Post-meeting release 2/2/23
Commissioners honor Fostoria Fire Chief Herbert, receive mental health board update
[Tiffin, OH — Feb. 2, 2023] – The Seneca County Board of Commissioners honored Fostoria Fire Chief Brian Herbert with a proclamation Thursday morning.
Herbert joined the commissioners to accept the proclamation, which extends the heartfelt appreciation of the board and the whole county to Herbert for his decades of public service.
Herbert spent about 30 years with the department and has been chief since 2018.
“He has made a lasting impact on our community through his leadership and positive changes to the station,” the proclamation reads.
Herbert said he plans to continue in his role as a contractor instructor with the University of Findlay and he plans to travel and spend time with family.
“We are proud to have had Chief Herbert as a leader in our county, and we wish him a happy and fulfilling retirement,” the proclamation reads.
In other business, Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Ottawa, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties Executive Director Mircea Handru provided an update to the commissioners.
Handru spoke on several topics, including pending legislation impacting his organization, the Mobile Crisis Response Team, the OneOhio Recovery Foundation, a concept for a regional jail/mental health facility, the Seneca County Recovery Task Force and recovery housing.
Handru said the Mobile Crisis Response Team went live in Seneca County last July. This makes three crisis teams available in the four-county district.
The team works closely with law enforcement officers to lessen the stress of mental-health-related crises. The team supports public safety and the citizens by better handling mental health-related calls, and they also work with citizens in the long term to help connect them to the services they need.
“This is very beneficial to Seneca County,” Handru said, adding that the team works from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and responds directly to emergency incidents almost daily.
In other action, the board agreed to fund the purchase of three law enforcement vehicles on behalf of the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office. This was in response to a request from Seneca County Sheriff Fred Stevens for five new vehicles.
County Administrator Jaime Wolfe said the sheriff’s office does not have a spare vehicle available, adding that the purchase of new vehicles should help catch the department up in its vehicle replacement schedule.
In recent history, the sheriff’s office has received two new vehicles annually. This schedule helps to replace older vehicles or ones with issues, some that are close to or above 200,000 miles.
The cost of three approved vehicles, including being fully equipped for law enforcement purposes, is about $172,950.
Also during the session, the commissioners approved a contractual agreement with SAFEBuilt Ohio, LLC, to perform building code services for commercial projects.
Officials hope SAFEBuilt can provide faster, more efficient service on commercial projects in the county.
Sandusky and Huron counties both recently moved to SAFEbuilt for their permitting and inspections.
On Nov. 10 of last year, Robert Kurtz, chief building official for SAFEbuilt, spoke to the commissioners and discussed how his organization could offer quicker and better service.
Commissioner Bill Frankart said he is happy to see SAFEBuilt come to Seneca County.
Moving to SAFEBuilt is to cost the county $29,000 upfront for software costs, and the county must provide office space for the company. Additionally, the county will receive five percent of all fees collected by SAFEBuilt.
In new business, the commissioners approved all resolutions and appropriations from the meeting agenda.