May 2020
Your monthly news & updates
#InThisTogetherClermontCounty
Clermont County is coming together in many ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to those who are practicing social distancing, checking on the elderly and those with serious medical conditions, and doing what it takes during these extraordinary times. Many county residents received a card in the mail with helpful phone numbers, email addresses and the like. Please call if needed.
Unsung heroes keep critical services going
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, dedicated employees have kept crucial services operating for the citizens of Clermont County.

Employees like the screeners (left) in Children's Protective Services don masks, disinfect their workspaces, frequently wash their hands and practice social distancing to ensure service delivery continues.

This month, learn about extraordinary efforts in the Department of Job and Family Services, Developmental Disabilities, the County Engineer's Office and Water Resources.

Innovation helps county overcome shortages
Lyle Bloom (left), director of Water Resources, receives supplies from facilities coordinator Chris Turner (center) and Wade Grabowski, director of Facilities.

Facilities has devised innovative ways to supply frontline workers with hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, gloves and the like. Its work has attracted the interest of the media and the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.

Fleet manager devises face shields to protect CTC bus drivers
By Wayne Prescott
Fleet Manager
As the COVID-19 virus has increased and spread, I have been implementing ways to keep our Clermont County Fleet as safe as possible within my position.

There was a need for our CTC bus drivers who are continuously put in a position of working with the public to provide necessary transportation. I was asked to look at our CTC buses to see how to give these essential county employees an added layer of protection from the COVID-19 virus. County officials were looking for a way to quickly and effectively implement some degree of PPE protection, without restricting the drivers in case of an emergency situation.

I came home and started looking around to see what I could use to create a protective barrier for them. That is when I saw my logging helmet which has a mesh face shield attached to it. I gathered supplies which included impact resistant acrylic sheeting.

After a few attempts of trying some different models on myself as well as my son, I came up with a simple design that would allow a shield to be attached to a hard hat. This PPE device is cost effective and can be easily reproduced. The shield also can be raised and lowered for easy cleaning.

I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to create this PPE product. I had prayed that I could do more to help. I will continue to do all that I can to help our Clermont County employees and citizens as we move forward to beat this pandemic.
Clermont County closely monitors budget
Clermont County’s prudent approach to financing is helping county government as its top funding sources take a major hit.

Due to the economic slowdown brought on by the state’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, county government faces a significant reduction in its sales tax estimate for 2020 and a shortfall in casino revenues. On top of that, revenue from hotel lodging taxes, transportation fees, and engineer’s tax receipts have slowed. And local government funds from the state, which are dependent upon the State’s tax revenues, are expected to drop off.

The county has kept a strong fund balance and reserves due to its responsible management of the budget, said Mary Rains, Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

In addition to a solid carryover balance, the county has general fund reserves as well as $5.3 million in the county’s budget stabilization fund.

2019 Annual Report: Laying the Foundation
Clermont County's multimedia 2019 Annual Report: Laying the Foundation for the Next Decade is now live online: Click here

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.

The report also contains videos from leaders of various departments and offices explaining how they have laid the foundation for the next decade.

A brochure-like print report also is available in the Commissioners' office and other locations.
Still time to complete Census info
It’s not too late. You can still fill out your Census information online, by phone or by mail. (If you don’t, a census worker will ultimately show up at your door.) See 2020census.gov for details

A lot of you have already submitted your info. Thank you! You can see the the updated response rate here.

Remember, Census counts help determine funding, representation and other important matters.
Foster care: A Support to Families, Not a Substitute for Parents
May is National Foster Care Month 2020, with the theme Foster Care as a Support to Families, Not a Substitute for Parents. Visit ClermontForKids.Org. or National Foster Care Month for more info about becoming a foster parent. Learn from the experience of foster parents Laura and Misty by clicking here.
Commissioners OK All-Hazards Mitigation Plan
County Commissioners on April 22 approved the All-Hazards Mitigation plan for Clermont County. Pam Haverkos, director, Clermont County Emergency Management Agency, gave an overview about the plan the previous week (right).

The plan, updated every five years, helps the county prepare for emergencies and draw down federal funds.
Do your part: Recycle cardboard shipping boxes and paper
Did you know you can help with the toilet paper shortage?

In addition to not hoarding materials you won’t use and conserving what you do have, residents of Clermont County have another avenue of helping increase the supply of toilet paper, and it’s via a not so obvious mechanism: recycling.

New naturalist at Clermont Park District arrives at unusual time
One thing we know about the new interpretive naturalist on the Clermont Park District team, he’s pretty good at understatement.

“It’s been a weird time for onboarding,” said Joe Scharf, who was hired last month just as the coronavirus threat began to affect wide swaths of the population.

The cancellation of Park District programs and events, office closures and stay-at-home orders conspired to keep him largely out of sight of the nature-loving public he will be serving.

“I guess you would consider me a generalist,” Scharf said. “But I do love talking about parasites. Those are kind of my favorite things.

“Mosquitoes and ticks are kind of the main ones we see in this area. Liver flukes. This is the part of my work that I enjoy. How do I make parasites palatable for the general public? That’s the challenge.”

Pantry offers free food, personal care and home sanitation products
Clermont Senior Services is operating an emergency pantry for residents of Clermont County over 60.

The emergency pantry was launched at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure the most vulnerable of our community receive non-perishable food, personal care items and home sanitation products. Through generous donations from community partners and individual donors, the pantry is well-stocked and ready to serve! Donation pick-up and drop-off can be arranged by contacting the agency. The pantry is located at the Lois Brown Dale Welcome Center at 2085 James E. Sauls Sr. Drive, Batavia, OH 45103.

Those needing assistance should contact the intake department at Clermont Senior Services by calling: 513-724-1255, Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Donors can find a list of items accepted by visiting the agency website at: http://clermontseniors.com/covid-19-resources/

Connect with Clermont Senior Services on Facebook: www.facebook.com/clermontseniorservices
Get free help with your financial questions
If you have a financial question, you’re not alone. OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Healthy Finances professionals are sensitive to the economic challenges families and their communities are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

County-based Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Financial Educators are offering FREE financial education to assist families in improving both present and future economic well-being.

They are available to answer questions on budgeting, bill payment, debt or debt collection, consumer protection, unemployment benefits or loss of income, saving money, and home-ownership.

To submit a question, visit go.osu.edu/FinancialAssistance. Individuals can submit anonymous questions, and a professional will respond via email within five business days.

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Extension office here to assist with various needs
During this busy season of planning, planting, 4-H and renewal, OSU Extension Clermont County wants you to know they are still here for you. The physical office may be temporarily closed, but office staff are still working collectively to provide the programs and services you’re accustomed to receiving.

We can assist your needs…

• Soil samples
• 4-H Youth Development…online club meetings, stay-at-home projects,
• Financial Q&A
• Virtual perennial school
• Virtual ChickQuest and STEM Activities
• Food safety and new recipes
• COVID-19 HUB, fact-based, science-backed information about coronavirus
• Zoom and technology support
• Healthy living and wellness spring email challenge

Call (513) 732-7070 or visit clermont.osu.edu. Subscribe to the extension office's blog for weekly updates at u.osu.edu/extensionclermont/
Animal shelter continues to provide services
Clermont Animal Care, your county animal shelter, is committed to remaining open and responsive to the needs of our citizens and the animals they love, while following national best practices for animal shelters as it cares for the animals, its staff and the general public. See www.clermontanimalcare.org for more info.

The shelter is committed to providing the highest level of animal services, and wants to partner with you to keep your pets in your home. Please reach out for help before surrendering your pet! If you need food or help with other animal issues, please contact us at 513 732-8854.

And in these difficult times, we need you more than ever! If you are in a position to help, can you adopt? Foster? Donate money, food or cleaning supplies?

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Clermont County Public Library offers many online resources

The Clermont County Public Library is excited to share lots of great online resources you and your family can enjoy while staying at home. Just visit clermontlibrary.org and look at the icons on the homepage for information about a variety of educational, entertaining and enriching opportunities.

Please enjoy lots of free movies by using the Hoopla app. Hoopla also offers many always-available digital books, audiobooks and music.

Libby offers digital books and audiobooks. The app has a Lucky Day collection with items available immediately.

RBdigital has digital books and audiobooks, most with no waiting. Magazines also are offered.

Visit the Library's YouTube channel for some storytimes for our youngest patrons.

If you have questions, please contact us via email: info@clermontlibrary.org.

We hope to see you again soon in one of our 10 libraries.

Campaign encourages Ohioans to connect with others daily
In mid-April, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS) joined with Governor Mike DeWine, Recovery Ohio, and local behavioral health partners to launch “Strive for 5” -- a new, statewide awareness campaign to help individuals and families cope with feelings of stress, anxiety, and isolation during the coronavirus pandemic by connecting with others, which can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. The campaign encourages all Ohioans to reach out, connect, and comfort each other while we all work our way through the COVID-19 crisis and physical distancing.

The challenge is simple: individuals find five people in their life who they will check-in with via phone, email, chat, social media, video, etc., during each of the next 30 days.

How to Strive for 5
➡️ Identify 5 people in your life.
➡️ Prioritize people who could really use a caring connection, like people who live alone and may feel especially isolated. Also consider people who cope every day with depression or anxiety, or who are in recovery from a substance use disorder. Also think about your friends, family members, neighbors or colleagues who have had a loss, like the loss of a job or income, loss of a loved one or of a relationship, or even loss of routines that help provide stability for them.
➡️ Connect with them by phone, video, letter, text, or any other safe way, every day, for 30 days.
Also take the opportunity to share resources with them that are free, confidential, and easy to use when they are having a tough moment and need to work through their stress or anxiety related to COVID-19. Encourage them to add the Crisis Text Line, 741741, to the contacts list in their phone. Also share the Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, which provides immediate crisis counseling for people experiencing emotional distress due to a disaster or event like COVID-19.

Remember too that the Clermont County Crisis Hotline is available 24/7 if you are having difficulties and need help or someone to talk with about your situation or a family member or friend having problems. Call 528-SAVE.
Clermont County | 101 E. Main Street | Batavia OH 45103 | 513.732.7300 |
Office of Public Information | 513.732.7597 | mboehmer@clermontcountyohio.gov