Jeannie Zurmehly and Common Pleas Judge Jerry McBride attended the 2019 Ohio Council of County Officials (OCCO) Legislative Reception on April 9 to meet with state legislators and help build a stronger partnership between state and county government. An important topic of discussion was support for budget amendment HC0607 to fully fund indigent defense reimbursement.

State Sen. Joe Uecker, whose district includes Clermont County, was among the state legislators attending. State Reps. John Becker and Doug Green, both of whom represent Clermont County, are co-sponsors of the bill.

“We are eager to work with our legislators to improve the state-county partnership,” said David Painter, President of the Board of County Commissioners. “Ohio’s 88 counties serve as the administrative arm of the state by providing vital services, such as infrastructure, justice and public safety, human services and economic development. It’s essential that we work together to ensure that county revenue streams correspond to the services they are mandated by the state to provide.”

County leaders had the opportunity to meet with Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted as well as their legislators to discuss issues affecting counties, including budget amendment HC0607.

Gov. DeWine’s proposed budget commits an additional $60 million each year in general revenue funds for indigent defense, providing for a reimbursement rate of approximately 80 percent. While CCAO greatly appreciates DeWine’s proposed substantial investment, CCAO is encouraging legislators to support HC0607 to provide 100 percent reimbursement.

“The state assuming full responsibility for indigent defense costs would give Clermont County additional flexibility in allocating limited general fund revenue to support other county cost centers that are funded out of the county general fund,” Commissioner Painter said. “I believe these additional funds could allow us to address the funding needs of the Clermont County Jail as well as the funding allocation of the 911 Communications Center.”

In 2018, a total of $2.02 million was spent on indigent defense in Clermont County. Of that, the county funded almost $1.2 million and the state funded the balance.

The State Public Defender’s office estimates that it will take an additional $30 million in FY 20 and $35 million in FY 21 in revenue in order to reach full reimbursement. HC0607 will provide this revenue along with an additional $1.5 million in each year to support the operation of the State Public Defender’s office.

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April 9, 2019

Watershed plan to be updated; public input invited

BATAVIA, Ohio (April 9, 2019) — The Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) is in the process of updating the watershed action plan for the Lower East Fork Little Miami River, and would like to hear from residents about the water quality needs for this area.

The Lower East Fork watershed encompasses the land area that drains to the East Fork from a point downstream of Stonelick Creek to where the East Fork joins the Little Miami River downstream of Milford. In December 2003, Clermont SWCD and members of the East Fork Watershed Collaborative completed a watershed action plan that summarized the existing conditions and laid out strategies for protecting or improving water quality. Several items listed in the 2003 plan have been accomplished, but new challenges and regulations have arisen since the plan was completed, necessitating an update.

Clermont SWCD will accept public comments through Friday, May 31. A copy of the current plan is posted on Clermont SWCD’s website at www.clermontswcd.org. Comments or questions can be addressed to Becky McClatchey, SWCD natural resource specialist, at rmcclatchey@clermontcountyohio.gov, or 513.732.7075 ext. 6. Written comments can also be sent to Clermont SWCD, P.O. Box 549, Owensville, OH 45160.

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April 8, 2019

Our Story, county’s 2018 multimedia Annual Report, now live

BATAVIA, Ohio (April 8, 2019) – Clermont County’s multimedia 2018 Annual Report – Our Story – is now live online: https://2018ar.clermontcountyohio.gov/.

In a visually compelling format, it features videos from Commissioners David Painter, Ed Humphrey and Claire Corcoran, milestones from throughout the year, a recap of economic development advances, and financials. It also has a series of short videos called Working for You that feature employees from various county agencies and offices.

A print tri-fold will be available at the Commissioners’ office and at various places throughout Clermont County.

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April 3, 2019

Mental Health & Recovery Board again offers mini-grants

BATAVIA — In a continuing effort to foster activities that promote positive mental health and prevent addiction, the Clermont County Mental Health & Recovery Board is pleased to announce that mini-grants will again be available for the upcoming year.

The board is looking for innovative projects that will positively affect mental health and/or prevent addiction for any age group. A total up to $40,000, from the board’s levy funds, is available for programs serving Clermont County residents. The maximum funding per project is $4,000. The grant period is July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.  Any organized group in Clermont County – with the exception of the contract agencies of the Mental Health & Recovery Board – can apply for funding.

Previously funded applicants are eligible to reapply. Applicants must have a financial structure in place to account for the awarded funds. Funds may not be used to cover ongoing operating expenses.

To apply for a mini-grant, please submit a brief proposal that includes the name, address, email address and phone number of the contact person, a description of the activity/purpose for which the grant will be used, an explanation of how the activity will promote positive mental health and/or prevent addiction, a description of what part of the activity the mini-grant will fund if used with other monies, the date(s) of activity, and the amount of the funding request. Mini-grant funds cannot be used to purchase equipment such as iPads, iPods, tablets or other electronic items. The funds can be used for materials, supplies, and/or food for activities planned.

Proposals must be submitted no later than Wednesday, May 1, to: Mini-Grant Project, c/o Cindy Knoblauch, Clermont County Mental Health & Recovery Board, 2337 Clermont Center Drive, Batavia, OH 45103.

Last year, the Mental Health & Recovery Board funded a total of 17 mini-grants to 13 separate organizations. Nine schools in Clermont County received grants that assisted in initiating activities that helped children stay drug-free, established mentoring programs, or promoted mental health well-being. In addition, grants were awarded to other agencies providing services directed to community members, such as Safe Harbor of Hope and the YWCA.

Any group receiving funding is required to submit a report to the Mental Health & Recovery Board on its efforts and resulting outcomes following completion of the activity. A final accounting of funds must be submitted within 60 days of the end of the activity. All unused funds must be returned to the board.

It is possible that mini-grants may not be available in the future or that a project funded once may not receive funds a second time, so mini-grants should be viewed as one-time only funds.

If you have any questions about applying for these grants, call the Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board at 513.732.5400.

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