Meeting Release

Post-meeting release 11/27

Commissioners move closer to the passage of capital budget
Funding for economic development agencies also approved

[Tiffin, OH Nov. 27, 2018] – The Seneca County Board of Commissioners discussed several long-term capital projects during a budget hearing Tuesday morning.
During the discussion, which was the second one-hour session in as many weeks about the topic, the courthouse annex, the public safety building, Seneca County Jail, Seneca County Museum, the agriculture building, the home of the Department of Job and Family Services and the dog warden’s building all were considered.
The projects that were discussed during the hearings could eventually be analyzed through a strategic plan. The commissioners already received a quote from one contractor for the plan. The county is expecting another bid later this week. The plan would help prioritize future projects and establish a plan for buildings.
From Tuesday’s discussion, the board approved about $6,000 to put a wall in the courthouse annex to add security where additional evidence storage is to be placed for county judges.
The board also approved about $145,000 for equipment to be installed in the annex’s server room.
One other project to be funded in 2019 through the Capital Projects Fund is the purchase of new voting machines, on the heels of a mandate from the state secretary of state’s office. The price of the machines is expected to be about $820,000, but the county has put aside $500,000 for the purchase. The state also is to contribute about $640,000 for the machines. The machines also come with a roughly $60,000 annual maintenance fee. The money not used on the purchase of the machines is expected to be used for other capital projects.
Upgrading the roof at the Department of Job and Family Services Building is another major project being considered.
The commissioners asked County Administrator Stacy Wilson to compile the capital budget and the board could vote it at next week’s meeting. If the line is approved, that would finalize the budget cycle, after the board already approved all General Fund and non-General Fund budget lines except for the Capital Projects Fund line last week.
The official General Fund expenditures figure for the budget is about $17.47 million.
In other business, commissioners finalized funding figures for Fostoria Economic Development Corp. and Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership. FEDC was approved for $30,000, an upgrade from the $8,750 the group received last year. The board approved $67,000 for TSEP ($17,000 upfront with quarterly payments of $12,500). TSEP requested about $116,000, and the county could still consider meeting that amount next year. The funding was not included in the budget and will be approved as supplemental appropriations in January.

During appropriations, the board approved:
* A $10,000 and a $5,000 supplemental appropriation on behalf of the sheriff’s office.
* A $57,571 supplemental appropriation for an advance to the Community-Based Correctional Facility Fund.
* Approval of critical infrastructure projects for the Village of Republic.
* A $24,575 appropriation for land acquisition. This was for roughly an acre of land purchased from the Oleson property near the Seneca County Airport. The land was purchased so trees could be removed, thus bringing the property in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The acquisition is 90 percent funded by the FAA.
* Authorizing Seneca County EMS to contract with GovPayNet. This will allow the organization to accept credit card payments.