New child support payment card coming July 1

BATAVIA, Ohio (June 7, 2019) –  Ohio’s Child Support Program  will replace the e-QuickPay Debit Master Card with the smiONE payment card starting July 1. For a smooth transition, Clermont County Child Support Services urges parents to:

  • Make sure Child Support Services has their correct address on file.
  • Keep their e-QuickPay card until they spend down the balance. The balance will NOT transfer. The card can be used after July 1.

The smiONE payment card offers EMV chip security, mobile wallet, secondary cards, no fees or teller withdrawals, and more in-network ATMs.

“The new card brings many benefits to parents,” said Brenda Gilreath, deputy director of Clermont County Child Support Services. “However, it’s very important that we have their latest address information to ensure they receive the card timely.”

Clermont County Child Support serves 45,391 individuals, of which 18,629 are children.

Visit or, or contact Clermont County Child Support at 513-732-7248 or 800-571-0943.


New ADA-compliant voting machines to be installed by next election

Casting their vote in Clermont County.

BATAVIA, Ohio (June 4, 2019) – The Clermont County Board of Elections has purchased 155 ExpressVote machines that are ADA-compliant and will be available at each precinct during elections. The machines, which cost $713,473, are replacing AutoMARKS, which were first used in the 1996 presidential election.

ExpressVotes are touch-screen machines that print out a paper ballot. They include an audio-tactile keyboard to help those with various disabilities, including blindness.

The Board of County Commissioners approved the purchase at its May 29 Session. The purchase also includes a new high speed scanner, and a ballot-on-demand print system.

“The ballot-on-demand system will offer an immediate savings to the county,” said Elections Director Julia Carney. “The Board of Elections is required to pre-print ballots equal to 101% of the registered voters in each precinct. Since there is never a 100% turnout, the unused ballots, which cost 30 cents each, are destroyed.”

Now, as a voter comes into the Board of Elections office for early, in-person voting, a ballot can be immediately printed out.

The cost of these upgrades will be reimbursed by the State of Ohio, Carney said.


Stormwater project recognized with top environmental award

BATAVIA, Ohio (May 31, 2019) — The Clermont County Soil & Water District (SWCD), the Clermont Office of Environmental Quality (OEQ), and the U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development were awarded the top government stormwater project of the year at the 2019 Ohio Stormwater Conference held in Sharonville on May 8-10.

The project, funded by a USDA Conservation Innovation Grant, involved the installation of an urban stormwater detention basin on a farm in Jackson Township in Clermont County in 2015. Its purpose was to remove nutrients from soil runoff. The nutrients are one of the causes of harmful algae blooms in Harsha Lake.

Results have shown that 31% of total nitrogen and 31% of total phosphorus have been removed from the runoff.

“The need to address nutrient runoff is important because it degrades water quality and contributes to algae blooms that are occurring around the world,” said Jake Hahn, technician with SWCD. “The soils that we have in our county are very unique to Ohio and an ‘outside the box’ approach was needed because current management practices do not always apply in our area.”

The partnership that made this project successful, coined the East Fork Water Quality Cooperative, includes many county, state and federal agencies, landowners, and the private industry.

“This project speaks to the great success of everyone working together for a viable solution,” said Hannah Lubbers, Director of OEQ.

Southwest Ohio Job Fair on June 24 at Holiday Inn-Eastgate

BATAVIA, Ohio (May 29, 2019) – OhioMeansJobs\Clermont\Warren\Butler Counties and Holiday Inn & Suites-Eastgate are hosting the Southwest Ohio Job Fair on Monday, June 24, at the Holiday Inn, 4501 Eastgate Blvd. This event will run from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Approximately 40 employers will participate, with hundreds of jobs available in the healthcare, finance, manufacturing, hospitality, transportation, and customer service industries, for all skill and experience levels, and pay ranges.

Some of the employers include ChildCare Careers, General Data Co., Burke, Inc., Tata Consultancy Services, Cintas, Freeman Schwabe Machinery, HealthSource of Ohio, Castellini Group of Companies, Design Within Reach, MANE, Graham Packaging, Pax Corrugated, Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Hardy Diagnostics, Fifth Third Bank, DHL Express, Crothall Healthcare@Cincinnati Children’s, ADVICS Manufacturing Ohio, U.S. Census Bureau, WESS, Mercy Health, Innovative Labeling Solutions, Honeymoon Paper Products, Interim Health Care, Lykins Energy Solutions, The Armor Group, and Miami Valley Gaming.

Door prizes will be provided by participating employers. Veterans are encouraged to attend.

Come dressed to impress and bring your resume– you may be shaking hands with your next employer.

This event is free and open to the public with free parking.

For more information, call OhioMeansJobs/Clermont County at 513.943.3000 or for more details.


Judy Eschmann, Director of Job & Family Services, is retiring

Judy Eschmann

BATAVIA, Ohio (May 28, 2019) – Judy Eschmann, the Director of the Clermont County Department of Job & Family Services, is retiring on May 31 after five-and-a-half years at the helm of the agency here, and a career of 33 years in social work.

That can be a tough and challenging profession, but for Eschmann, it’s been a rewarding one. The Batavia native went to the University of Cincinnati intending to become a school teacher or social worker. After college, she took the civil service test required to work for what was then known as the county welfare department.

“Hamilton County hired me (a very young and green version of me) and I set out to ‘save the world’ and the next 33 ½ years just flew by,” she says.

As a lobby receptionist for Hamilton County, she was the first face that hundreds of people saw each day as they came in for assistance. “I worked my way up a career ladder and had an opportunity to work in many positions including case worker, supervisor, trainer, and policy coordinator,” Judy said. “In 2010, I became the director of Clinton County DJFS which is structured very similar to Clermont DJFS, but on a much smaller scale. It was a great place to learn about all the connections among agency programs including funding, shared services, program mandates and overlaps and most importantly our shared customers.

“In 2013, I became director of Clermont County DJFS and have loved every minute of it,” she says.

As director in Clermont County, Judy said she is most proud of the summer youth employment program that DJFS manages and that enlists local employers to hire youth from low-income families for summer jobs. Those jobs, which pay $10 an hour, can make a big difference to the kids – and their families.

“I remember only having a few months to pull that program together,” she says.” Our entire agency assisted with identifying eligible youth as well as reaching out and recruiting employers to serve as worksites. That team effort was the foundation for a program that has grown each year and served hundreds of youth.”

Eschmann says that it’s easy to misunderstand exactly what DJFS does – because it encompasses so many divisions.

“The name of Job and Family Services is vague and does not describe who we are, and most people don’t realize what we do,” she says. “We are a social service agency with a team of dedicated, talented, compassionate staff. In our Public Assistance Division, we assist families with temporary and long-term benefits (food, cash and Medicaid). In our OhioMeansJobs Center, we provide services to job seekers and employment training. In our Child Support Division, we establish paternity and enforce child support orders. In our Children’s Protective Services Division, we work with families to overcome barriers to keep children safe.”

As she starts a new chapter, Eschmann says, “I’m so glad I had the opportunity to end my JFS career in the county I call home. I believe the programs we administer help assist individuals and families with self-sufficiency, assist with supporting a healthy community and assist with keeping children safe. I am fortunate to work with a talented team and all our accomplishments were possible because of my team.”

After relaxing with her family a bit at home, Eschmann says she’s ready for a new career. “While I’m not as young or as green as I once was, I still have a fair amount of ‘save the world’ left in me.”


Commissioners approve a new distribution for Local Government Fund

BATAVIA, Ohio (May 23, 2019) – At Session on May 22, the Clermont County Board of Commissioners approved a new formula for the distribution of revenue from the Local Government Fund that will go into effect in 2020.

The formula was proposed by the Clermont County Township Association and will give townships a bigger share of funds, with cities and villages getting a smaller share. “A lot of hard work went into this and you’re to be commended for it,” said Commissioner David Painter, President of the BCC.

Ohio’s Local Government Fund (LGF) is funded with general tax receipts of the state, and is distributed back to counties and cities in Ohio. The amount of the LGF is authorized in the state’s biennial budget. In 2018, the LGF for all of Clermont County was $2.78 million. Distributions from the State of Ohio are received every month.

For years, Clermont County’s Local Government Fund was distributed through a formula that gave 48.545% of the proceeds to the county, and the remaining amount to cities, townships and villages in Clermont County, with the City of Milford, as Clermont County’s largest city, receiving the largest amount.

This alternative formula, as it was called, was reviewed every five years. Three votes were required to approve the alternative formula every five years: the Board of County Commissioners and the City of Milford each had a vote. The third vote came from the remaining municipal jurisdictions plus the townships, of which the majority ruled.

In 2018, the Commissioners passed a one-year extension to the 2012-2017 Alternative Formula.

A change to the Ohio Revised Code now allows townships to exclude the largest city in a county from having its own vote. This exclusion must be approved by the townships annually. Each of the 14 townships in Clermont County voted to exclude Milford from the approval process.

Under the new formula, the county will still receive 48.545% of the LGF. Of the remaining funds, 25% will be shared equally among all municipalities and townships. Seventy-five percent of the remaining funds will be distributed on a per capita basis, with Union and Miami townships receiving the largest amount. The new formula will be phased in over three years.

Under the current formula, the City of Milford (population 6,900) receives approximately $164,000 and Union Township (population 50,000) receives about $140,000 this year. In 2020, Milford will receive an estimated $125,000 and Union Township $178,000.

Commissioner Ed Humphrey recused himself from the Commissioners’ vote on the new formula. His son works as a police officer in Loveland, which is affected by the change in funding.

Before the formula can go into effect, the townships need to revise their resolutions and vote to exclude Milford for one year, not five years as originally proposed, by Aug. 1.

At several Sessions over the last couple of months, township, city and village officials spoke before Commissioners stating why they thought the formula should change, or why an extension of the current formula was needed to allow for more discussion.

“This particular process has been a long process,” Commissioner Painter said at Session. “One of the great things that happened is that people now understand the Local Government Fund.”

He added, “The previous formula could not be supported by good mathematics. There was a feeling out there that the formula was not fair.”

Both he and Commissioner Claire Corcoran said that because townships must vote annually on whether to give Milford a vote, this allows local governments – cities, villages and townships – to continue discussions and come up with other changes to the formula.


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

The CTC website has information on bus and Dial-A-Ride services:


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.


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. ####


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, or (513) 732-2181 ext. 3.