Meeting Release

Post-meeting Release

Opportunity Center and 4-H youth attend March 7 Seneca County Commissioners’ meeting

By Sheri Trusty, Seneca County Media Relations Coordinator

Staff and self-advocates from the Seneca County Opportunity Center attended the March 7 Seneca County Commissioners’ meeting. Shown here are, back row from left, Commissioner Tyler Shuff, Opportunity Center Superintendent Lew Hurst, Commissioner Anthony Paradiso, Commissioner Bill Frankart, and Opportunity staffers Heather Smith and Amy Miller. In the front row from left are David Adkins, Cindy Moyer and Ryan Herr.

The Seneca County Commissioners’ March 7 meeting was packed with guests as self-advocates and staff from the Seneca County Opportunity Center and staff, youths and volunteers from Seneca County 4-H shared information on their organizations. The commissioners presented proclamations to both groups.

David Adkins, left, shakes hands with Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart.

Advocates Ryan Herr, Cindy Moyer and David Adkins shared news about upcoming events that the Opportunity Center scheduled to celebrate Developmental Disability Awareness Month in March. A Celebrity Basketball is on March 14 at 7 p.m., the Palm Sunday Drive Thru Ham/Chicken Dinner is on March 24, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Preorders are due on March 11. The center will host Bakery Bingo on March 26 at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit

OSU Extension Educator Katie Cole was joined by several 4-H youths and volunteers who talked about the impact that 4-H has on their lives. The group attended the commissioners’ meeting in recognition of Ohio 4-H Week on March 3-9. Seneca County, which has about 1,000 members annually, boasts one of the highest 4-H enrollments in the state.

Seneca County 4-H was honored during the March 7 Seneca County Commissioners’ meeting. Pictured are, back row from left, OSU Extension Educator Katie Cole, Commissioner Tyler Shuff, Commissioner Anthony Paradiso, Clayton Gabel, Erin Brian and Commissioner Bill Frankart. Middle row from left are Madeline Zeno, Junah McClenathan, Kathy McClenathan, Brody Kleinfelter and Brent Kleinfelter. Seated are Sarah Kleinfelter and Brandon Kleinfelter.

“We’re lucky to have a strong 4-H program in Seneca County,” Cole said.

Among the group was 13-year-old Junah McClenathan, who talked about the variety of programs available to 4-H members, including the options to create your own.

“I like doing self-determined projects because I’m not limited to one thing. It doesn’t limit my creativity,” McClenathan said.

Kathy McClenathan, left, looks on as her son, Junah McClenathan, talks about his 4-H projects.

Black Swamp Conservancy Executive Director Rob Krain gave a PowerPoint presentation on the organization, whose mission is to conserve land. Black Swamp Conservancy protects family farms through easements and also owns land throughout the county to help protect natural habitat.

“We worked especially in Seneca County to preserve farmland in Ohio. We are losing farmland faster than any state other than Texas,” Krain said.

Krain discussed the benefits, rights and restrictions of farmland easements. Among the benefits are tax incentives for farmers.

“The biggest benefit is the assurance that the family farm is going to be the family farm forever, and the agricultural land will be utilized to feed people in the future,” Krain said.

Krain also talked about the Clary-Boulee-McDonald Nature Preserve, a 160-acre plot of land located between Kansas and Bettsville.  Black Swamp Conservancy restored the land and will eventually gift it to Seneca County Park District.

More information on Black Swamp Conservancy can be found at

Black Swamp Conservancy Executive Director, Rob Krain, was a special guest at the March 7 Seneca County Commissioners’ meeting. From left are Commissioner Tyler Shuff, Krain, Commissioner Anthony Paradiso and Commissioner Bill Frankart.

OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Pressley Buurma, provided updates on upcoming programs, including a new webinar series, “All About Goats.” The education program will provide information for beginning and advanced goat owners, beginning with “Getting Started with Goats” on March 11. Register for the six-part series at

In other business, bids were opened for the Sen CR 62 12.51 Bridge Replacement. Five bids were received. The commissioners passed a resolution to receive sealed bids for the SEN-CR34/CR38 pavement widening/resurfacing project, LPA-2402 on March 28 at 10:15 a.m. and a resolution to receive sealed bids for the CR16-4.93, CR18-1.22, TR109-3.32 & TR148-4.82 superstructure replacement prestressed box beams-C-2024 on March 28 at 10 a.m.

The commissioners also passed a resolution denying permanent structures on the Seneca County Courthouse Square.

Seneca County Commissioner Anthony Paradiso announced that a letter would be sent to Poggemeyer Design Group regarding a tri-county jail feasibility study. The purpose of the study is to identify ways to better serve inmates with mental illness in Seneca, Sandusky and Ottawa counties. The letter, which was signed by Commissioner Paradiso and Seneca County Sheriff Fredrick Stevens, addressed concerns about the study’s strong shift to researching the possibility of a new regional jail instead of focusing on meeting needs of inmates who struggle with mental health.