July 2020
Your monthly news & updates
Clermont County Water District hustled to replace the transformer in the foreground of the Harsha Lake intake. Storms knocked out the transformer during Memorial Day weekend, stopping water intake for treatment at the nearby Bob McEwen Water Treatment Plant.
Water Resources overcomes storm damage
How was your Memorial Day weekend? The folks working in Clermont County’s Water Resources Department’s water treatment plants had an eventful weekend, for sure.

Because the demand for water never stops, plant operators reported to work like any other day.

As thunderstorms began to pop up on Saturday, May 23, the operators at the county’s three water treatment plants kept close watch. Experience has shown them that lightning and electrical equipment don’t play well together.

While lightning storms regularly cause power flickers and occasional surges that damage equipment, this particular storm caused catastrophic damage to major equipment.

In the midst of the storm, the Bob McEwen Water Treatment Plant near East Fork State Park lost total power.

Payors can have bench warrants recalled
Clermont County Child Support is offering an opportunity for payors to have bench warrants recalled or canceled for failure to appear for a child support hearing -- OR for failure to report to jail to serve a sentence for failure to pay child support.

Engineer previews road and bridge projects
County Engineer Jeremy Evans on June 17 presented his office's 2019 Annual Report to the Board of County Commissioners. The report details 2019 projects and provides a look at those planned for 2020.

Last year, the office saw its first funding increase in 15 years due to the implementation of a $5 permissive license plate fee. The fee generated $1 million in additional revenue for road repairs and resurfacing. The money allowed the county to reduce the paving cycle from about 40 years to nearly 22 years. Industry standards recommend 10 to 12 years.

Also in 2019, the state fuel tax was increased for the first time since 2003. Expected revenues from the tax have slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but additional funds have helped address bridges and landslides.

Of the county's 420 bridges, 177 are at or beyond their expected 50-year lifespans. The engineer's budget typically allows for the replacement of fewer than 10 bridges per year. Even with addition of the fuel tax increase, it's estimated that it will take 15 to 20 years to replace the 177 aging bridges, while others continue to join the list.

"While understandably unpopular, these recent revenue increases are critical to our ability to slow the deterioration of our aging infrastructure," Evans said. "Our budget still falls short of meeting every need while inflation continues to widen the gap.

"I will continue to make the most of our budget, supplementing these local funds by leveraging state and federal grants wherever possible, identifying areas to create savings, and by prioritizing spending where it will have the largest impact."

From homelessness to recovery
Robert Schubert and wife Christina Northern – the parents of six children, ages 15 to 20 months – had lived in a van in back of a Clermont County sandwich shop for 18 months when they came to Family Recovery Court. He signed up for the rigorous year-long program on Aug. 21, 2018, and she joined about a month later.

Addiction to methamphetamine knocked them down to the point that their children were placed in foster care on Oct. 17, 2017.

Thanks to the structure and support of Family Recovery Court (a part of Clermont County Juvenile Court), they regained custody of their children on Sept. 27, 2019. Robert has been sober since Aug. 15, 2018, and Christina, June 17, 2018.

COVID-19 still with us: Thank you for taking actions to prevent its spread
Thank you once again to all in Clermont County who have helped stop the spread of COVID-19. As we move ahead, please remember to take these actions:

🧼 Wash hands often
😷 Wear a face covering in public places
👩 Maintain at least 6 feet physical distancing
🌡️ Stay home from work if you're sick

Virtual litter clean-up event, July 4-25
The annual spring litter clean-up event held in Clermont County and the East Fork Little Miami River watershed has been changed to a virtual, Summer Litter Clean-Up (SLC) for do-it-yourself volunteers.

The SLC event, coordinated each year by the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the Valley View Foundation (VVF), will kick off on July 4 in honor of our nation’s independence and will run through July 25.

“We’re asking volunteers to pick any date during that time frame to find an area near their home or in their local community that is in need of litter removal,” said Vanessa Hannah, executive director with the Valley View Foundation. “Individuals or small groups can pick up litter as they visit local parks, hike nearby trails, or canoe the river while practicing social distancing.”

Demand increases for recycled cardboard
With COVID-19 slowing manufacturing and shipping for the past few months, the amount of cardboard delivered to the recycling centers has dropped sharply… and there is now a demand for it.

The recycled cardboard is used to make cereal boxes, paperboard, paper towels, writing paper, and of course, more cardboard boxes.

And one way you can save a tree is to recycle that cardboard that you may have lying around your home, or worse, you put in the trash.

As long as the cardboard is free of packing material and food (think pizza boxes) it is 100-percent recyclable. (Note: if pizza box is dirty, tear off the lid and recycle it.)

And that can be a problem; the recyclables need to be clean, or uncontaminated. That means separating the polystyrene packaging, plastic bags and wrap and putting them in the trash. Let’s say that again…. remove the plastic bags, wrap and foam from the boxes and put them in the trash. When the recycling center gets a dirty load of cardboard, the whole load may be rejected, losing income and adding to the landfills.

So nature lovers unite. Your cardboard is in demand. Recycle properly and we will have plenty of product: Save a tree!
Revenues decline due to COVID-19 restrictions
Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are estimated to reduce Clermont County general fund revenues from $64.1 million in 2019 to $58.4 million in 2020, said Mary Rains, director of the Clermont County Office of Management and Budget. Rains gave an overview on June 17 during a public hearing on the proposed annual tax budget for 2021.

Fortunately, the county has kept a strong fund balance and reserves due to its responsible management of the budget, Rains said.

Clermont County keeps healthy reserves on hand because of its heavy dependence on sales tax revenues, said David Painter, president of the Clermont County Board of County Commissioners.

Commissioners take steps for CARES Act funds
The Clermont County Board of County Commissioners on June 24 set in motion the process for allowing county and local governmental entities to tap more than $3.2 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds. Of that, $1.56 million will be the county’s share and the remaining $1.65 million will be allocated among the townships and municipalities.

Still time to complete your Census
Impact of the 2020 Census will last for the next 10 years – to determine where new schools, hospitals, and other public resources are needed. It’s important we get the count right for Ohio!

If you have completed your 2020 Census, Thank You.

If you haven't yet, there's still time.
County builds awareness about elder abuse, neglect and exploitation
Cindy Gramke, executive director and CEO of Clermont Senior Services, Inc., shared information about elder abuse as Commissioner David Painter listened.

The Board of County Commissioners issued a proclamation designating June 15 as Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Clermont County.

In 2019, there were 505 reported allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation of elder adults in Clermont County. To report elder abuse, call 513-536-4085.
Reminder: Last day to pay real estate taxes without penalty, July 8
Clermont County Treasurer Jeannie M. Zurmehly reminds you that the last day to pay second half 2019 Clermont County real estate taxes without penalty and possible interest is July 8.

Failure to receive a tax bill will not avoid such penalty and interest. If you have not received a tax bill, you may obtain one by calling:
732-7254. Office hours of the Clermont Treasurer’s Office are
Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Commissioners proclaim flag week: A time to honor America
Frank Morrow, executive director of the Clermont County Veteran Service Commission, (right) listened as Commissioner David Painter read a proclamation designating Flag Day and National Flag Week in Clermont County.

"The Board of Commissioners do hereby proclaim June 14 as Flag Day and the week of June 14-20 as National Flag Week in Clermont County and encouraged all citizens of Clermont County to proudly display the American flag and to observe with pride all those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, as a time to honor America," reads the proclamation.
Library starts new chapter

The Clermont County Public Library is open, and while things are a little different, employees are eager to welcome patrons back. The library’s number one priority is for the safety of patrons and staff.

Employees are wearing masks and visitors are asked to wear them, too.

The library is reopening with limited hours. The first hour each day is reserved for those age 60 and older and individuals at higher risk of COVID-19.
• 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday
• 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday
• 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday

The number of people allowed in each branch is limited per state mandate.

To help everyone maintain safe social distancing, the number of public computers has been reduced. Patrons can use public computers for up to 45 minutes. Extending the computer time may not be possible if others are waiting to use a computer. Please consider calling the local branch ahead of time to make a reservation.

Each branch has been arranged to meet social distancing requirements. Fewer chairs allow for safe social distancing. Sneeze guards are in use at the service desks. Toys and games are not available in areas set aside for children.

Curbside pickup service is available by appointment. Please call to schedule a pickup time.

Patrons are asked to use the exterior bins to return materials. The library is not accepting donations right now.

Also, the library continues to offer some great programs online.

For more information, please visit clermontlibrary.org, follow the library’s social media pages, or call the local branch.

Register now to become a poll worker for the Nov. 3 general election
On Election Day, hundreds of Clermont County citizens play an important role in our democracy by helping to operate our neighborhood polling places. There are 63 different polling locations in the county.

Ohio’s precinct election officials (PEOs) work hard to ensure their neighbors have a positive experience when casting a ballot. These PEOs help safeguard the process so all Ohioans can have confidence in the election results. Join on the front lines of democracy and exercise your civic duty by signing up to be a poll worker today.

The Clermont County Board of Elections is in need of PEOs for the Tuesday, Nov. 3, general election.

Workers must be a resident and registered voter of Clermont County, and attend a two-to-three hour paid training class. There are several training classes from which to choose. All necessary supplies, training materials and information will be provided to the worker to make the experience a success.

It is always more fun to spend the day with a friend, so please feel free to refer any family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers.

For more information or to register to be a poll worker contact Board of Elections staff by phone or email:
Stephanie Haight 732-7489, shaight@vote.clermontcountyohio.gov
 -or-
Leann Helton 732-7488, lhelton@vote.clermontcountyohio.gov


New booklet helps
home buyers look
at draining needs
Thinking about purchasing a home or land? Look before you buy!

Clermont County Soil and Water Conservation District is offering a guide on what to look for regarding drainage when purchasing property.

Look Before You Buy offers tips on what to look for, who can help, and responsibilities regarding drainage. The publication is available at ClermontSWCD.org. Paper copies will be available at Permit Central, select banks, and the Clermont County libraries.
Get a free interactive map of Ohio River
An interactive map for paddlers, boaters, cyclists, motorists and others, the Ohio River Recreation Digital Guide, is available at www.OhioRiverRecreationTrail.org.

The map was developed and funded through a partnership between the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), River City Paddle Sports in Louisville and Adventure Crew in Cincinnati.

Directions on how to use the guide are located at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9Km9Bc7km0
Help county businesses by sending free postcards
The Clermont County Convention and Visitors Bureau has launched the Discover Clermont Postcard Project. Clermont County residents may take an active role in helping the county's hotels, restaurants, retail shops and attractions recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.  
 
County residents may invite their friends and family members, old school style, to come visit them this summer. The postcards encourage small family gatherings and socially distant outdoor recreation.  

There are four different postcards, each depicting a various scene or activity in Clermont County. Ten thousand postcards have been printed. The postcards are free. 

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