Meeting Release

Post-meeting release 3/28

Commissioners approve resolution to sunset 2011 Alternative Energy Zone
The agreement is to sunset to new projects June 30

[Tiffin, OH March 28, 2019] – The Seneca County Board of Commissioners set a date to sunset the Alternative Energy Zone Thursday morning.
The AEZ program, which was put in place in 2011, is to sunset to new projects June 30.
An AEZ, made possible through Ohio Senate Bill 232, provides a method to reduce taxes on alternative energy projects. AEZs are designated on a county-by-county basis and provide developers with incentives to locate projects in these counties. The zone also locks in certain protections and benefits for the county hosting the project. Several other counties in Ohio have or have had AEZs in place.
The AEZ allows alternative energy companies to make payments in lieu of taxes instead of using the traditional tax structure. The PILOT payment is $9,000 per megawatt generated or $1.8 million for a 200 MW facility. The PILOT structure also could be put in place without an AEZ, but by having an AEZ in place, counties don’t need to individually negotiate the stipulations, incentives and benefits to the host county.
The resolution approved Thursday morning states that the commissioners “formally support our property owners in their right to participate in these projects and by extension support the projects.”
It also encourages all relevant regulatory agencies to diligently evaluate all matters related to the perceived adverse effects created by the projects.
Rescinding the AEZ likely won’t affect the Seneca Wind and Republic Wind projects. Both are grandfathered in under the 2011 AEZ agreement and now are moving through the Ohio Power Siting Board process for wind projects.
The resolution sets the date for rescinding the AEZ as June 30, with the caveat that, “although the Seneca Wind and Republic Wind projects are accepted under the 2011 AEZ agreement, if they must resubmit their application, they would no longer be grandfathered under the agreement, based on a determination made by the Ohio Power Siting Board.”
To view the entire resolution, visit this link.
In other business, the commissioners announced the hiring of John Spahr as the new Emergency Management Agency Administrator.
Spahr spent several years as the operations manager and program director for AM 1600 WTTF and most recently worked as a dispatcher for Tiffin Police Department.
His first day on the job is to be April 8.
In other action, the board heard an update on Project Lifesaver from Sheriff Bill Eckelberry.
The program, which is run by the sheriff’s office and the Lions Clubs of Seneca County, provides equipment and training to assist in finding missing people with disabilities.
The county’s program launched in June 2015, since then, 12 county residents ranging from Fostoria to Attica were given bracelets or anklets with radio transmitters in them. If a person does become missing, the sheriff’s office can usually locate them quickly.
The Project Lifesaver team, including the Lions Clubs of the county and the sheriff’s office, currently are seeking support for the program’s fourth annual Super Raffle. The event is to include dinner and tickets will be sold for baskets of prizes. The raffle is to occur April 6 at the Tiffin Moose Lodge, 1146 N. SR 53. Tickets are $20. For more information, contact Cindy Beat, (419) 937-7543.

In other action, the board approved:
* A $1,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for advertising and printing.
* Authorizing the use of credit cards for expenditures on behalf of the Seneca County Veterans Services Office and the Seneca County Park District.
* Participation in the Ohio Dept. of Transportation road salt contracts awarded in 2019.