Post-meeting release 5/2

Commissioners hear update from board of elections ahead of May 7 primary
Also begin work prioritizing action steps within countywide comprehensive plan

[Tiffin, OH May 2, 2019] – The Seneca County Board of Commissioners heard from Seneca County Board of Elections Deputy Director Lori Ritzler Thursday morning ahead of next week’s primary election.
The May 7 primary will mark the first usage of new, state-of-the-art voting machines that were purchased Jan. 15. The county agreed to purchase 180 new machines from Election Systems and Software, of Nebraska.
The machines cost about $1,065,000 with an annual price of about $16,000 in years 2-5. In year six, an additional yearly fee, which could be about $60,000, is likely.
The commissioners previously set aside $500,000 for the purchase. The county also received about $648,000 of state funding after state officials mandated the purchase.
The machines are upgrading previous equipment that was acquired after the 2000 election.
Officials say the new equipment will streamline and speed up the election voting and tabulation processes while improving security. Jim Fruth, board of elections president, said the machines are very easy to use, comparing it to using an ATM machine.
Ritzler thanked the commissioners for having the foresight to save money for the purchase and for supporting election officials so they can provide an efficient and professional election process to voters.
Commissioner Mike Kerschner said the elections panel does a “wonderful job” and he said the hard work of the directors, board, employees and poll workers is greatly appreciated.
For next week’s election, only about a quarter of precincts in the county will be open for voting because of a lack of races and issues.
Ritzler said 13 precincts across 10 voting locations are to be open for the May 7 election. Also, voters from Adams and Pleasant Township only will vote if they are in the Clyde-Green Springs School District.
The following precincts do have races or issues to weigh in on, and thus will be able to vote in the primary: Fostoria 1-A, Fostoria 1-B, Fostoria 3-A, Fostoria 3-B, Fostoria 4-A, Fostoria 4-B, Tiffin 2-A, Tiffin 2-B, Tiffin 2-C, Green Springs Village, Adams Township, Pleasant Township and Attica Village.
In other action, the commissioners began work on prioritizing action steps within the countywide comprehensive plan.
Development of the plan kicked off in March 2018 and includes the commissioners, the city of Tiffin, Fostoria Economic Development Corp. and the Seneca County Park District.
The roughly $120,000 plan is to include strategies for housing, commercial and industrial development, education, transportation, parks and recreation, and arts and culture.
CT Consultants is the contractor that is designing the plan, which is expected to be complete later this year.
No final decisions were made, but the board agreed to continue fine-tuning priorities within the plan and will continue discussions later.
Also during the meeting, County Treasurer Paul Harrison informed the commissioners he would like to add a part-time employee to his office. No decision was made on the request.
In other business, County Administrator Stacy Wilson said revenue, sales tax revenue and expenditures are all where they should be for this time of the year (35 percent, 34 percent and 36 percent of expected).

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