January 2021
Your monthly news & updates
Commissioners approve 2021 budget
The Board of County Commissioners on Dec. 16 approved 2021 appropriations of $67 million for the General Fund and $208 million for 114 other funds under their budgetary control. The county plans to draw down $948,000 from reserves to cover General Fund expenses. By law, the county’s appropriation must be balanced.

Manufacturer breaks ground on $14-million, 250-employee plant
The Clermont County Port Authority is proud to announce that Hamilton Safe Company broke ground on a $14-million manufacturing plant on Round Bottom Road in Union Township on Dec. 17. The 180,000-square-foot plant will make security products as well as pneumatic tube and audio/video systems.

Many donate holiday gifts for children in care
Thanks to a number of generous sponsors, several hundred children in the care of Clermont County Children’s Protective Services can have a wonderful Christmas.

"The community, organizations, churches and residents have all rallied together for Clermont children in care to make their Christmas bright despite the pandemic," said Sanna Gast of Children's Protective Services, who has coordinated the process for many years. "A heartfelt thanks to all sponsors for making this program and 2020 holiday amazing."
Answers to questions about COVID-19 vaccine
With a COVID-19 vaccine here, many people want to know when they can get vaccinated. There are still some questions to be answered, but here’s what Clermont County Public Health knows.

Ohio received its first shipment of about 98,000 doses on Dec. 15. Of those doses, about 10,000 will go to 10 different hospitals statewide for healthcare workers who treat COVID-19 patients. The remaining doses will be used for congregate living facilities (long-term care, nursing homes and assisted living facilities).

On Dec. 22, Ohio was to receive a total of about 324,000 doses. Those will be distributed to 98 hospitals, 108 local health departments (including Clermont County Public Health) and major retail pharmacies. The pharmacies will vaccinate staff and residents of congregate care facilities. Hospitals will vaccinate their workers who are exposed to COVID patients. The 108 local health departments will distribute their portion of the vaccine to local front-line health care workers and fire/EMS personnel.

An additional 237,000 doses are expected to arrive in Ohio during the final week of December.

Dog and kennel licenses on sale: Last day to buy without penalty, Jan 31
Clermont County Auditor Linda L. Fraley announced recently that 2021 dog and kennel licenses are on sale. The license fee is $16 per dog and $80 per kennel license.

The last day to purchase a license without a penalty is Jan. 31, 2021.

You may purchase or renew your dog license online by going to the Clermont County Auditor website at www.clermontauditor.org and selecting Dog License Information.

Kennel licenses cannot be purchased online; they are available only through the Auditor’s Office.

Dog licenses are also available at various locations throughout the county. Please visit the Auditor’s website for more information on where you can purchase dog licenses or contact the Auditor’s Office at 513.732.7150 or dogtags@clermontcountyohio.gov.
Still time to recycle your old holiday lights
Don't throw away your old strands of holiday lights.

The Clermont County Office of Environmental Quality is partnering with Cohen, the Clermont County Park District, Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District, Pierce Township and the Cincinnati Nature Center to recycle the lights.

Please see the list to the left for a site convenient to your home.

The recycling program runs through Feb. 1.
Imagination Library brings free books to thousands of children
More than 3,400 children in Clermont County under the age of 5 have registered for the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library. The program, a part of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, mails a free book to a child monthly.

Clermont County residents may enroll at: https://ohioimaginationlibrary.org/enroll. Once enrolled, notify Clermont County Public Library at info@clermontlibrary.org. (Also let the library know about address changes once enrolled.)

Eight to 10 weeks after a registration form has been received, books will begin arriving at the child’s home. This continues until the child turns 5 or moves out of the area.

If you have questions about enrolling in the Clermont County Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, email Marcie Langendorfer at marcie.langendorfer@uwgc.org.
Celebrating adoptive families
In lieu of the physical Joy of Adoption event, Clermont County Children's Protective Services took the celebration to the families by sending them a basket that included a restaurant gift card, cake, personalized candle and an adoption reference book.

The pandemic prevented Clermont County Children's Protective Services from holding its annual Joy of Adoption.

CPS honors families that adopted during the year by hosting them at a meal and a candle lighting ceremony during November, National Adoption Month.

For more information on adoption, visit Clermont For Kids
Water rate increase to help replace aging system
In 2021, average residential water and sewer bills (due every two months) will increase by $5.88. The change, recommended by the NewGen Strategies & Solutions consulting firm, is planned for approval by the Board of County Commissioners at their Dec. 28 meeting.

Annual rate increases are projected to increase revenue 9.5 percent for water and 3 percent for sewer and will help pay for ongoing replacement of an aging treatment, distribution and collection system as well as regular maintenance and operation.

“We pride ourselves in providing affordable water and sewer rates,” said Lyle Bloom, the director of the Clermont County Water Resources Department. He noted that sewer rates are currently less than the 1993 rates and the last water rate increase came in 2015.

Clermont County by far has the lowest water and sewer rates in Southwest Ohio, according to NewGen. Rates for the City of Cincinnati more than double Clermont County’s.

Real estate tax bills to be mailed around Jan. 15; due in February
Clermont County Treasurer Jeannie M. Zurmehly, anticipates the 2020 Clermont County real estate tax bills will be mailed on or about Jan. 15, 2021 with an expected due date in early February 2021.

The Treasurer’s Office remains open to the public for payment of taxes but encourages citizens to utilize its website at www.clermonttreasurer.org for ways to pay by mail, night deposit or online. If you have questions concerning how to pay your taxes, you may call 513-732-7254 to speak with a representative of the Treasurer’s Office.
Ellison promoted to top position at Child Support
Theresa Ellison brings more than 25 years of serving families into her new role of assistant director in charge of Clermont County Child Support. The Board of County Commissioners approved her promotion on Dec. 16.

New service will allow workers to spend more time with families
New transcription technology will reduce paperwork for caseworkers with Clermont County Children’s Protective Services.

The Board of County Commissioners on Dec. 8 approved a contract with Austin, Texas-based SpeakWrite for voice-to-document transcription services. The contract, not to exceed $10,000, runs Jan. 1-Dec. 31.

Clermont County Job and Family Services Timothy Dick explained that the system uses cell phones and personal computers to capture and transcribe information. Case notes are transcribed within three hours.

“SpeakWrite can be utilized anytime and anywhere, which allows workers to spend less time in front of the computer and more time with families,” Dick said. “They can submit a report from the field and by phone. One of the goals we hope to achieve from this product is to help reduce documentation demands that contribute to overtime and staff turnover.”

Several other Ohio counties are using the service.
Library offers 21-day borrowing of books, audiobooks and DVDs
The Clermont County Public Library is excited to announce some improvements in how materials are borrowed.

Starting in January, cardholders may borrow books, audiobooks, and music CDs for 21 days. This includes bestsellers and books from the Lucky Day collection. The loan period for DVD/Blu-ray movies and magazines will be one week. The library will automatically renew materials up to five times unless there is a hold on an item. Enjoy DVD selections of award-winning films like Joker, Parasite, Schindler’s List, and the King’s Speech.

Each branch library is open regular hours and offers Curbside Pickup. Just call to tell a library employee what you want and set up a time to pick up your items using this touchless service. Lockers will soon be installed outside every branch that will allow cardholders to pick up items when the library is closed. Call to have your hold and other items placed in a locker. You may pick up the items on your own schedule.

The fine for a late DVD or music CD is now 20 cents, down from $1 per day. This is the same amount applied to an overdue book. The library is using meeting rooms to quarantine materials so in-person programs are not being scheduled. Instead, the creative staff members are developing great online programs for the whole family to enjoy.

Visit the library’s website and YouTube channel to browse these programs.
Natural resources funding available for farmers, forest owners
On Dec. 7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the deadline to submit applications for Ohio’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Additionally, NRCS is offering an opportunity for agricultural producers in three watersheds in the East Fork Little Miami River Basin to apply for assistance installing conservation practices that protect water quality through the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI). The deadline for both applications is Jan. 15.

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