Meeting Release

Post-meeting release 3/21

Commissioners approve pre-application for $500,000 airport project
Also hear update on Wolf Creek Ditch project, discuss Alternative Energy Zone

[Tiffin, OH March 21, 2019] – The Seneca County Board of Commissioners agreed to move forward with the pre-application for a $510,788 taxiway improvement project at the Seneca County Airport Thursday morning.
The project would be funded 90 percent by the Federal Aviation Administration, five percent by the state and five percent by the county, making the county’s share about $25,540, including engineering fees.
Airport Operator Brad Newman said the improvements would keep the taxiway in great shape for at least 20 years. About $150,000 of the grant will expire if not used this year.
In other business, County Engineer Mark Zimmerman said work on the Wolf Creek Ditch project is now complete. The project included removing obstructions, such as log jams, and dead and leaning trees, from the creek to promote better water flow and reduce flooding.
The work, which started through a 2012 petition, occurred in the main ditch of Wolf Creek from the county line near Alvada to the county line near Bettsville.
In January 2017, commissioners approved a $36,800 contract with Feller Finch for the project’s design.
In June 2017, Zimmerman the total cost estimate at that time about $315,000. Zimmerman said the actual cost of the project was about $270,000. He said the next portion of the project is levying assessments to landowners near the ditch. The county fronted the cost, but it will be paid back by landowners through assessments, which are to be included on tax bills in early 2020.
There are about 7,000 parcels that were affected through the project, and Zimmerman said assessments are to reflect how much the parcel benefits from the work done. Zimmerman also said maintenance fees are to be paid by landowners to make sure the ditch stays clear, and this situation does not repeat itself.
Commissioner Shayne Thomas said he had heard reports that water flow has improved.
In other action, the commissioners discussed a request from sPower to, as owners of the airport, provide a letter to the Ohio Power Siting Board in support of the project that states the county does not object to the determination of the FAA as it relates to wind farms. The board made no decision related to a letter, because not enough information is known, and the FAA is yet to make an official finding.
Also, during the meeting, Commissioner Mike Kerschner moved to rescind the Alternative Energy Zone. The motion was eventually tabled after the board agreed to reconsider a resolution introduced by Thomas in November, that would have sunset the AEZ on Sept. 19, 2019. Thomas’ resolution was rejected 2-1, with Thomas as the lone affirmative voter.
The board also held a public hearing related to a $150,000 allocation of Community Development Block Grant funding for 2019.

Also during the meeting, the commissioners approved:
* A $1,461.79 supplemental appropriation to the County Sewer District Fund for other expenses.
* A $4,040 supplemental appropriation to the Sewer District Replacement and Improvement Fund for capital improvements in New Riegel.
* The sale of a 2002 Dodge Dakota on behalf of the Seneca Conservation District.
* Appointing Seneca Conservation District as the Apiary Inspector for Seneca County.
* Approving the IV-D service contract between the county common pleas courts, the juvenile clerk, the juvenile magistrate, the clerk of courts and the county on behalf of Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services