January 14, 2019

Commissioner Painter elected president of the board for 2019

BATAVIA, Ohio (Jan. 14, 2019) – Commissioner David Painter was elected president, and Commissioner Ed Humphrey vice president, of the Clermont County Board of Commissioners for 2019 at today’s annual Reorganization Meeting. Commissioner Claire Corcoran will serve as member.

The 2019 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.

Commissioner Painter congratulated Commissioner Corcoran, who was sworn in prior to the meeting, and thanked Commissioner Humphrey for his service as president in 2018.

Commissioner Painter said that his priorities for 2019 included moving Clermont County toward being able to use electronic payments for all transactions with its residents.

“I am all about service,” he said to many of the department heads who were at the meeting. “Don’t let anyone leave your department without being satisfied.”

He also spoke of his commitment to transparency.

The Reorganization Meeting was followed by Regular Session at which the following 2019 appointments were made:

Commissioner Painter to serve on the Area 12 Workforce Board as  a Chief Elected Official; the Tax Incentive Review Council, and the Adams-Clermont Solid Waste District Policy Committee.

Commissioner Humphrey to serve on the Clermont County Automatic Data Processing Board and the Records Commission.

Commissioner Corcoran to serve on the Clermont County Board of Revision, the Septic System Rehabilitation Financing Committee, the Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation Review Committee, and as alternate on the Area 12 Workforce Board.

John McManus, Administrator of the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District, was named Commissioner Painter’s alternate to the Solid Waste District. Geoff Schwerzler of Milford was appointed to the Clermont County Mental Health & Recovery Board.

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January 14, 2019

Commissioner Corcoran sworn in to office

BATAVIA, Ohio – Claire Corcoran had a ceremonial swearing-in to the Clermont County Board of Commissioners today (Jan. 14) before the annual Reorganization Meeting.

Former County Treasurer Bob True delivered the oath of office. Commissioner Corcoran’s son, Keegan, and daughter, Kelsi, held the family Bible for their mother.

Elected officials from various county offices as well as township trustees joined the celebration.

In remarks after her swearing-in, Commissioner Corcoran said, “The next four years, I will make a simple promise to all of you. I will work hard for our county. I will maintain the highest standards of professionalism and ethics. I will always remember that serving the citizens of Clermont County is a privilege.”

Commissioner Corcoran is a former Goshen Township trustee and also served on the Goshen Local School District Board.

Claire Corcoran bio: https://bcc.clermontcountyohio.gov/claire-corcoran

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January 10, 2019

Commissioner Corcoran to be sworn in on Jan. 14

BATAVIA, Ohio (Jan. 10, 2019) – Clermont County Commissioner Claire Corcoran will have a ceremonial swearing-in at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 14, just before the Commissioners’ annual Reorganization Meeting.

Light refreshments will be served and the public is invited to attend the swearing-in. Commissioner Corcoran, who was elected in November, replaces David Uible, who served on the Board of County Commissioners for more than six years.

During the Reorganization Meeting, the Commissioners will select a president and vice president for 2019. Currently, Commissioner Ed Humphrey is president and Commissioner David Painter is vice president.

Mrs. Corcoran has had a long career in public service, beginning in Hamilton County, where she worked as a manager in both the Division of Domestic Relations for Hamilton County Common Pleas Court and for Hamilton County Job & Family Services. In Goshen Township, where she has lived since 2001, she has been a township trustee and a member of the Goshen Local School District Board.

The Commissioners meet on the third floor of the Administration Building, 101 E. Main St., Batavia.

Commissioner Corcoran’s bio: https://bcc.clermontcountyohio.gov/claire-corcoran

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December 19, 2018

Communities must apply for CDBG grants by Feb. 8, 2019

BATAVIA, Ohio (Dec. 19, 2018) – Clermont County is taking applications for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for 2019. The deadline to apply is 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, 2019.

The funding level for 2019 has not yet been determined by the U.S. Department for Housing & Urban Development (HUD), which administers the CDBG program. Funding for FY 2018 was $988,727. In 2018, nine community projects were funded for a total of $807,666.

The CDBG program, which began in 1974, helps to fund projects that benefit low- to moderate-income neighborhoods, aid in the prevention or elimination of blight, or meet an urgent need. A formula is used to determine whether those criteria are being met. Once Clermont County Department of Community & Economic Development selects the projects, they must be approved by the Board of County Commissioners, and finally by HUD.

More information, including the grant application and evaluation criteria, is available on the CDBG page of the county website: https://clermontcountyohio.gov//community-development/.

For questions, contact CDBG coordinator Sherri Cmar at 513.732.7907 or scmar@clermontcountyohio.gov.

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Read more here:

9 community projects funded through CDBG

December 12, 2018

Commissioners deny annexation; approve Milford amendment

BATAVIA, Ohio (Dec. 12, 2018) – In two significant actions today, Clermont County Commissioners:

Voted 2-1 to deny a petition to annex 96 acres from Stonelick Township to the Village of Owensville. Commissioners Ed Humphrey and David Painter voted for the denial. Commissioner David Uible opposed it.

  • Unanimously approved an amendment to the Cooperative Agreement among the county, the City of Milford, and the Clermont County Convention & Visitors Bureau that states the county will not disburse monies from a 1% addition to the county lodging tax until Milford issues debt on FC Cincinnati land.

Annexation

The petition for the annexation was filed on Aug. 20 by Rick McEvoy, the agent for the petitioners. Of the 13 owners of the properties to be annexed, seven were in favor of it. Under Ohio Revised Code, a simple majority is needed to file for annexation.

At a Public Hearing before the Commissioners on Nov. 14, Michael Minniear, attorney for the petitioners, spoke on behalf of the property owners who were requesting the annexation. Owensville Police Chief Michael Freeman addressed how the village was prepared to provide services to the property owners if the annexation was approved.

Nine residents of Stonelick Township, including Township Trustees Naomi Stahl and Kermit Beckworth Jr., spoke against the annexation.

Lodging tax

Under the amendment passed today, the monies from the lodging tax, which have been collected since October, will stay in a savings account managed by the County Auditor, until Milford issues debt on the 23-acre property inside the city. FC Cincinnati is building a training facility, youth academy and soccer fields on the property. The total purchase price of the property was $5 million, of which Milford was to pay $3.5 million and FC Cincinnati $1.5 million. The lodging tax proceeds were to be used by Milford to pay off its debt.

To read more: Commissioners approve 1% increase in lodging tax  #####

December 6, 2018

Commissioners approve $57.9 million General Fund budget for 2019

BATAVIA, Ohio (Dec. 6, 2018) – Clermont County Commissioners approved a 2019 General Fund operating budget of $57.9 million at their Dec. 5 session, a $1.7 million increase over 2018’s budget.

The General Fund is the largest discretionary source of funds in the county, and finances 20 of 21 elected offices in Clermont County. (The Engineer’s Office is funded through state gasoline taxes and driver license fees.) Clermont County Commissioners will also appropriate $196 million in 2019 for the other 119 special purpose funds under their budgetary control.

As required by law, 2019’s budget is balanced, with expenses not exceeding projected revenues plus unobligated cash.

Sales tax revenue, which provides 46% of General Fund revenue, is estimated to be $28.3 million in 2019. The next two largest streams of revenue include charges for services, $10.1 million, and 16.5% of the General Fund; and property taxes, $8.9 million, and 14.5% of the General Fund.

In 2019, General Fund program areas will be funded as follows:

  • Criminal justice: $25.1 million
  • Judicial services: $13.7 million
  • General government: $11.8 million
  • Public safety: $4.4 million
  • Health and human services: $3.3 million

Personnel costs account for the largest share of the General Fund budget — $44.5 million, or 76% of the budget, with $13.7 million going to other expenses. The 2019 merit raise pool for county employees is at 2.25%.

“Our General Fund appropriations budget has increased modestly over the last several years,” said Commissioner Ed Humphrey, President of the Board of Commissioners. “We go into 2019 in good fiscal shape and we will continue to ensure that our spending stays within our means.”

For questions, contact Office of Management and Budget Director Mary Rains,mrains@clermontcountyohio.gov, 513.732.7988.

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December 3, 2018

East Fork returns to natural path in Williamsburg

WILLIAMSBURG, Ohio (Dec. 3, 2018) – The East Fork of the Little Miami River once more meanders on a natural path through the Village of Williamsburg, no longer constrained by a dam that was built in the early 1930s.

The low-head dam, built during the Great Depression along with a waterworks pump station to provide drinking water to the Village, was breached on Oct. 13. On Nov. 30, a ribbon cutting was held on the banks of the East Fork where the dam once stood to mark the completion of the project.

More than 60 low-head dams have been removed across the State of Ohio, said Rebecca McClatchey, watershed coordinator at the Clermont  Soil & Water Conservation District. McClatchey, who coordinated the project, noted that these dams are dangerous. They create churn and can mask risky conditions. In 1974, brothers Kenny and Tom Harris drowned just below the dam in Williamsburg. A memorial in their honor in 2015 spurred renewed interest in removing the dam, and restoring the river to its natural path.

The project, which was funded by a $763,000 grant from the Ohio EPA’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP), took several years of planning. Partners included the Village of Williamsburg and Williamsburg Township, the Ohio EPA, the SWCD, the Clermont County Parks District, Dualite, Sunesis Construction, Environmental Solutions & Innovations, Wood PLC, and Olde Fireshouse Brewery. Another partner was the City of Akron, which sponsored the project through the WRRSP.

Oct. 13 was breach day. As the dam was breached, it lowered the river level upstream and exposed hundreds of mussels along the river banks. Sixty-plus volunteers worked on both sides of the river to collect more than 500 mussels, which were either planted upstream or moved to the Mill Creek in Hamilton County.

After the dam was demolished work was done to reshape the channel, said Warren High, a senior biologist with Wood PLC who managed the project. The banks have been seeded with riparian grass, and shrubs and trees will be planted next spring. “We can expect to see greater diversity in fish and other species,” High said. Water quality will improve and the river will be better for kayakers, he and McClatchey said.

Williamsburg Mayor Mary Ann Lefker thanked the village’s partners at the ribbon cutting, particularly the Soil & Water Conservation District, which took the lead on the project. #####

How the low-head dam looked before demolition.

The East Fork has begun to reclaim its natural shape after the dam was removed.

 

Posted in: BCC, SWCD
December 3, 2018

County flags at half-staff to honor President George H.W. Bush

President Bush greets troops during the Persian Gulf War.

BATAVIA, Ohio (Dec. 3, 2018) –  Clermont County flags are flying at half-staff in honor of President George H.W. Bush, who passed away on Nov. 30 at the age of 94.

President Donald Trump has declared Wednesday, Dec. 5, a national day of mourning for the former president. The federal government will be closed on Wednesday, as will the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. A state funeral will be held at the Washington National Cathedral that day, beginning at 11 a.m.

President Bush, who served four years in office from 1989-1993, was the 41st president of the United States.

The proclamation from President Trump stated:

It is my sorrowful duty to announce officially the death of George Herbert Walker Bush, the forty-first President of the United States, on November 30, 2018.

President Bush led a great American life, one that combined and personified two of our Nation’s greatest virtues: an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to public service. Our country will greatly miss his inspiring example.

On the day he turned 18, 6 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, George H.W. Bush volunteered for combat duty in the Second World War. The youngest aviator in United States naval history at the time, he flew 58 combat missions, including one in which, after taking enemy fire, he parachuted from his burning plane into the Pacific Ocean. After the war, he returned home and started a business. In his words, “the big thing” he learned from this endeavor was “the satisfaction of creating jobs.”

The same unselfish spirit that motivated his business pursuits later inspired him to resume the public service he began as a young man. First, as a member of Congress, then as Ambassador to the United Nations, Chief of the United States Liaison Office in China, Director of Central Intelligence, Vice President, and finally President of the United States, George H.W. Bush guided our Nation through the Cold War, to its peaceful and victorious end, and into the decades of prosperity that have followed. Through sound judgment, practical wisdom, and steady leadership, President Bush made safer the second half of a tumultuous and dangerous century.

Even with all he accomplished in service to our Nation, President Bush remained humble. He never believed that government – even when under his own leadership – could be the source of our Nation’s strength or its greatness. America, he rightly told us, is illuminated by “a thousand points of light,” “ethnic, religious, social, business, labor union, neighborhood, regional and other organizations, all of them varied, voluntary and unique” in which Americans serve Americans to build and maintain the greatest Nation on the face of the Earth. President Bush recognized that these communities of people are the true source of America’s strength and vitality.

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of one of America’s greatest points of light, the death of President George H.W. Bush.

Flags across the country will remain at half-staff for 30 days following the death of President Bush.

(Photos courtesy of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library)

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November 26, 2018

Longtime County Commissioner Martha Dorsey passes away

Martha Dorsey

BATAVIA, Ohio – Martha Harris Dorsey, who served as a Clermont County Commissioner from 1986 to 2002, passed away on Nov. 22 at the age of 88.

Mrs. Dorsey was the first woman to hold the position of commissioner in Clermont County. She first ran for office in 1986 to fill a vacant seat, and was then elected to four terms beginning in 1988.

“She will be missed,” said Bob Proud, who retired in 2016 as county commissioner and served many years with Mrs. Dorsey. “She had a wonderful impact on so many people.”

Mrs. Dorsey worked for Clermont County Human Services from 1967 to 1988, and became Director of Human Services.

Mrs. Dorsey was recognized for her dedication to public service, and for her leadership and character by the Clermont County Community Chest, the Ohio Legislature, the National Association of Regional Councils, the Clermont County YMCA Board of Directors, and the Salvation Army. She was also the former president of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana Regional Council of Governments. In 1996, she became president of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.

In 2002, the year she retired, the Clermont Chamber of Commerce named a new leadership award after Mrs. Dorsey. The Martha Dorsey Award recognizes a public servant who has a genuine concern for the welfare of Clermont County.

While she was commissioner, the county embarked on a 20-year plan that set objectives for county government. In her last year as commissioner, a new Municipal Court on State Route 222 was built. “In the ‘90s, we opted to run this county as a business and that financial planning has enabled us to remain on firm financial ground,” Mrs. Dorsey said in a newsletter.

“Martha took me under her wing when I was first elected,” Mr. Proud said. “I always loved her wisdom. She had a saying, ‘people are down on, but they’re not up on.’ I use that quote quite often.

“Martha always put people above politics,” Mr. Proud said.

Ed Humphrey, President of the Clermont County Board of Commissioners, said, “Martha Dorsey was a true champion for Clermont County and its people. She was a trailblazer in many ways. She was the first woman elected commissioner in Clermont County. She was one of only a handful of women to become president of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.

“Martha was an exemplary public servant. The Clermont Chamber of Commerce named an award after her – The Martha Dorsey Award, which every year recognizes a public servant who is dedicated to the welfare of the people of Clermont County,” Mr. Humphrey continued. “That says a lot about Martha, and the kind of person, and elected leader, she was.

“Clermont County is indebted to Martha Dorsey. She loved Clermont County, and we will miss her.”

Mrs. Dorsey is survived by five children, 14 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and one great-great- grandchild. A visitation will be held from 10-11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, at the E.C. Nurre Funeral Home, 177 W. Main St., Amelia, with a funeral service immediately after.

Clermont County Commissioners have moved their Wednesday Regular Session from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to allow county staff who worked with Mrs. Dorsey to attend her services.

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November 15, 2018

Clermont County dismisses budget analyst

BATAVIA, Ohio (Nov. 15, 2018)  – At their Regular Session on Nov. 14, Clermont County Commissioners dismissed budget analyst Amy DeClaire from her position effective immediately.

DeClaire began work on Oct. 8 as a budget analyst for the Office of Management & Budget. She is also Brown County Recorder. At the time she was hired, she was expected to shortly resign her Brown County office.

Under Ohio Revised Code, a classified employee, which DeClaire was, cannot engage in political activities.

DeClaire was introduced to Commissioners at Session on Nov. 7 along with other new employees, but they were not aware at the time that she was still in her position as Recorder. “As soon as I learned there was a problem, the Board of County Commissioners took action at its next session, which was yesterday, and we addressed it,” said Commissioner Ed Humphrey, President of the Board of County Commissioners.

Commissioner David Painter said, “Yesterday, November 14, 2018, Ms. DeClaire’s employment was terminated with Clermont County due to a violation of the Ohio Revised Code. The situation was rectified on the earliest date that the Clermont County Board of Commissioners convened. I want you to know that I stand fully accountable for this error to you, the citizens of Clermont County.”

Commissioner David Uible said, “We try to ensure that we are transparent in county government. It’s important to us. And so we acted quickly when this violation came to our attention.”

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