Commissioners receive update from Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce
[Tiffin, OH Dec. 10, 2020] – The Seneca County Board of Commissioners heard a positive report from Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services and Destination Seneca County representatives Thursday morning.
Tiffin University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Peter Holbrook, who also serves as the chair of the Board of Trustees of the Chamber, started his report by giving encouraging reviews of new chamber Executive Director Bryce Riggs.
“Bryce has been with us for the past five months already,” he said, adding that great progress has already been made on several of the organization’s stated goals.
Holbrook said the chamber board wanted to re-affirm its relationships with the Seneca County Commissioners and with tourism stakeholders within the county.
He said one of the major goals was to address Destination Seneca County, which focuses on tourism and is managed via contract by the chamber of commerce.
“We are pleased with the direction that we’ve gone,” Holbrook said. “We’ve had growth in chamber members and our social media. We are moving in the direction that the chamber wants to go in.”
Riggs thanked staff members Brittany Cook and Deb Martorana for their work and echoed Holbrook’s sentiments on the direction of the organization.
”We have a lot to celebrate,” he said. “We now have 369 members, which is the largest membership number in more than a decade. “(We know) the chamber is only as strong as the members we have within it.”
Riggs emphasized the organization’s four points of approach to articulate the value provided to its members, which are education, relationships, promotion and resources and savings.
In other business, County Administrator Stacy Wilson gave an update on CARES Act funding.
The Coronavirus Relief Fund Committee met Wednesday to recommend county projects for funding through the program.
The commissioners approved the requests as presented, including a roughly $680,000 reimbursement for Seneca County Sheriff’s Office salaries from March 1 – Sept. 30. The reimbursement is allowable through the CARES Act.
Through Thursday, the county still had about $163,000 left through the program, with an expectation that some funding also may be returned from other agencies. The money must be spent by the end of the year.
Previously, the commissioners greenlit more than $1.25 million for several projects in an attempt to assist residents, businesses and nonprofits in the community. Recently, it was reported that Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership was able to use all of its allocation ($300,000) including an additional amount (nearly $100,000), and Great Lakes Community Action Partnership ($250,000) also spent its allocation assisting people and organizations in the county.
Also during the meeting, Seneca County Emergency Management Agency Director John Spahr announced that there is a new website for Seneca County Emergency Services. The website, www.senecacountyema.org, will serve as a hub for all emergency services information, including several resources related to COVID-19.
In other action, Wilson presented a first draft of the General Fund budget for 2021, which included all requests from General Fund departments. The request was nearly $18.4 million. The county’s budget commission certified a revenue projection of about $17.5 million for 2021. The requested expenditure figure includes about $150,000 for the potential creation of a Human Resources Department, and about $300,000 for an additional commitment to emergency medical services. The commissioners plan to have a more detailed discussion about the budget at next Thursday’s board session. The remaining board schedule for December is as follows (subject to change):
December 17 at 10 a.m., December 22 at 11 a.m., December 29 at 11 a.m.
During appointments, the board also approved an alley vacation in Loudon Township and also heard from Green Springs, Adams and Pleasant Township officials about a possible EMS partnership in 2021.
During new business, the board approved all resolutions from the pre-meeting release.