April 2021
Your monthly news & updates
Construction of new Purina plant moves ahead
Last year, pet food maker Purina announced a $550-million investment to build a new factory in Williamsburg Township to meet increasing demand for its high-quality and nutritious pet food brands. Despite a few weather delays over the winter months, construction is well underway to build the company’s new world-class pet food facility, where some of Purina’s most well-known brands will be made according to the trusted science-based recipes formulated by Purina’s pet nutritionists. Following mass earthwork at the beginning of 2021, foundation pouring began in March, and steel erection is slated to begin in April. Construction will continue through 2022.

Purina will employ 300 people at the new facility. Hiring will occur in phases and begin in 2022. Purina’s Williamsburg Township factory will be one of its most technologically advanced operations, utilizing robotics and innovative digital tools to produce its pet food recipes. To promote employee training and development, the factory will also feature one of the first Nestlé Purina Training Universities. To receive alerts and updates on new available positions, visit purinajobs.com/OH.
Rental, utility assistance program helps families
Clermont County's Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program has helped 11 families at Thomaston Woods and Thomaston Meadows get through difficult times caused by the pandemic.

Many were reluctant to ask for help.

"At first, many residents were a little embarrassed," say administrators of the affordable living facility. "What this program has taught us all is that are times when we might need help. It’s OK to accept help when times get tough. We truly believe that the residents, who qualified for rental assistance, will pay it forward. Some already have."

Park leader Clingman announces retirement
Chris Clingman, who has led the Clermont County Park District for more than 21 years, has decided to retire as its director later this year. 

The Board of Park Commissioners will begin a search for his replacement immediately and Clingman will remain director through the transition, then move to a special projects management position with the district. 

Clingman was named director in 1999, inheriting a staff of just seven employees with a budget funded primarily through fees and property taxes. In his two decades, Clingman has more than quintupled the size of the park district from 180 to nearly 1,000 acres, brought in more than $15 million in grants and donations, and spearheaded a successful levy campaign that ensured the park district’s continued growth and financial stability.

More than 46,000 get COVID-19 vaccination
As the month of March came to a close, 22 percent (46,212) of Clermont County’s population had started the COVID-19 vaccination process and 8.6 percent (27,234) were complete.

Clermont County was at 127 cases per 100,000 population; Ohio, 143.8. Gov. Mike DeWine plans to lift restrictions when cases per 100,000 reach 50 statewide.

For more information, visit Clermont County Public Health's website.
County Government Month: Counties Matter
The Board of County Commissioners has proclaimed April as National County Government Month in Clermont County.

"Clermont County and all counties take pride in our responsibility to protect and enhance the health, well-being and safety of our residents in efficient and cost-effective ways," states the proclamation. "...Clermont County prides itself on its commitment to our citizens, the stewardship of our resources, and the continuous search for innovation.

This year's theme is Counties Matter. Learn more on our social media pages.
Crase rejoins county as Chief Building Official
Bruce Crase returned to the Clermont County Permit Central on Feb. 22 as Chief Building Official.

Since 2013, Crase had served as Chief Building Official and Senior Plans Examiner for the Hamilton County Building Department. In 2006-2013, he was Master Plans Examiner in the Clermont County Building Department.

Crase, a Clermont County resident, has been an architect since 2001. He studied architectural design at the University of Cincinnati and civil engineering at Shawnee State University. Crase brings more than 40 years of design and construction industry experience to the county.

Collaboration speeds emergency care
At 11:44 a.m. Feb. 20, an elderly male on a trail at Sycamore Park experienced difficulty breathing. He called 911 on his cell phone, unable to move from the spot several hundred yards off the main parking lot area.

Thanks to earlier collaboration among a number of governmental units, first responders pinpointed the man’s location and brought care within minutes.

Clermont County Public Safety Services, the GIS Division in Community and Economic Development, the Central Joint Fire-EMS District, Clermont County Water Resources and Clermont Soil and Water had worked together to bring more-precise digital maps to dispatchers and first responders.

CARES Act grants assist small businesses
Last year, Clermont County made $1 million in Coronavirus Relief Act (CARES Act) grants available for small businesses. 

Learn how the funds helped two local businesses, Celtic Corner and East Cincy Yoga (left), in this video.

Celtic Corner has been in Clermont County for 17 years. East Cincy Yoga started here in 2014.
Imagination Library offers free books for kids
Children in Clermont County under the age of 5 can get a free book mailed each month.

A new, carefully selected book will be mailed directly to the child through the Clermont County Public Library's partnership with the Ohio Governor's Imagination Library and Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.

2020 Annual Report: Moving Forward During a Pandemic
2020 presented many challenges for Clermont County, with arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in late winter. Thankfully, proactive planning and careful fiscal management allowed the county to continue to provide services without major cutbacks.

We’re proud of the county employees who demonstrated amazing innovation, flexibility and dedication during these extraordinary times. Many adapted their processes, serving customers via drop boxes, online forms and Zoom meetings. At times, they worked remotely and did what it took to safely provide services.

Clermont County pulled together to support those struggling during the economic downturn resulting from the pandemic. The county allocated millions of dollars of federal CARES Act funds to small businesses, schools and governmental entities.

In the midst of this challenging year, Clermont County chalked up one of its largest economic development wins ever when Nestlé Purina announced plans to build a huge pet food plant in Williamsburg.

Thanks to news like this, the future looks bright for Clermont County.

See the 2020 Annual Report (Printed copies are also available at the Commissioners' Office.)
Commissioners learn about sales tax revenues for start of 2021
The Board of County Commissioners got an early look at 2021 sales tax revenues on Feb. 24.

Clermont County’s February sales tax allocation from the State of Ohio reflects a 4-percent increase when compared to the same month a year ago. Mary Rains, director of the county’s Office of Budget and Management, noted that the numbers are for November sales, as there is a lag until the county actually receives tax distributions.

Rains said that sales tax revenues are running better than the 2-percent increase budgeted for this year.

Tax revenue from auto sales was down 9 percent, but the use tax (which includes tax on internet sales) was up 34 percent year over year. A Supreme Court decision allowed states to charge tax on purchases made from out-of-state sellers starting in mid-2019, even if the seller does not have a physical presence in the taxing state.
Library hosts online storytimes
The Clermont County Public Library is hosting weekly storytimes on Zoom each Wednesday through April 28.

Children may join at 10:30 a.m. for stories, songs, and more. Visit the Library’s website to get the link to the storytimes.

Teens may enjoy participating in Jackbox games at the library at 6:30 p.m. the first Monday of each month. Visit the library’s website to get the link to the Jackbox games.
Residents recycle record number of lights
If you dropped off a strand of Christmas lights to one of the dropoffs in the county this past holiday season, you’d be happy to hear that the amount of lights collected was almost double the amount collected during the prior year.

Due to multiple collection points hosted by various county agencies, a total of 620 pounds of lights were collected in Clermont County!

The collected lights were taken to Cohen Recycling for processing. First, Cohen removed any non-recyclable trash from the load of lights. Lights were then packaged up and shipped to a metal recycler, where they will be chopped up into little pieces and the copper removed.

The recycling process is different depending on who buys the recycled lights. In some states, the lights are shredded, then separated into the raw products (plastic, glass and metal wire). These raw products are used to make roofing & construction materials, soles on slippers, car batteries, and new copper wire and pipes to name a few.

So, thank you to all who recycled Christmas lights through the special program. By adhering to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, we can make our world a little cleaner, a little more sustainable.
County waives inspection fees
Clermont County residents affected by the March flood will not have to pay building inspection fees.

At the recommendation of Bruce Crase, Clermont County Building Official, the Board of County Commissioners waived inspection fees for expenses directly relating to the re-occupation of evacuated buildings and structures resulting from flooding of the Ohio River and tributaries.

Commissioners celebrate effort to attract manufacturer here
The Board of County Commissioners on March 8 thanked Gael Fawley of Community and Economic Development for compiling information that helped attract American Trailer World (ATW) to the old Ford plant on State Route 32.

Texas-based ATW recently announced plans to invest $18 million to establish a new trailer manufacturing facility in Batavia Township. The project is expected to create 249 jobs.

The new site will complement ATW’s production facility in Mt. Orab. ATW considered locations in Michigan, Kentucky and Indiana before choosing Batavia Township because of its proximity to existing operations and easy access to the rest of the Midwest.

Commissioner David Painter praised Fawley for her excellent work on the information requested by REDI Cincinnati. Painter also thanked Michael McNamara, Director of Community and Economic Development, for his work.

“I just think that economic development is moving ahead in Clermont County – and that’s great,” Painter said.

Fawley said McNamara and Assistant Director Greg Bickford have gotten off to a great start in their first year with Clermont County.
Participate in logo contest to win great prizes
All local K-12 students are invited once again to participate in the annual Summer Litter Clean-Up (SLC) Logo Design Contest.

Interested students should register and review the rules on the event website: http://springlittercleanup.com. Designs must be submitted by Monday, April 12.

See the 2020 winning design (left) submitted by Ellie Arkus, New Richmond High School
Library adds mobile printing for guests
The Clermont County Public Library now offers two mobile printing options that guests can access using their smartphone, tablet, or computer.

The Amelia, Bethel, Goshen, Miami Township, and Union Township libraries offer REMOTE printing. This option allows guests to use an app called PrinterOn or the “Mobile Print” button on the branch’s web page to print a document in either color or black and white. The document can contain multiple pages. The cost is the same as using the library’s regular printer – 10 cents for black and white and 30 cents for color per page.

The PrinterOn app is available free from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. To use the “Mobile Print” button, visit clermontlibrary.org and click Locations.

Guests using the app or the “Mobile Print” button can send their documents from anywhere and pick them up at the library during regular operating hours. Guests pay for the print at the library.

To avoid being charged for a color copy when the document is black and white, library guests using the PrinterOn app should choose the black and white printer. Also, touch the Locations icon on the bottom of the PrinterOn screen to locate the library where you want to print a document.

The Batavia, Felicity, New Richmond, Owensville and Williamsburg Libraries offer a different mobile printing option. Guests can visit the branch and log onto the Library’s Wi-Fi to send a document to a printer at the front desk. Staff members are available to help guests set up the print job. The cost is the same.

For more information, call your local branch. Library staff members are always available to help. Visit clermontlibrary.org for the latest library news and events.
Learn about perennials in free online classes
Ohio State University Extension Clermont County will present Virtual Southwest Ohio Perennial School as a four-part series held Thursdays in April (8,15,22 & 29) at 11 a.m. Registration is now open: https://osu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwudu2rqzMrG9Kst3nuVkrG81-fVsJ6foAP

The series is free to attend, but registration is required. You can choose to attend one or more of the following sessions.
April 8 
Filling in the Blanks with Colorful Annuals – Pam Bennett, OSU Extension, Clark County
As a perennial gardener, you know at times your perennial bed lacks massive color. In between blooming seasons, while plants are getting established and other times, annuals can offer that extra WOW to your beds. Learn about low-maintenance annuals that give color all season long in this fast-paced presentation of color that will leave you even more anxious for spring!
April 15
Bad@$$ Trees for Poor Places – Scott Beuerlein, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Originally titled “Good Trees for Bad Places,” it was determined by a committee of sobriety-challenged but internationally renowned horticulturists that it needed an upgrade. The trees in this talk are the survivors. They laugh at incorrect planting technique, mulch volcanoes, bad pruning cuts and other poor maintenance practices. They embrace poor soil, and they spit at drought. Some of the usual suspects but some you probably won’t know. Enjoy this romp through trees so ornery they’ll resist the very worst that nature can hurl at them and be there to shade your children’s children.
April 22  
Spot this – Report It – Amy Stone, OSU Extension, Lucas County
The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that should be on everyone’s radar in Ohio. This session will cover basic information that will empower gardeners to do some scouting in their own landscapes for this sap-sucking plant hopper. The nymphs have a much wider host range than the adult, and you may just have those plants that you can monitor and help us ‘spot the spot’ before populations build and their activity could be extensive. There will also be discussion about how this insect is moving and get you thinking about the modes of transportation that might just be the avenue to your garden or community. In addition, cicada, cicada, cicada will be discussed for the 17-year brood emergence this year.
April 29 
Connect the Dots…2021 – Joe Boggs, OSU Extension, Hamilton County
Integrated Pest Management has always been a way to help improve your vegetable and flower gardens, as well as orchards and more. Learn new ideas and practices from this 2021 version for how flowering plant diversity in landscapes reduces the need to use insecticides?
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Office of Public Information | 513.732.7597 | mboehmer@clermontcountyohio.gov