BATAVIA, OH (Jan. 25, 2023) — Plans for a proposed campus in Batavia that would replace outdated buildings and outdoor storage for County Engineer’s Office Highway Operations and Clermont County Fleet Maintenance are moving ahead.
Clermont County Engineer Jeremy Evans plans to request that the Board of County Commissioners authorize bid advertisements on Feb. 8 for a 7-acre campus with total building square footage of 74,550. Construction would begin in summer and finish a year later, Evans said in an update to the Commissioners today.
The first phase of the Filager Campus, planned for across State Route 222 from existing facilities as old as 64 years, is estimated to cost between $17.5 million and $18.56 million. It would include an enclosed garage for highway operations trucks, space for fleet maintenance and mechanics, a salt barn, a fuel station and covered storage.
Commissioners authorized a Request for Qualifications (RFQs) for the project on June 30, 2021. Eight RFQs were received and reviewed. On Dec. 6, 2021, the board authorized a contract with Garmann Miller, a design firm. Construction drawings were submitted to Permit Central on Sept. 30, 2022.
A second phase would include demolition and cleanup of existing buildings and construction of office space for the Engineer’s Office and Clermont Transportation Connection.
BATAVIA, OH (Jan. 24, 2023) — Due to the snow storm projected for tomorrow morning, Juvenile and Domestic Courts will be closed Wednesday (Jan. 25) until 1 p.m.
The Clermont County Veterans’ Service Office will be working from home on Jan. 25.
On the morning of Jan. 24, the Clermont County Engineer’s Office was monitoring the storm and getting its trucks prepped and ready. The office will finalize its plan of attack as the storm draws closer. If you encounter a salt truck, please allow them room to work.
Clermont County is under a Winter Weather Advisory from midnight through 1 PM tomorrow (1/25/23). For the most current information, go the NWS briefing page. The graphics should update in real-time. The text will be updated around 6 pm this evening.
Overview: Snow accumulation of 2-4 inches; the northern portion of Clermont County could have a higher snowfall total (4-6 inches).
Timing of Onset: 1 AM – 4 AM
Impact: Heavy, wet snow accumulation (1”+ per hour). Hazardous road conditions could impact morning commute. Warmer air is expected on Wednesday (daytime) which will allow the precipitation to mix with sleet/rain or change to rain. Colder air will return Wednesday night, bringing another chance of snow. Temperatures will drop to near/below freezing by Thursday morning.
UPDATE (Jan. 31, 2023) — Extra SNAP (food stamp) benefits will end for all SNAP households beginning in March 2023.
BATAVIA, OH (Jan. 11, 2023) — While Ohio has extended SNAP (food stamps) emergency allotments as long as federally allowable, February 2023 is the last month recipients will receive them. For more information, see the state’s news release https://jfs.ohio.gov/ocomm/index.stm
Due to a change in federal law, this will mean a loss of as much as $258 per month for some individuals.
To assist those in need, here is a list of free food pantries, meals and groceries in Clermont County: https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/clermont_ohio_food_pantries.html
Also, to help people search for a job or find a training program, OhioMeansJobs — Clermont County is open to the public. OMJ provides free phone use, copies, printers, fax machines, etc.
As of today, 22,206 people are receiving SNAP benefits in Clermont County. (Note: 47,163 people in Clermont County are on Medicaid, which will have changes in May.)
Here are examples of how the change will impact people:
BATAVIA, OH (Jan. 11, 2023) — Claire Corcoran looks forward to her second four-year term on the Board of County Commissioners. She believes Commissioners will spearhead a collaborative effort to keep Clermont County moving ahead.
“We are here as commissioners as leaders – and that means we are relying on everyone in this county,” said Corcoran, before being sworn in for the term on Jan. 9.
Corcoran pointed out that a wide variety of people have a role to play, ranging from county employees to elected officials to those in social service agencies who work with the Department of Job & Family Services. She noted that organizations such as the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club and many others also contribute.
“I just love that everyone comes together,” she said.
Corcoran, who has lived in Goshen Township since 2001, has dedicated her life to public service. From 1974-1988, she worked in the Division of Domestic Relations for Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, where she was a manager focusing on home and child support investigations.
From 1988 to 2008, Corcoran worked as a supervisor and manager for Hamilton County Job & Family Services, responsible for a number of projects. From 2012-2015, she served as a Goshen Township Trustee, and from October 2015 through January 2016, as the interim township administrator. Corcoran also served on the Goshen Local School District Board from 2008-2011.
Corcoran believes that Clermont County can continue to be a beacon for economic development while retaining its distinctive rural flavor.
“We have accomplished a lot in the last four years,” she said. “And we will achieve much more in the future as we all do our part to keep the progress going.”
BATAVIA, Ohio (Jan. 9, 2023) – Commissioner Bonnie Batchler was elected president, and Commissioner Claire Corcoran, vice president, of the Clermont County Board of Commissioners for 2023 at today’s annual Reorganization Meeting. Commissioner David Painter will serve as member.
The 2023 meeting schedule for Regular Sessions was also established. The commissioners are scheduled to meet every Wednesday of the year, except for certain holiday weeks, and the second and fourth Mondays of the first six months of the year. All meetings are at 10 a.m. unless otherwise noted. Commissioners are mandated to have at least 50 Regular Sessions during the calendar year.
Commissioners offered comments and reflections relating to 2022 and thoughts about 2023.
“This past year, and the past two years, have been two of the most rewarding years of my life, serving the county in a different capacity, working with Commissioner Painter, Commissioner Corcoran and the whole staff here at the county,” Commissioner Batchler said. “It’s been a pleasure getting to know people that I didn’t know before that work for this county. What dedicated people we have. I look forward to this coming year and business that is going to take place to move this county forward.”
“Excellent board, excellent staff here at Clermont County,” Commissioner Painter said. “Clermont County is definitely moving in the right direction… It was a great year. ’23 I think will be an even better year.”
Painter singled out the Purina facility, work on State Route 32, small business expansion, Hamilton Safe consolidation, a new Land Bank, county investment in roadways, block grant projects, Juvenile Court expansion, a new sewage treatment plant in Newtonsville/Wayne Township, and Ivy Point. He said Clermont County has one of the lowest sales tax rates in Ohio.
“We did accomplish a lot in the past year,” Commissioner Corcoran said. “I think we need to reflect on why we are here. We are here as commissioners as leaders – and that means we are relying on everyone in this county.”
Corcoran mentioned county employees, elected officials, Economic Development, the Budget Management Office, Human Resources, judges, Safety…. and others in attendance. She cited social service agencies who work with Job & Family Services, the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club.
“I just love that everyone comes together,” she said.
After the reorganization meeting, Corcoran was sworn in for a four-year term.
BATAVIA, OH (Dec. 15, 2022) — Clermont County Commissioners want to have strong, high-speed Internet access county-wide. Based on raw census data and comparisons of other regions, thousands would benefit from available and affordable broadband. Many are not served or are under-served.
Clermont County is working with the firms Insight and CobbFendley to complete a comprehensive study of the county’s Internet resources. Citizens are being asked to complete an online survey so the county can understand Internet access and needs. The more people who complete the survey and test, the better picture the county will have of its strengths and weaknesses for coverage. The survey will also include a speed test to pinpoint exact speeds of Internet service. This data will help the county potentially secure funding for a broadband project.
Here is a link to the survey: https://www.internet.clermontcountyohio.gov/
Be sure to complete the speed test at your home so that your home Internet is the data recorded.
Forward the survey to friends and neighbors who live or do business in Clermont County and rely on the Internet.
BATAVIA, OH (Dec. 15, 2022) — Applications are available for local governments and non-profits for a program that has provided millions of dollars for a variety of projects across Clermont County. Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) applications are located at https://clermontcountyohio.gov//community-development/. Submission deadline is Feb. 17.
There will be a public hearing/information meeting relative to the program at 2 p.m. Jan. 6 in the third floor of the Clermont County Administrative Building, 101 E. Main St, Batavia, Ohio. The public hearing is for informational purposes; applicants are welcome to attend but is not required.
The Board of County Commissioners has invested almost $9 million dollars in CDBG funds to local communities and non-profits for everything from fire station improvements, sidewalk construction and septic/sewer remediation to home repair and drug and alcohol programs since becoming a HUD Urban Entitlement in 2015.
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides an annual CDBG grant to Clermont County to carry out a wide range of activities directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods, economic development, and providing improved community facilities and services.
The 2023 allocation has not been determined at this time. In 2022, Clermont County received about $970,000 in CDBG funds.
“Our office is always available for questions on how these funds can continue to benefit your community, residents, and clients,” said Desmond Maaytah, community development administrator, Clermont County Community + Economic Development.
For more information about the CDBG program, see: https://clermontcountyohio.gov/community-development/cdbg-overview/
BATAVIA, OH (Dec. 9, 2022) – When Anthony Vieregge entered the Family Recovery Court Program in August 2021, he was homeless and unemployed. He did not have reliable transportation, had outstanding warrants, and was actively using lots of different drugs. He had lost custody of four children.
Just 15 months later, his outlook has completely changed.
“Anthony completed residential treatment, sober living, and transitional living,” Judge James A. Shriver said at Vieregge’s graduation from the program on Dec. 8. “He is very active in the sober support community and now chairs meetings. He has overcome some of the most challenging barriers in his road to recovery. Anthony has an apartment of his own, obtained a license and a car, completed his education for a Peer Support Specialist, taken care of all criminal matters, and reunified with his children. Anthony has been sober for 437 days and has provided 80 negative tox screens.”
Vieregge was joined by his recovery sponsor and guest speaker Daniel Cochran, family and friends at the program’s 14th commencement ceremony.
Cochran shared how helping others helps people in recovery maintain their sobriety. He spoke about the satisfaction of seeing Vieregge grasp sobriety while facing many daunting challenges.
“The best is yet to come,” Cochran said to Vieregge, who spoke about overcoming his struggles with the help of the program. He also showed a video with music that depicted his journey thus far.
Judge Shriver presented these graduation incentives: Outstanding Achievement Certificate, Framed Family Photo, Reports Binder, Sobriety Themed Graduation Gift (Wallet with Serenity Card), $100 Gift Card, Cake to take home. He also gave these additional incentives: Children Home for 100 Days (Ice Cream Gift Card), Over Six Months with Same Employer (Recognition with Applause and Candy Bar), 80 Negative Tox Screens ($25 Gift Card).
The specialized docket under Judge Shriver was one of the first of its kind in southwestern Ohio when it started on Nov. 13, 2014. Clermont County Family Recovery Court was based on the drug court model, which emphasizes treatment over punishment.
On average, the program takes more than a year to complete. Families (couples or individuals) voluntarily enter Family Recovery Court. Requirements include attending frequent court hearings, Substance Use Disorder treatment, random and frequent drug screens, meetings with a case manager, calling and checking in regularly, attending AA or similar sober support meetings and getting a sponsor or mentor, having income, establishing housing, taking care of criminal matters and getting a driver’s license.
(Dec. 8, 2022) — Clermont County Commissioner David Painter today was named to the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) 2023 Executive Committee as 2nd Vice President.
“I’m humbled and honored to join this important team,” Painter said. “As a leading advocacy group, CCAO always keeps the needs of citizens at the forefront of its activities. This position allows me an opportunity to advocate for Clermont County and counties as a whole at the statewide level.”
The County Commissioners Association of Ohio advances effective county government for Ohio through legislative advocacy, education and training, technical assistance and research, quality enterprise service programs, and greater citizen awareness and understanding of county government.
The team includes:
Glenn Miller, Henry County Commissioner
• 2023 CCAO President
Chris Abbuhl, Tuscarawas County Commissioner
• 2023 CCAO 1st Vice President
David Painter, Clermont County Commissioner
• CCAO 2023 2nd Vice President
Casey Kozlowski, Ashtabula County Commissioner
• 2023 CCAO Secretary
Denise Driehaus, Hamilton County Commissioner
• 2023 CCAO Treasurer
BATAVIA, OH (Dec. 7, 2022) — Dusty Kiser and Dennis Shively, mechanics in Clermont County Fleet Maintenance, have accumulated almost 100 years of experience working on everything from mowers to motorcycles. Both are triple Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) master technicians in automotive, heavy trucks and buses – a rarity in their profession.
Led by Fleet Manager Wayne Prescott and joined by mechanic Brian Strunk, they perform mechanical work on cars, trucks, vans, buses, motorcycles, ATVs, Vactor trucks, tractors, skid-steer loaders, backhoes, trailers, mowers and generators. They also service snow removal equipment, boats, weed eaters, portable lights, compressors, track hoes and dump trucks.
They change oil, filters and fluids, and repair and rotate tires. They work on lighting, sirens, electrical, speakers, invertors, exhaust and brakes. They do body work and fabrication.
If that’s not enough, they also manage gas and fuel pumps, provide roadside service, and sharpen mower and chainsaw blades.
“Water pumps, generators, drones, a large TV… we’ve done it all,” said Kiser, 71. “We do a lot of metal fabricating and make our own tools. It’s pretty interesting stuff.”
“If it’s mechanical stock and it’s owned by the county, we’ve worked on it,” said Shively, 60. He celebrates his 34th year with the County on Dec. 11. Kiser has been with the County for 39 years.
Kiser began his career with Clermont County in 1983 with a 10-year stint at the Water Department. He worked at several locations, handling duties such as purchasing, distribution and safety.
When his manager moved to Facilities, Tom Meyer, and Commissioner Martha Dorsey implemented plans to centralize Fleet Maintenance, Kiser moved into the new unit. Prior to 1993 each department had its own maintenance program. Fleet Maintenance was set up as a profit center funded with reimbursement for labor provided to various county departments.
“It was a new concept, built from the ground up,” Kiser said.
Shively also came to the centralized Fleet Maintenance during its inception. He had been with the Engineer’s Office since 1987. Like Kiser, he has military experience. Shively worked as a technician for Marine Corps construction. Kiser was a maintenance specialist in the Army, working on nuclear weapons.
Continuous advances in technology keep the job fresh. They stay abreast with the latest through seminars, sharing info with their networks of other mechanics, and plain-old Googling.
“Every day, with Dusty’s experience and my experience, we find ourselves communicating back and forth,” Shively said.
Kiser added: “We call our buddies and pick their brains. And we have people calling us all of the time asking for our advice.”
Their work can involve off-hours emergency situations. They got called in five straight Christmases to repair trucks and snow plows and take care of other situations. Winter storms can cause hydraulics to burst and salt attacks electrical connectors. Vehicles are damaged sliding off icy roads.
Shively recalled being told to go south during a storm and ended up working 17 hours. “We’ve seen a lot here,” he said.
Over the years, they have developed their own specialties. Kiser, for example, handles Sheriff’s vehicles and Shively specializes in heavier diesel trucks. “We can do everything, but we have our areas of specialization,” Shively said.
Both said the county’s benefits package helped keep them at Clermont County for so long. They also like the meaningfulness of their jobs.
“You feel like you’re a part of something, working for people like the Sheriff’s Office and what they stand for: Keeping people safe,” Kiser said. “It becomes kind of a badge of honor.”
Shively added: “There’s a feeling of accomplishment and pride.”