ODOT awards $5M for SR 32 improvements

BATAVIA, Ohio (Jan. 24, 2018) – The Clermont County Transportation Improvement District (CCTID) today announced that the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will invest an additional $5 million in Clermont County to support ongoing infrastructure improvements along the State Route (SR) 32 corridor. The award is part of the highly competitive Transportation Review Advisory Committee process, which will allocate $55 million for statewide infrastructure improvements during this funding cycle.

“Together with the Ohio Department of Transportation and our local transportation partners, we have invested more than $162 million in Clermont County to improve travel for those who use the SR 32 corridor,” said Pat Manger, Clermont County Engineer and Board Member of the CCTID. “We are pleased that ODOT has extended its commitment to improving safety, easing congestion and supporting job creation by continuing its investment in our area.”

Manger said the $5 million award would be used to fund property acquisition costs related to the construction of an interchange to replace the intersection of SR 32 with Bach-Buxton Road and Elick Lane, which is part of the Eastern Corridor Program of projects. These improvements, which include an additional travel lane on SR 32 in each direction, will allow traffic to move from I-275 to Batavia on SR 32 without a traffic signal.

Infrastructure investments support the local and statewide economy as well as the creation of new jobs

The funding will also help open up economic development opportunities in Clermont County and east along the SR 32 corridor. “We believe ODOT recognized the importance of funding this project work because of the strong connection SR 32 has to supporting increased investment throughout the entire southern region of the state,” said Clermont County Commissioner and Board President Ed Humphrey.

SR 32 is one of the highest-volume local routes in Ohio and is a critical east-west connection for the movement of people, goods and services throughout the state. Current projections show that traffic volumes on SR 32 are approaching interstate levels and that by the year 2030, SR 32 is expected to carry 79,000 vehicles per day, not much less than I-275’s estimated 84,000 vehicles a day.

Investments along the corridor have already resulted in tangible development opportunities with the completion of access improvements to the South Afton Commerce Park in 2017. South Afton Commerce Park is a business-ready site for manufacturers.

“Business-ready sites are considered highly attractive to potential companies because they reduce the time it takes for companies to locate and start operations in a given location,” said Humphrey. “More than 1,850 jobs are expected to be created directly at the South Afton site, with an additional 1,675 new jobs with suppliers and other supporting services. The development is expected to lead to $1.5 billion in local economic activity per year once completed,” he added.

 Progress continues; multiple upcoming projects are fully-funded and slated for construction

Later this year, the Transportation Improvement District will begin making improvements on SR 32 at Bells Lane; and ODOT will complete work to add a second lane from the southbound I-275 exit to SR 32 and construct an additional travel lane on eastbound SR 32 from GlenEste-Withamsville Road to Olive Branch-Stonelick Road. In 2019, the Clepper Lane Extension will be built, Old SR 74 will be widened from Schoolhouse Road to GlenEste-Withamsville Road, and access improvements at Old SR 74, Tealtown Road and Paul Drive will be made.

 Engineer Manger said that the Transportation Improvement District has a record of success, noting that the organization has completed more than 60 projects in Clermont County since its creation in 2006. “Our goal is to bring together multiple groups, develop one agenda and speak with one voice to local, regional, state and federal decision-makers so that numerous projects can be completed in a coordinated fashion, and the resources of those agencies can be leveraged to generate funding for projects that might not otherwise have been completed. This award from ODOT will allow us to continue that progress.”

 About the Clermont County Transportation Improvement District

The Clermont County Transportation Improvement District (CCTID) works across geographic and political lines to improve the quality of life for Clermont County residents by stimulating economic development through regional transportation improvements. The five-member board is made up of representatives from the Clermont County Engineer’s Office, Clermont County, Miami and Union Townships, and the private sector.

 The CCTID is currently working on nearly two dozen roadway improvements that will increase safety, support better traffic flow through the area, and provide the infrastructure for continued economic development throughout the county. More information about the CCTID and their project work can be found on-line at GoClermont.org.

About the Eastern Corridor Program

The Eastern Corridor is a program of integrated, multi-modal transportation investments. The Program will enhance our regional transportation network by improving travel and connections between central Cincinnati and the communities extending east through Hamilton County into western Clermont County. Program elements include improvements to existing road networks, new and expanded roadways, rail transit, expanded bus routes and improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists. The Eastern Corridor Program is administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Eastern Corridor Implementation Partners.

 The Eastern Corridor Implementation Partners include the Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District, the Clermont County Transportation Improvement District, the City of Cincinnati, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

To learn more, go to: EasternCorridor.org.

South Afton Industrial Park FAQ

 Feb. 1, 2016

Where: 242 acres located at the southeastern corner of State Route 32 and Half Acre Road in Williamsburg Township.

Cost: $4.9 million, paid for from proceeds of Ivy Pointe development.

Buildout: 10 years.

County will provide: Water, sewer and natural gas extensions; storm water infrastructure; telecom infrastructure; and public roads.

Impact: 3,530 direct and indirect jobs; $1.5 billion in economic activity per year when completed.

Related: County to develop 242-acre industrial park

Q. What is a “business ready” site?

South Afton Industrial Park map A “business ready” or “shovel ready” site is one that through ownership or option is easily available for transfer to the interested company; utilities are present or can be quickly delivered; environmental and other studies have identified any areas of risk; and transportation access exists.

For an interested company, these factors can cut down considerably on the site development costs and time to market.

Q. Why is it important for Clermont County to have more developable sites?

A. As more companies decide to locate in Clermont County, more jobs become available to county residents. In the four-county metro region (Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont), a greater percentage of Clermont residents commute out-of-county (60%) compared to the others. An expanding job base in Clermont County means better quality of life and more tax dollars invested at home.

Q. How many jobs and what kinds of jobs do you expect South Afton Industrial Park to eventually yield?

A. An economic impact analysis by the Economics Center at the University of Cincinnati estimated that South Afton Industrial Park will create 1,855 jobs at the site and 1,675 indirect jobs in supplies, services, etc. when fully built out. South Afton is expected to attract manufacturing and warehousing businesses. Additionally, the report states that development and construction of the site will generate 863 jobs over 10 years.

Q. Why is county government involved in financing a business ready site? Shouldn’t private developers be doing this?

A. Under Ohio law, local governments have several economic development tools at their disposal, including CICs (community improvement corporations) and Port Authorities, and public financing tools such as Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts and Joint Economic Development Districts (JEDD). CICs and Port Authorities can be used to acquire real estate. Both TIFs and JEDDs can be used to help finance public infrastructure components such as roads, water, sewer, storm water, etc. Private developers now expect public finance tools to pay for these components, and most large development projects in the Cincinnati region now utilize many of these tools to close financing gaps.

Clermont County makes these investments because it wants to attract more companies, whether in manufacturing, distribution or services, which will create more jobs, and grow the local economy. Further, these investments, such as Clermont County’s in Ivy Pointe (see white paper) seed later investments.

Q. What exactly is the Clermont County CIC?

A. The Community Improvement Corporation, established in 2003, is an economic development tool for Clermont County. It is focused on facilitating industrial and office park development. Its current members are the County Commissioners, a Clermont County resident and private business owner, and the director of the county’s Community and Economic Development Department. The CIC can acquire and market real estate.

 Q. What other projects has the CIC been involved in?

A. The Clermont County CIC was instrumental in the development of Ivy Pointe in Union Township, now the headquarters of TQL; a second office building for Tata Consultancy Services and Senco; and the future site of Mercy Health and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital campuses.

More than 1,300 people are currently employed at TQL and Tata/Senco at Ivy Pointe. Another 1,200 jobs are attributed to the indirect impact as well as reinvestment from the proceeds generated by the Ivy Pointe investment, and $95 million in new real property investment by the private sector. The county purchased 99 acres of land for $8.3 million, all of which has been returned to the county as land was sold, and has realized $1.7 million in interest earnings.

Q. Will the South Afton Industrial Park make Clermont County more competitive?

A. Yes. Compared to Hamilton, Butler and Warren counties, Clermont County currently has much less available industrial space of 50,000 square feet or greater. Clermont County has a total of 790,000 square feet available, including four buildings with at least 50,000 square feet, compared to Butler County’s 2.4 million square feet and 27 buildings. This new site will make Clermont County more attractive to existing manufacturers in the county that want to expand, but lack the current footprint, or manufacturers who are new to the area.


Clermont County to develop 242-acre industrial park

BATAVIA, Ohio  (Feb. 1, 2016)  — The Clermont County CIC, Inc. has purchased 242 acres of land at Half Acre Road and State Route 32 in Williamsburg Township that will be developed as South Afton Commerce Park, a “business-ready” site for manufacturers.

The CIC is a nonprofit created under Ohio law to facilitate economic development activities for the Clermont County commissioners, and has served in this capacity since 2004.

Related: South Afton Industrial Park FAQ

The $4.9 million purchase, which was finalized today, was announced by Bob Proud, President of the Clermont County Board of Commissioners. Commissioners are members of the CIC Board of Trustees. “With this land, we will be able to offer manufacturers both inside and outside Clermont County a prime location,” Proud said. “Our job is to create the environment for economic development. The jobs themselves will come from the private sector.  I support this effort because it will lead to good paying jobs for our residents and generate new property tax revenue to support the local school district, township services, and countywide services.”

3,500+ jobs projected

South Afton Commerce Park mapThe site has the potential to significantly boost Clermont County’s economy. According to a study by the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center, the site could provide 1,855 permanent jobs once fully built out, with an additional 1,675 in related jobs (suppliers and services) for an annual payroll of $186 million. Many of those jobs would go to Clermont County residents, approximately 60% of whom now commute out of the county to work.

By year 11, the property value of the South Afton Commerce Park is estimated to be at $94 million, generating a total of $32 million in new property taxes over the life of the development, according to the study.

The Williamsburg Township Trustees applauded the efforts of the county in developing South Afton Commerce Park. “We are excited to be part of the team in bringing new investment to the township. The new real estate taxes from this business park will help offset recent cuts to our local government fund and allow us to maintain our current level of township services. This development could also be the catalyst needed to spur retail and service sector development to the eastern area of the county,” said Guy Bainum, chairman of the Williamsburg Township Board of Trustees.

This site fulfills a need not just in Clermont County, but in Greater Cincinnati. Last August, Johnna Reeder, CEO of REDI Cincinnati, said that the region was far behind where it needed to be to attract manufacturers. Sixty-one companies came to Greater Cincinnati in 2014 looking for potential locations, she said, and there weren’t sufficient sites to show them. Clermont County’s economic development team was unable to submit sites or buildings for 83% of the 58 inquiries received last year, due to a lack of market-ready properties.

County to provide basic infrastructure

To prepare South Afton Commerce Park for potential tenants, the CIC will provide water, sewer and natural gas extensions; storm water infrastructure; telecom infrastructure; and roads. The CIC will pursue grants to help defray those costs, which will leverage the use of local public funds and increase the return on investment.

The purchase price of the land is being funded from proceeds of Clermont County’s Ivy Pointe investment. In 2005, the county, using the CIC, bought the land that became Ivy Pointe, which now houses TQL, Tata Consultancy Services, Senco and others. Mercy Health and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have each also purchased over 20 acres of land at Ivy Pointe for future expansions. The principal, which has been repaid, is being used for this purchase, said Kuchta.

“Developers aren’t creating new industrial parks due to the high cost of regulations and required infrastructure,” said Commissioner David Uible. “It has been over 20 years since a new industrial park has been developed in Clermont County, and we need to step into that role if we want to see continued job growth in our county. Leveraging a $5 million initial investment into an estimated $94 million of new property value, and $32 million in new property taxes, is a phenomenal return on investment that will benefit many county residents and agencies.“

Commissioner Ed Humphrey, who is recovering from an automobile accident, said that he fully supported Clermont County taking this step. “The South Afton Commerce Park will be more easily accessible because of the transportation improvements that have been made to State Route 32, and are planned to continue over the next five years,” he said. “A primary reason for the significant investments in the Eastern Corridor work is to facilitate the movement of people and goods between Clermont County and the rest of the Cincinnati region, so the development of this business park complements those investments and will increase the benefit of those investments to the residents of the county.”

South Afton Commerce Park will become the largest industrial park in Clermont County and one of the largest in Greater Cincinnati in terms of available land.


Tax abatements for Milacron expansion approved

Milacron Entrance (800x403)

Milacron plant in Williamsburg Township.

BATAVIA, Ohio (Jan. 12, 2016) – At their Dec. 17, 2015, session, Clermont County Commissioners approved an enterprise zone agreement that included a tax abatement for Milacron LLC, which is expanding its operations in Williamsburg Township.

In concert with Williamsburg Township trustees, Commissioners OK’d a  60 percent property tax abatement over 10 years, saving Milacron approximately $779,000.

Milacron, a leader in the plastics processing industry, is investing $6 million in its Williamsburg Township operation, including the construction of a 28,000-square-foot addition to its building plus various upgrades to increase production. The company plans to add 149 full-time positions to its current workforce of 646 within three years of completion of its construction. The new positions will add $7 million to its payroll. Milacron was also awarded job creation tax credits through JobsOhio.

“We’re pleased that Milacron decided to keep its operations in Clermont County, and expand them,” said Andy Kuchta, Director of Community and Economic Development. “They have been a long-time presence in Clermont County, and it’s great that they are committed to staying here.”

Milacron had considered moving its Southwest Ohio operations, which included sites in Oakley and Mt. Orab in addition to Williamsburg Township, to Indiana. The company previously announced that it was moving its corporate headquarters from Oakley to Blue Ash. #####

Adams County Commissioners, Clermont County Port Authority enter agreement

WEST UNION, Ohio (Oct. 16, 2015) — The Adams County Commissioners and Clermont County Port Authority (CCPA) signed an agreement on Oct. 15 allowing the Clermont County Port Authority to serve as the Port Authority for Adams County.This agreement provides a great deal of flexibility between the organizations and allows the CCPA to exercise all of its powers in Adams County just as it can in Clermont County.


Ivy Point Commerce Park

Gordmans to hold job fair at OMJ Clermont July 30, Aug. 4

BATAVIA, Ohio (July 24, 2015) – Gordmans, a new store opening in the shopping center across from Jungle Jim’s Eastgate, plans to hire up to 125 people. It will hold two hiring events at Ohio Means Jobs/Clermont on July 30 and Aug. 4, both from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.


County to hold vehicle auction Aug. 8

BATAVIA, Ohio (July 22, 2015) – Clermont County will auction off 41 vehicles on Saturday, Aug. 8, in the rear parking lot of Municipal Court. Bidding begins at 10 a.m.