July 2021
Your monthly news & updates
Commissioners end State of Emergency
The Board of County Commissioners on June 23 voted to end a State of Emergency that had been declared on March 18, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The action was taken in concert with State of Ohio, which ended its State of Emergency on June 18.

The emergency declaration, along with a previous resolution delegating disaster functions in event of an absence of a quorum of the board, spelled out succession of leadership and the authority of the county administrator in an emergency. It also exempted from the competitive bidding process purchases related to the emergency that were greater than $50,000 but less than $100,000, so long as no fewer than three informal estimates were obtained. The declaration also allowed the county to obtain state and federal funds.

Pam Haverkos, director of the Clermont County Emergency Management Agency, (left in photo) thanked the commissioners for their support throughout the pandemic.

“Clermont County has definitely proved that we are a really resilient community – and that’s a result of the relationships we have built, the collaborations amongst our public safety partners, public health department, healthcare providers, local government agencies, social service agencies, schools, non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations and residents,” Haverkos said.

“Response and recovery to a pandemic truly require the ingenuity of the whole community,” she added.

Water Resources plans many improvements
The Clermont County Water Resources Department’s 5-year Capital Improvement Plan (2021-2025) calls for many improvements to water mains, water tanks and sewers.

The waterworks plan calls for 60 waterworks capital improvements valued at $32.9 million, including 26 water main replacement projects ($16.8 million), eight elevated water tank inspection, rehab and painting projects ($4.3 million), 10 water treatment plant and well field improvement projects ($3 million), seven new infrastructure/expansion projects ($3.7 million) and three petition/assessment projects ($1.2 million).

The wastewater plan calls for 56 wastewater capital improvements estimated at $63.9 million, including 15 sewer replacement/rehabilitation projects ($22.6 million), nine lift station replacement, upgrade or elimination projects ($10.4 million), 10 wastewater treatment plant improvement or elimination projects ($13.0 million), four new infrastructure/expansion projects ($3.3 million), and eight petition/assessment projects ($12.9 million).

Second interceptor well nears completion
A second interceptor well is being constructed at the Beckjord Power Station site in New Richmond. The well will serve as a backup in case the original interceptor well fails. Operation of the well, which helps protect county-owned drinking water wells from contamination, is expected soon.

In the early to mid-1990s, Cincinnati Gas & Electric (aka Duke Energy) performed an investigation of the groundwater near the Beckjord Power Station. As a result of the investigation, an elevated-sulfate groundwater plume was identified. This plume originates from the power station’s ash ponds and extends towards the County-owned drinking water well fields that provide the raw water for the County’s P.U.B. Water Treatment Plant. In order to help protect the County’s drinking water wells, Duke Energy installed an interceptor well to capture the sulfate plume. The interceptor well initiated pumping on Feb. 4, 1994, and continuously removes groundwater with elevated sulfate concentrations and discharges it to the Ohio River under an NPDES Permit issued by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA).

Solid Waste offers discounted compost bins
When most people hear the word ‘compost’, they automatically think of a smelly pile of moldy food.

However, when done correctly, composting does not smell bad and is a sanitary way to dispose of organic waste.

There are many excellent reasons to compost and the greater Cincinnati area has numerous resources available to assist you on your composting journey. Composting yard, garden, and food waste at home saves transportation and disposal cost, and provides an environmentally sound way to manage waste, since yard waste makes up to 30 percent of the municipal solid waste stream. In addition, composting can provide excellent fertilizer for gardens, yards, and other plants. Adding compost to your garden will increase drainage and provide a continuous source of nutrients required for plant health.

There are many different ways to start composting and no matter what your restrictions may be, there is a composting method that will work for you. At the most basic level, composting can happen when materials are placed in a mound and left alone. If you want a faster or more contained system, you can consider building or purchasing a composting bin. It is not necessary to have a bin, however, it can make it easier to turn the pile, keep the pile manageable, and remove finished compost. You can make your own bin out of wood or fencing and posts. You can also purchase a compost bin that is an enclosed system that will produce usable compost typically in less than a month. These types of bins include rolling bins, tumblers, enclosed bins, and worm bins.

If you are interested in purchasing a composting bin, the Clermont County Solid Waste District has a limited amount of Earth Machine compost bins available for purchase for $50. Contact Hannah Lubbers at hlubbers@clermontcountyohio.gov for more details. Limited to one per person/household and first come, first served!

Composting can be an easy and cost-effective way to improve the soil quality in your gardens and help your landscaping thrive. No matter how you choose to compost your organic waste, know that you are doing your part to help reduce the amount of waste that goes to our landfills.
Magazine gives in-depth look at Purina plant
A great deal of teamwork brought Purina to Clermont County, according to REALM Spring 2021 -- The Journal for Queen City CEOs.

An article that starts on Page 40 explores the process that will result in 300 new jobs for Clermont County.

"The value is so much greater than the initial announcement of 300 jobs and half a billion dollars of investment," said Kimm Lauterback, CEO of REDI Cincinnati.
Park district plans wide variety of programs
Get ready for a big summer! Clermont County Park District will host a variety of outdoor programs.

Nature Play Days: Explore the wonders of nature, learn a new skill, and play outdoors with friends at Sycamore Park throughout the summer! Held most Thursdays through August with upcoming dates from 1 – 4 p.m. on Thursday July 1, 8, 15, and 22. Ideal for ages 4 through 13 but all ages are welcome. Learn more: https://clermontparks.org/naturalist-programs/

Wildlife Wednesday: Join a Clermont County Naturalist at the Little Miami Scenic River and Trail Center at Nisbet Park in Loveland each month to learn and explore nature! Held on the 3rd Wednesdays of the Month July through October from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Yoga in the Park: Let your stresses wash away and enjoy the healing power of nature during community yoga sessions at Sycamore Park every Saturday in July through August from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Summer Days Camps: Sign your child up from a day camp this summer! If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, fun, friendships, creativity, games, nature, and science, you’ve come to the right place. Learn more: https://clermontparks.org/summer-camps/

Ohio EPA grant helps with litter cleanup efforts
Efforts to keep Clermont County beautiful got a boost recently when the Office of Environmental Quality received a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The $37,000 Recycle Ohio Community and Litter grant will support the Ohio River Sweep and Spring Litter Clean-up and the Tire Collection Days. The grant includes a 20 percent match from the county.

Live Oaks breaks ground on improvements
The Board of County Commissioners on June 2 joined area leaders in helping Live Oaks Career Campus break ground on major improvements, including a nearly 200,000-square-foot renovation and a new 7,500-square-foot entry addition.

Improvements include:

* A new circular drive to provide better parking and traffic flow
* Improved accessibility to all parts of the building
* A second campus entrance -- at State Route 28
* Academic classes clustered on the second floor
* Similar career labs located adjacent to each other for future academy planning
* New classrooms developed from currently underused space
* Design for future growth as new programs are added

Photo: (from left) Commissioner Claire Corcoran, Commissioner Bonnie Batchler, Great Oaks Career Campuses President/CEO Harry Snyder and Commissioner Painter.
Clermont County plans special event for 9/11
Clermont County will commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a solemn event in front of the Courthouse at 270 E. Main St., Batavia, starting at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 11.

The half-hour ceremony will include brief remarks from first responders and community leaders and patriotic songs by vocalists. The Clermont Northeastern Marching Rockets will perform the National Anthem and Boy Scouts will raise the flag and lead the Pledge of Allegiance
“Clermont County will come together to honor those who lost their lives and the first-responders who heroically came to the rescue on Sept. 11, 2001,” said Claire Corcoran, president of the Board of County Commissioners. “We invite the community to take some time from their busy lives to commemorate the 20th anniversary of that tragic day. May we never forget 9/11/01.”
Second-half real estate tax bills due July 21
About 40,700 second-half real estate tax bills were mailed on June 18, said Clermont County Treasurer, Jeannie M. Zurmehly. The deadline for payment, without penalty, is July 21.

Taxes may be paid by mail or in person at the Treasurer’s Office on the second floor of the County Administration Building, 101 E. Main Street, Batavia, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Taxes may also be paid by credit card or e-check, go to www.clermonttreasurer.org.

A night deposit is located at the Main Street entrance of the Administration Building for payment of taxes after hours. Taxpayers with questions may call 513-732-7254 or email Treasurer@clermontcountyohio.gov.
Check out these great job opportunities
Clermont County is hiring for a variety of positions in areas such as Water Resources, Economic Development, Job and Family Services and more.

These are great jobs in the public retirement systems with good benefits and the opportunity for growth.

To see what's available, click here
Scouts help commissioners salute Flag Day
Members of Boy Scout Troop 135 St. Veronica accepted a proclamation from the Board of County Commissioners designating June 14 as Flag Day and June 13-19 as National Flag Week.

The scouts also led the Pledge of Allegiance, as they will when the county commemorates the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

"On May 30, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation deeming June 14 as Flag Day," the proclamation states. "On this day and the week to follow, let us recommit ourselves to the principles upon which our country was founded."
Library provides many programs this summer
The Clermont County Public Library is excited to offer a limited number of in-person programs again. Visit clermontlibrary.org for a full list.

• Book clubs have returned in several branches. Call your local library to see if your favorite book club is again meeting in-person.
• A naturalist from the Clermont County Park District will talk about camping at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 17, in the Bethel Library.
• Learn how to make historical Celtic jewelry at 6 p.m. Monday, July 12, in the Williamsburg Library,

Also, don’t forget about the online programs offered to celebrate Summer Reading:
• Join the Cincinnati Zoo to learn more about Fiona through video and live conversations with those who know her best. You will get an insider's view into the world of this charismatic hippo at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 22, on Zoom.
• Cincinnati Museum Center will present Incredible Insects at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 13, on Zoom. Get up close and personal with the creatures that make up Earth’s largest group of animals.
• The WAVE Foundation will present the Science of Sharks. In addition to live sharks, several animal bio-facts are used in this presentation including shark jaws, shark eggs, and more. The Zoom program is at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 31.
• Jaqueline and the Bean Stalk-Pick A Path will be presented by The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati Monday, Aug. 9 through Friday, Aug. 13. Learn how Jack’s sister is actually smarter and works to save her family.
• Learn all about the owls that live where we live! What do they eat? How do they hunt? How big are their wings? Learn all this and more in our Virtual All about Owls Program at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17.
• Zak Morgan will perform on Facebook Live at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 19. The show will be available to view on Facebook through July 24. This early-literacy based program features lots of music.
State Treasurer Sprague gives update to county
Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague gave an update on state finances and brought the county up to speed on several programs at the June 14 Board of County Commissioners meeting.

Sprague reported that State finances are doing quite well -- and the state will not need to touch the Rainy Day Fund. He said a court decision that allowed in-state collection of taxes on internet sales, strong sales of durable goods due to people staying home at the outset of the pandemic, additional federal unemployment payments and stimulus checks contributed to the positive financial picture.

He spoke about the STAR Ohio account that assists with investments, the Ohio STABLE account that helps people living with disabilities keep their Medicare and Social Security benefits, and checkbook.ohio.gov that provides open access to the financial and transactional data contained in the State's accounting system.

Pictured (from left): Commissioner Claire Corcoran, Commissioner Bonnie Batchler, Sprague, Clermont County Treasurer Jeannie Zurmehly, Commissioner David Painter, Southwest Ohio Regional Liaison for Treasurer Sprague Marcie Longenecker.
Ohio Justice Bus serves area on 2nd Wednesday
The Ohio Justice Bus is a mobile legal aid office and technology hotspot that provides legal services to rural Ohioans at no cost. Funding for the bus is being provided through the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation.

The Justice Bus will park in the Domestic Court parking lot on the second Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon. A volunteer attorney will be available to offer legal advice to self-represented litigants regarding domestic court matters. Court personnel will be available to help with court forms and compliance. At this time, an appointment is not necessary and there is no cost to talk to the attorney.

The Justice Bus will be in the Domestic Court parking lot from 9 a.m. to noon on July 8, Aug. 12, Sept. 9, Oct. 14, Nov. 11, and Dec. 9.

The bus is not replacing the Law Clinic that is being held on the first Saturday of each month (except July) from 9 a.m. to noon at the Clermont Library Administration Building.
Food preservation workshops start soon
It is time for the annual Clermont County Food Preservation Workshops.

• June 24, 10 a.m. -- Water Bath   Canning Berries
• July 15, 5 p.m. -- Pressure Canning Harvested Veggies
• Aug. 24, 5 p.m. -- Tomato Products
• Sept. 15, 10 a.m. -- Tomato Sauce
Workshops require pre-registration and are limited to six people per workshop.

Cost: $40 per workshop
Location: Clermont County Fairgrounds, 1000 Locust Street, Owensville, Ohio 45106, Located in the 4-H Hall kitchen.
Clermont County | 101 E. Main Street | Batavia OH 45103 | 513.732.7300 |
Office of Public Information | 513.732.7597 | mboehmer@clermontcountyohio.gov