Commissioners hear updates from OSU extension, Seneca County Land Bank Thursday
[Tiffin, OH – Sept. 21, 2023] — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners heard updates about the Ohio State University Extension Office and the Seneca County Land Bank on Thursday morning.
Katie Cole, from the OSU Extension Office, announced the upcoming Seneca County Farm Talks event scheduled for Monday, September 25 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Ohio State University Extension Office. The event will feature roundtable discussions with various speakers addressing topics such as water management, farm management and legislative topics. Commissioner Bill Frankart is one of the speakers included, and he plans to discuss current news within the county as well as legislative topics related to farming.
Cole said a recent Grade A celebration recognized 4-H volunteers, advisors and youths who have excelled in their projects, with some representing the county at the state level. Currently, there are 936 youths enrolled in Seneca County 4-H. In 2023, youth exhibitors showcased and sold a variety of animals, contributing to total market sales exceeding $480,000 across 778 buyers. A total of 1,463 projects were exhibited this year.
Renee Smith, President of Fostoria Economic Development Corp. and administrator of the Seneca County Land Bank, provided an update on the Land Bank’s activities. Since its creation in 2016, the Land Bank has acquired more than 125 properties that were condemned, delinquent on taxes and/or vacant. Of these properties, 60 have been successfully sold and returned to the tax roll, while 16 are in the pipeline for demolition. There are currently 44 vacant properties available for sale.
In response to state-level programs for brownfield remediation and site revitalization, the Seneca County Commissioners unanimously appointed the Seneca County Land Bank as the lead entity for these initiatives. The programs, which allocate a total of $1.5 million in funding, aim to address environmental concerns and promote community development. The two programs were renewed in the most recent state budget.
During Frankart’s report, he said that he presented a proclamation to the Tiffin-Seneca United Way last weekend in recognition of their annual fundraising campaign launch. The proclamation expressed gratitude for the organization’s unwavering support and highlighted their role as the implementing organization for 2-1-1, their leadership in coordinating community services and their vital fundraising efforts under the theme “Lean On Me.”
During County Administrator Barb Patterson’s report, she said the county General Fund had about $2.98 million in revenue and $1.5 million in expenses for August. She said for the year so far through August, revenue is about $16 million against $15.5 million in expenses.
In new business, the commissioners approved all resolutions and financial matters from the meeting agenda, including setting aside $2 million in the Capital Projects Fund for EMS stations.