Seneca County Commissioners discuss jail updates, bicentennial plans and OSU Extension community impact
by Sheri Trusty
[Tiffin, OH – Oct. 26, 2023] — Commissioner Bill Frankart asked for a moment of silence to honor former commissioner, Kenneth Estep, during the Oct. 26 meeting of the Seneca County Board of Commissioners. Estep was remembered as a longtime, dedicated public servant of Seneca County.
“Kenny was a boots-on-the-ground person,” Frankart said. “We need more county people like him.”
Commissioner Anthony Paradiso reported that the Seneca County Jail underwent a federal inspection implemented under new standards established in 2019.
“They passed with flying colors,” Paradiso said.
Paradiso met with Seneca County Sheriff Fred Stevens to discuss possible plans for a mental health and substance use treatment regional jail. Seneca, Sandusky and Ottawa counties were jointly awarded a $500,000 Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections grant for a feasibility study for the project.
A mental health jail would give county law enforcement better options for aiding inmates incarcerated for offenses influenced by mental health or addiction issues. Those inmates could be transported to the mental health jail for assessment and connection to treatment resources.
The project is in the early, information-gathering stage. Paradiso said the study will positively impact the county jail regardless of the outcome of the study.
“At the end of the process, Seneca County will be able to improve the way we run our jail in regards to mental health,” he said.
Among other work, Commissioner Tyler Shuff met with Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce staff this week, where they discussed plans for the county’s bicentennial celebration events in 2024.
“They’re working on some really cool things,” Shuff said.
Commissioner Bill Frankart attended the OSU Extension quarterly stakeholder meeting, where he heard updates about the various programs and services provided in Seneca County. Those programs include the Seneca County Jr. Fair and Carteens, a driver safety program taught to teens by teens.
“It shows all the activities they’re involved in,” Frankart said of OSU Extension. “It’s pages and pages of activities for kids.”
In new business, commissioners approved various supplemental appropriations and approved eleven resolutions, including a resolution approving a five-year lease for the Seneca County Museum. The lease will give museum staff the freedom to plan and implement long-term goals.
“I want to commend the museum,” Paradiso said. “They’re doing a great job.”