Meeting Release

Post-meeting Release

Seneca County EMA Administrator gives eclipse updates at commissioners’ meeting

By Sheri Trusty, Seneca County Media Relations Coordinator

Seneca County Emergency Management Agency Administrator, John Spahr, provided an update on emergency plans for the April 8 eclipse during the April 4 Seneca County Commissioners’ meeting. The county has been preparing for the event for months.

Seneca County Emergency Management Agency Administrator, John Spahr, center, provided copies of the official Eclipse Coordination Plan to Seneca County Commissioner Tyler Shuff, left, and Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart, right. A public version of the plan is available on the EMA website.

“A lot of people put time into this,” Spahr said. “We want to make it a safe and enjoyable event for everybody.”

The Emergency Operations Center will be open and prepared for emergencies on April 8, and the EMA has coordinated with government and emergency entities to ensure a countywide collaborative effort throughout the day. Although it is impossible to predict the influx and impact of visitors into the county, Spahr said his agency is prepared for a worst-case scenario.

“We’re hoping for a boring day, but we’re prepared for a non-boring day,” he said.

Local residents can prepare for a possible surge in the population by purchasing groceries, medications and gas early. Spahr also suggested that residents switch their phones from cellular to wi-fi calling while at home because the demand on cell towers may impact calls.

Seneca County Emergency Management Agency Administrator, John Spahr, provided an update on the county’s eclipse day emergency readiness at the April 4 commissioners’ meeting.

Spahr provided the commissioners with a written, official Eclipse Coordination Plan.

“This is subject to change. This is a fluid operation we’re putting together because we cannot know how many people are coming to the county,” he said.

Spahr said the county commissioners were instrumental in the success of the plan.

“Thank you for all your help with this,” he said.

To view the public version of the Eclipse Coordination Plan, visit, click on the “Total Solar Eclipse 2024” link, and click on the “2024 Eclipse Coordination Plan” link. The page also gives a countdown to the eclipse.

Commissioner Tyler Shuff hopes everyone has a great experience during the eclipse.

“Relax, enjoy and be safe,” he said.

Among many meetings and events this week, Commissioner Bill Frankart attended the final pre-eclipse meeting hosted by Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Bryce Riggs, and Marisa Stephens, who serves as Director of Marketing for the chamber and Destination Seneca County. Commissioner Frankart recognized the impact their efforts have had on the county. Their Elope at the Eclipse event that is bringing 150 couples and their families to the county on April 8, also brought national exposure to Seneca County.

“Bryce and Marisa are ready for the big event. Sometimes you find that niche that puts you over the top. Being on national news brought attention to Seneca County,” Commissioner Frankart said.

Commissioners Frankart and Shuff attended the OSS Solid Waste District meeting this week, where they worked with the OSS board to best utilize OSS funds to help the Seneca County General Health District provide optimal oversight at the WIN Waste Innovations of Seneca County landfill in Fostoria.

Commissioners Frankart and Shuff and Commissioner Anthony Paradiso attended the Seneca County Bicentennial Kickoff at the Seneca County Museum. The event was hosted by Museum Executive Director Theresa Sullivan.

“I want to give a big thanks to Theresa Sullivan. It’s looking really good in there. It seems like every week, they’re improving the place,” Shuff said.

Tiffin Mayor Lee Wilkinson attended the commissioners’ meeting to share news about the 75thanniversary of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Department of Forestry. In honor of the anniversary and Arbor Day, the Department of Forestry is donating a tree that will be planted in the city. Wilkinson said the city will host a Tree Planting Ceremony at Stalter Park on Friday, April 26 at 10 a.m.

In other business, the commissioners passed four resolutions, including a resolution to enter into a contract with Clouse Construction Corporation for Seneca County EMS Station that will be constructed in New Riegel.

There will be no Seneca County Commissioners’ meeting on April 18.