Commissioners recognize March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
[Tiffin, OH – March 3, 2022] – The Seneca County Board of Commissioners approved a proclamation Thursday morning recognizing March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.
Self-advocates Jennifer Berman, Dexter Chatham and Michelle Smith, from the Seneca County Opportunity Center, joined the meeting to talk to the commissioners about several upcoming events to celebrate DD Awareness Month.
These events include:
* Letting Lew Know – a chat with Opportunity Center Superintendent Lewis Hurst via Zoom that is to occur at noon and 6 p.m. on March 16th.
* The annual Opportunity Center Celebrity Basketball game – featuring local celebrities and Seneca Arrows players. The doors open on March 31st at 6 p.m. at Seiberling Gymnasium, at Heidelberg University, with the game to start at 7 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Arrows Special Olympics.
* Demolition Day for the all-abilities playground at Opportunity Park – On April 2nd, demolition is to begin for the new equipment at the park. Installation of playground equipment is to begin in May.
* Palm Sunday Drive-Thru Ham/Chicken Dinner – On April 10th, folks can pick up their $11 meal from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Pre-orders are due by April 1st, and you can call (419) 447-7521, ext. 1134 or email email@example.com. Cash or check only.
Hurst thanked the commissioners for their support and for spending some time with some self-advocates Thursday.
“Our whole goal is to help people find their voice,” he said.
Hurst also thanked self-advocate Michelle Smith for serving on the Board of Development Disabilities, adding that she is just the eighth person in the state with developmental disabilities to serve on one of these boards.
In other business, the commissioners continued discussions on capital improvement project priorities.
Building & Grounds Maintenance Supervisor John Logsdon and County Administrator Stacy Wilson presented a spreadsheet of capital project requests from across the county.
The spreadsheet included more than $15 million worth of requests, and that’s just for the 68 projects with a recent price estimate. In total, the sheet includes about 114 different project requests.
The county is able to use some or all of its $10.7 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to work on some of these capital projects, and the commissioners continued working through priorities during the session.
The board agreed to move forward in funding a new tractor for the maintenance department, new windows at the prosecutor’s office, a countywide server to be operated out of the Seneca County Justice Center’s secure, generator-backed data center and about $90,000 in project requests from the sheriff’s office.
The commissioners directed county staff to work on a scoring system to help organize and prioritize the rest of the list in the coming weeks.
In other action, Wilson reported the General Fund financials through February. Revenue for the month of February was reported at about $1.54 million, with expenses at about $2.77 million. Revenue for the year so far was at about $2.28 million, with expenses at about $4.04 million. Wilson explained that some of the expenses are being paid out of the American Rescue Plan Act Fund, like the $750,000 set aside for a new EMS station. She also said revenue may seem low, but that is because no property tax has been collected yet, and property tax is the second largest revenue generator within the General Fund (amounting to nearly 15% of revenue in most years).
In other action, Seneca County Health Commissioner Anne Goon and Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Ottawa, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties Executive Director Mircea Handru spoke to the commissioners about establishing an overdose and fatality overview committee.
Per Ohio Revised Code 307.631, which became law in September 2021, counties may appoint a health commissioner to oversee a board to review data surrounding drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths in the county.
Handru said he believed the establishment of the board would go “hand-in-hand” with other initiatives in the county hoping to prevent drug overdoses and provide important services to those in need.