Seneca County Commissioners hear updates on TSEP’s economic growth programs
By Sheri Trusty, Seneca County Media Relations Coordinator
For over 40 years, Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) has impacted the economic growth and quality of life in Seneca County. On Feb. 8, TSEP staff attended the Seneca County Commissioners’ meeting to share updates on current projects. As of that day, TSEP was engaged in 62 projects that can help spur economic growth in the county and create new jobs.
TSEP President & CEO Aaron Montz and his staff often work behind the scenes to attract new businesses to the area. They are currently working with Fostoria Economic Development Corporation President, Renee Smith, on a project dubbed Project Goose to attract a business which would bring an over $1 billion investment and up to 200 jobs to the county.
With Montz at the meeting were TSEP Operations Manager Corrina Eidt; TSEP Development Manager Adam Gillmor; Downtown Tiffin Main Street Manager, Donna Gross; and OhioMeansJobs Seneca County Business Services Consultant, Carol Owen, who works collaboratively with TSEP. Gross gave updates about downtown Tiffin’s continual growth, including its successful Façade Enhancement program which provides aesthetic improvements to the city’s downtown business district while also helping to preserve historic buildings.
“Our Façade Enhancement program is considered one of the best in the state,” Montz said.
Gross announced that Taste of Downtown Tiffin will be held on Feb. 15 from 5 – 8 p.m. at The Chandelier at 151 S. Washington St. Local restaurants will provide samples of menu items. Tickets can be purchased with cash at the event or in advance at Pan Yan Bookstore.
Mike Ditto of High Bridge Consulting joined the commissioners’ meeting by phone to provide updates on Ohio Statehouse activities. In addition to the annual State Capital Budget, the Ohio Senate and House will approve a one-time Strategic Initiative Fund that will provide funding for special projects across the state. Ditto said the House voted on Tuesday to approve its version of the Strategic Initiative Fund, which included nearly $400,000 in funding for projects in Seneca County. That number is far below what the commissioners were hoping to receive.
The House must reach an agreement on the Strategic Initiative Fund with the Senate, which will not vote on their version of the fund until later this year. Ditto said Seneca County’s legislators will advocate for more funding for the county.
“I believe Rep. Gary Click and Sen. Bill Reineke will be key players on this until its done,” Ditto said.
All three Seneca County Commissioners attended the informational and public comment hearing hosted by the Ohio EPA on Feb. 5 regarding expansion plans at WIN Waste Innovations’ landfill in Fostoria. Commissioner Anthony Paradiso spoke in opposition of the expansion at the event, which was attended by over 400 people. Written comments regarding the expansion will be accepted through Feb. 19. Written comments can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Ohio EPA DMWM, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049, Attention Brian Dearth.
During the commissioners’ meeting, Seneca County Administrator Barb Patterson opened bids for the 2024 LPA Guardrail Installation Project. Only one bid was submitted for the project.
The commissioners approved 15 supplemental appropriations and passed seven resolutions, including a resolution appointing a county commissioner to the Transportation Improvement District (TID). Commissioner Bill Frankart was chosen to join TID.