October 2020
Your monthly news & updates
McNamara: "There are many positives"
Michael McNamara sees a bright future for Clermont County as he surveys the economic development landscape.

McNamara joined the county on Aug. 3 as Director of Community and Economic Development. He had served as Butler County's Development Administrator for five years.

In this Q/A interview, quickly learn about McNamara's thoughts about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
Several options for casting your ballot
Early voting starts Oct. 6 at the Clermont County Board of Elections office at: 76 S. Riverside Drive, Batavia, Ohio 45103. See a full list of dates and times for early voting.

If you prefer to vote by mail (or drop off your ballot in the box outside the Board of Elections office), you may request an absentee ballot. Voters will only need to send in one absentee ballot application to the Board of Elections. If the Board of Elections receives a second application from the same voter, the second one is marked as a duplicate. Only one ballot is sent to the voter, even if multiple applications are received. No ballots will be mailed until Oct. 6. Voter registration ends on Oct. 5. Under Ohio law, the Board of Elections cannot mail ballots until after the close of voter registration.

Polling places will be open 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on Nov. 3.

Want to earn some extra cash and help support the voting process? The board needs poll workers. To learn more, please click here.
Grants available for small businesses
Clermont County has broadened the guidelines and extended the deadline for Coronavirus Relief Act (CARES Act) grants for $2,500 (for 1-10 employees) or $5,000 (for 11-50 employees). The funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis to businesses who demonstrate the impact of the pandemic on their operations.

The deadline has been extended until 4:30 p.m. Oct 1.

Changes include that businesses must:
• have been operational since January of 2020 (instead of 2019).
• have less than $2 million in gross revenue/receipts (instead of $1 million).
• have eligible expenses that have not been paid by another federal assistance program or initiative for lost revenue or expenses from the pandemic, such as Paycheck Protection Initiative, Emergency Disaster Loan, etc. (Previously, had prohibited those who had received any federal assistance for COVID-19 related expenses.)

To apply, visit https://clermontcountyohio.gov/community-development/ for an online application, or for a form to download, print and fax to 513-732-7366, or personally deliver to the Clermont County Department of Community & Economic Development, 3rd Floor, 101 E. Main St., Batavia, OH 45103.

The Board of County Commissioners approved the program at their Aug. 19 meeting and expanded availability on Sept. 16. Clermont County has about $500,000 available to distribute.
Alternative sentencing program helps many
The Clermont County Community Alternative Sentencing Center (CASC) helps people with an addiction get treatment, support and services instead of just doing time in jail. In recent months, the innovative program has served more people than ever. 

Learn more about CASC in this interview with Karen Scherra, Executive Director, Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board.

Auditor's office debuts new, improved website
Clermont County Auditor Linda Fraley's office has launched a new website designed to help you get answers to important questions quickly.

"We believe it should be easy to find what you need quickly, which is why we have made this website easy to use, with simple explanations and clear directions," the Auditor's Office states.

Program that helps youth reach full potential gets funding
Clermont County Commissioners on Sept. 9 approved a one-year contract with Pressley Ridge for the Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program (CCMEP). The program serves youth ages 16-24 enrolled in school and/or looking for employment. They must be 200 percent below the federal poverty level and have a minor in the household.

The year-round program helps youth reach their maximum potential and overcome barriers so that they can be successful. A huge part of CCMEP is the summer employment program that concluded in August. Under a current-year contract, about 30 clients worked in the summer program all across Clermont County.

Pressley Ridge gets referrals through Ohio Means Jobs, a part of the Clermont County Department of Job and Family Services, and then assigns a caseworker.

Services offered include: tutoring, alternative secondary school service or dropout recovery, paid and unpaid work experiences, occupational skills training, workforce preparation, leadership development opportunities, supportive services, adult mentoring, follow up services, comprehensive guidance and counseling, financial literacy education, comprehensive guidance and counseling, financial literacy education, entrepreneurial skills training, career awareness, counseling and career exploration. The program also provides activities to assist with transition to post-secondary education and training.  
Deadline for Time Capsule coming soon
If you've been thinking about what to submit to the COVID-19 Time Capsule, now's the time to act. The deadline is Nov. 1.

Help preserve history by contributing your thoughts in writing and other remembrances to the COVID-19 pandemic time capsule. The project is co-sponsored by the Board of County Commissioners and the Coalition for a Drug-Free Clermont County.

The time capsule will be placed in Municipal Court during a ceremony. Plans call for opening the capsule in 10 years.

"We are living in a very historical moment in time and the things we do to manage the stress and challenges become part of the history of our community and of our lives," the coalition states. "With that in mind, we are asking for members of the community young and old, businesses, schools, churches, food banks, non-profit organizations and governments to contribute your experiences and send in information like, pictures, journals, masks, documentation etc. of what is is like living in a pandemic. Youth are all doing things differently and we want to remember how we were able to change the way we functioned as a county."

Help preserve this time in history by submitting photos and write-ups via email to Commissioner Claire Corcoran at ccorcoran@clermontcountyohio.gov, Mary Makley Wolff at mwolff@gcbhs.com or Mike Boehmer at mboehmer@clermontcountyohio.gov. Clermont County residents also may mail items to COVID-19 Time Capsule, 101 East Main St. 3rd Floor, Batavia, OH 45103.
Poster contest for elementary/middle schools
The Coalition for a Drug Free Clermont County invites you to participate in Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23-31, with the theme “Be Happy, Be Brave. Be Drug Free.” The coalition plans to have a poster contest with the various elementary and middle schools encouraged to sign up and participate with the chance to win prizes.

Red Ribbon Week encourages children, families and communities to live healthy, safe and drug-free lives. The campaign gives schools and communities the opportunity to talk about making healthy choices and focusing young people on creating future goals and dreams.

Red ribbons became a symbol for drug prevention in 1985, in response to the murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. Today the Red Ribbon serves to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.

For more information about the poster contest for Red Ribbon Week or about joining the Coalition for a Drug Free Clermont County, please contact Mary Wolff at mwolff@gcbhs.com.
Include youngsters from Children's Protective in your shopping plans
Every year, Clermont County Children’s Protective Services strives to ensure that children in care have a wonderful Christmas.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child or family this year, please e-mail Sanna Gast at: sanna.gast@jfs.ohio.gov. Ages range from birth to 18 years of age.

Grant supports efforts to address motorcycle safety, distracted driving...
Ohio has awarded $42,000 in federal traffic safety funding for the Safe Communities Program in Clermont County for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. The program coordinates activities to address seat belt use, motorcycle safety, and drunken and distracted driving, especially by high school and college students.

“Partnerships are critical to the success of any safety effort -- and we are committed to working with safety partners to address the traffic safety concerns in Clermont County,” said program coordinator Jennifer Stewart-Hamblen of the University of Cincinnati Area Health Education Center (UC-AHEC).

UC-AHEC received the grant from the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Ohio Traffic Safety Office. This is the third year that UC-AHEC has received these funds.
Commissioners encourage citizens to help prevent suicide
The Board of County Commissioners proclaimed Sept. 6-12 as Suicide Prevention Week in Clermont County.

"We must encourage relatives, friends, co-workers and providers to recognize the signs of a problem and guide those in need to appropriate services and supports," states the resolution.

In Clermont County, help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Clermont County Crisis Hot Line at 528-SAVE.

In the photo: Lee Ann Watson, associate director, Clermont County Mental Health & Recovery Board, spoke about suicide prevention as Commissioner David Painter listened to her remarks.
Tail trail features dog-friendly areas
The Clermont County Convention and Visitors Bureau has launched a new trail for you and your furry friends that guarantees a dog-gone good time. The Clermont County Tail Trail is a mobile passport that features 13 stops showcasing Clermont County's outdoor recreation, restaurants, breweries, wineries, entertainment and more.

How to recycle plastic bags...
Plastic bags (and films and wraps) are bad for the recycling bins: Please dump your recyclables from plastic bags into the bin, and if the bag is clean and dry, take it to a retailer that recycles bags.

Mercy Health opens clinic
Clermont County officials were on hand when Mercy Health – Clermont Hospital celebrated the opening of a school-based health center at Clermont Northeastern High School on Sept. 21.

The center is open year-around on weekdays, 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. It makes healthcare more accessible and convenient to students, teachers, families and the community. It serves residents of all ages by appointment and walk-in. Schedule an appointment by calling 513-981-4170. 

Clermont County | 101 E. Main Street | Batavia OH 45103 | 513.732.7300 |
Office of Public Information | 513.732.7597 | mboehmer@clermontcountyohio.gov