Seneca County commissioners discuss budgetary issues related to health crisis
[Tiffin, OH April 2, 2020] – The Seneca County Board of Commissioners held a digital meeting Thursday morning. You can view the entire meeting at this link.
During old business, the commissioners discussed the need to be proactive with budgetary changes, as the county and other governmental entities across the world deal with the fiscal consequences of COVID-19.
According to the US Department of Labor, 6.6 million US workers filed for their first week of unemployment benefits in the week ending March 28, which marks a record-high for the country. The previous record, which was set in the week ending March 21, was about 3.3 million workers.
According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the state saw 272,117 jobless claims for the week ending March 28. The previous week saw about 196,297 claims in the state, making nearly 470,000 over the past two weeks.
To put this in perspective, 364,603 initial unemployment claims were filed during the entire year in 2019.
Commissioner Shayne Thomas shared a quote from President Abraham Lincoln.
“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise – with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew,” he said.
Thomas spoke about people in the community who are stepping up to help others.
Jake Schaaf and Buckeye IT are doing 3D printing to create equipment for medical providers.
“We need Ohio industry to rise and think anew,” Thomas said, before sharing a link from the state government for industrial leaders to join the cause in helping to produce needed equipment. https://repurposingproject.com/
Thomas also commended local resident Jill Gosche, who is the admin for a Facebook page called Helping Hands in Seneca County, which has 4,000 members brainstorming for ways to help the community.
“It’s the fastest growing social media page I have ever seen locally,” he said. “Jill Gosche reached out to me, and Andrea Traunero and others have helped to make masks for medical personnel.”
Thomas thanked elected officials for working hard through these difficult times.
“I also want to thank our staff for their positive attitude and adaptability,” he said. “Really all county employees-this is incredibly stressful and we really appreciate everything you are doing to continue to serve the public.”
In other business, Thomas said that Census Day was yesterday, and encouraged people to go to 2020Census.gov to fill out their Census.
“The Census is a tool of political empowerment enshrined in the constitution. Exercise your constitution right and fill out your census,” he said. Billions of federal dollars are allocated based on the population count calculated during the Census, so it is paramount that an accurate count is made.
Thomas also reminded residents that the election is to continue by mail-only through April 28. For more information, visit voteohio.gov, or call the Seneca County Board of Elections office, (419) 447-4424
Before the meeting ended, the commissioners spent about one hour in an executive session to discuss the compensation of personnel.
During new business, the commissioners approved:
* A $100,000 supplemental appropriation to the Maintenance and Repair Fund for contract projects,
* Authorizing the updated prevention, retention and contingency plan on behalf of Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services.
* Authorizing a contract with M&B Asphalt for the 2020 Pavement Resurfacing Project. The company submitted a $1,369,102.74 bid for the project which will include work on CR 32, 34, 54 and 594.
* Authorizing a contract with Bruce Harris and Associates on behalf of the Seneca County Auditor’s Office.