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COMMUNITY JOURNAL CLERMONT 75¢ WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 Your Community Press newspaper serving Amelia, Batavia, Batavia Township, New Richmond, Ohio Township, Pierce Township, Union Township, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Township BECAUSE COMMUNITY MATTERS West Clermont freezes teachers’ pay By Forrest Sellers UNION TWP. — Teachers in the West Clermont Local School District will receive no salary increases for the 20132014 school year. A contract with the teachers’ union, the West Clermont Education Association, was recently approved and Superintendent Keith Kline said as part of the contract a “complete base and step freeze” on teacher salaries for the 2013- 2014 school year will be implemented. Additionally, employees will now pay 16 percent for health care and dental coverage. Kline Joan Lewis, president of the West Clermont Education Association, said a step freeze and higher insurance premiums were disappointing, but understandable. “We understand the severity of the budget, and we tried to work within it,” she said. “If the state funding model changes maybe we can return Young step raises.” Step raises are pay increases that teachers get automatically as they gain years of experience. Teacher evaluations will also now follow recent statemandated guidelines. “This is a huge step in getting the district on track,” said Kline during the August school board meeting. “I appreciate the teachers stepping up to help with finances.” The district has a five-year 5.8-mill additional tax-hike proposal on the upcoming November ballot. Three previous 10-year additional tax-hike proposals for 7.9 mills were defeated by vot- ers in November 2012, November 2011 and May 2011. A continuing substitute tax proposal for 6.91 mills was approved by voters in May 2009. Board President Doug Young said the district has been in discussions with the association for the past year. “We appreciate the support from the teacher’s union,” he said. Administrators will continue to be on a base and step freeze that was implemented during the 2012-2013 school year. Foster care pay hike is sought Deputy director: Increased payments could keep children in Clermont County By Jason Hoffman This photo illustration shows the final proposed look for Main Street in Batavia. It includes reducing travel lanes, street lights, wider sidewalks and intermittent medians. THANKS TO BURGESS & NIPLE Batavia to revamp downtown area By Lisa Wakeland Downtown Batavia will have a new look next summer. The village is ready to start a major makeover for Main Street, from Fifth Street to the bridge and revamp parts of Fourth and Second streets. “We have an opportunity right now to sharply enhance the downtown area,” said Village Administrator Dennis Nichols. “We believe with this (project) we’ll have both a more effective road and a lot more attractive downtown.” Construction is expected to begin soon and wrap up next June. On Main Street, the roadway will be reduced from four travel lanes to two travel lanes with a center turn lane dotted with landscaped islands. Parking will remain on both sides of the street, and there will be more streetlights along the stretch. “The sidewalks in downtown Batavia are fairly narrow and they constrain what stores can do,” Nichols said. This project widens the sidewalks along Main Street and adds street trees. Also, the utility lines will be either buried or pulled back, Nichols said, so there will be no overhead wires. On North Fourth Street, between Main and Wood streets, and on South Second Street, between Main and Broadway streets, the roads will be rebuilt and include new curbs, gutters and storm water improvements. Nichols said the pavement on both those streets is severely deteriorated and has not been resurfaced in 30 years. Resident Lexie Creager said the repaving is definitely needed, and overall project will be a good thing. “Anything would be better than nothing,” she said. Trisha Brasfield, who owns Batavia Floral Creations and Gifts, said she is excited for the work to get started. “I think it’s going to be a positive thing for Batavia, and it’s a great place to start,” she said of the plans. Brasfield said she is somewhat worried construction will affect her store’s walk-in traffic, but a good portion of her business comes from phone or See ROAD, Page A2 FOOD HEY HOWARD! This moist, “good keeper” cake recipe ushers in the apple harvest season. Full story, B3 Beware of emails claiming to come from the post office and Federal Express saying they were unable to deliver a package. Full story, B4 BATAVIA — The Clermont County Department of Job and Family Services wants to pay foster care providers more to make Clermont County more appealing in the region. Tim Dick, deputy director of Job and Family Services, recently told Clermont County commissioners that the county hasn’t changed its rates since 2010, and with increased numbers of children being removed from their biological families the county needs to offer more incentives to keep them in the county. “It’s very difficult whenever you go out to the home where this abuse occurred at,” Dick said. “And we know that we’re going to be driving them (11/2), two, and, sometimes, 4 1/2 hours away ... far away from the community – far away from what they know.” The county currently has 344 children in its foster care system, Dick said, and about 40 percent of the cases were removed for drug-related reasons. The department’s proposal is to increase the daily pay for care providers $5 for children up to 5 years old, and $10 for 6to 18-year-old youths in foster homes. Gas mileage reimburse- Contact us News ..........................248-8600 Retail advertising ..............768-8404 Classified advertising .........242-4000 Delivery ........................576-8240 PER DIEM PROPOSAL CURRENT RATES * * * Up to 5 years old: $15 to $25 6 to 13 years old: $20 to $30 14 to 18 years old: $25 to $35 PROPOSED INCREASES * * * Up to 5 years old: $20 to $30 6 to 13 years old: $30 to $40 14 to 18 years old: $35 to $45 * All rates depend on what level of care is needed and how many children live with a foster care provider. ment would remain at 40 cents, but reimbursement for day care expenses would increase to $125 a week from $100. The county currently pays about $65 a day for network service providers – foster care providers outside the county – and $19 a day for children in Clermont County foster homes, Dick said. “Initially this will have a financial impact on us,” Dick said. “But as we get more foster homes and move more children into the agency foster homes that’s when the cost savings will come into effect.” “There is a cost savings to the county, but it’s more beneficial to the kid,” said Bob Proud, commissioner. “So that makes it a winwin.” Vol. 33 No. 23 © 2013 The Community Press ALL RIGHTS RESERVED See page A2 for additional information Welcome Us Back... AND SAVE! Opening up our second location BACK in Covington BACK to family owned service. $85 AC OR FURNACE TUNE-UP. SCHEDULE YOUR AC OR FURNACE TUNE-UP NOW AND RECEIVE: CE-0000553443 • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee or You Don’t Pay! 615 W. 9th St. (859) 341-1200 (513) 753-3100 • 6 Month NO BREAKDOWN Guarantee! 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Community journal clermont 091113

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