Commissioners preview Solar Eclipse community meetings, submit grant for federal funds
[Tiffin, OH – March 16, 2023] — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners previewed upcoming meetings next week for the community to learn more about the April 8th, 2024, Total Solar Eclipse.
Seneca County Emergency Management Agency Director John Spahr spoke during Thursday morning’s board session about meetings on March 22nd at 1 and 6 p.m.
The identical sessions are to be hosted at the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center, 928 W. Market St.
Spahr said the public is invited to attend so they can learn more about the eclipse, and more about what community leaders are doing to prepare for it.
The once-in-a-lifetime event is a unique and spectacular phenomenon that happens on average only once every 1.5 years somewhere on Earth. Seneca County will be in the path of totality, with the centerline of the eclipse passing through the county from the southwest to the northeast passing directly over Bloomville. The last total solar eclipse visible in Ohio was in 1806, and the next total solar eclipse in Ohio will not occur until the year 2099.
The meetings will offer an opportunity for attendees to ask questions or volunteer to assist in preparing for the event.
The total solar eclipse is expected to attract visitors from across the country and the world, and county officials are hard at work behind the scenes preparing for the challenges that the eclipse may bring to the community. Some experts believe the number of people in the county that day could triple the community’s current population.
“It is critical that local officials and county residents are prepared for this unique event,
Spahr said. “We believe that working together as a community will enable us to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all those who visit Seneca County on April 8, 2024, and for all those who call this community home.”
In other business, County Administrator Jaime Wolfe informed the commissioners that grant applications had been submitted to federal legislators on two county capital improvement projects.
She said funding requests for the construction of an EMS station on the east side of the county and for the construction of a new agriculture building on the south side of Tiffin were submitted.
Wolfe said she was amazed by the number of support letters that were received and submitted along with the application, and she thanked Great Lakes Community Action Partnership personnel for working with the county on the application packages.
About 56 support letters were submitted for the ag building project and about 23 were sent along with the EMS building project application.
Wolfe said there was only about a week to prepare all the information needed to meet the deadline of the grant, but said she is hopeful that federal legislators such as Congressman Bob Latta and Senator Sherrod Brown will look favorably upon the requests.
She said she hopes to know soon if the projects receive funding or not.
In other action, Wolfe said the County RTA Building, 109 S. Washington St., is to be closed on Friday, March 24th, so crews can complete work on the HVAC ductwork.
Work will begin on Friday, March 17th, and will continue over the next month on the project, but the office is only expected to be closed to the public for just one day.
A communication from the county is expected to be released early next week with more information about the project.
Also during the session, the commissioners each spoke about their time at the Fostoria Economic Development Corp. and Fostoria Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services annual meeting that they attended Thursday morning.
At the meeting, Fostoria Mayor Eric Keckler was recognized and thanked for his 12 years of public service as a government official.
Each of the commissioners emphasized their gratitude for the mayor and thanked FEDC and the Chamber for putting on a successful event.
In other business, the commissioners went into a brief executive session to discuss an ongoing investigation involving charges against a public employee, per ORC 121.22.G.1.
During new business, all resolutions and appropriations from the meeting agenda were approved.
The commissioners are scheduled to meet for their next regular board meeting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 23rd.