Seneca County Bids Farewell to Outgoing PR Director, discusses upcoming events and funding opportunity
[Tiffin, OH – Sept. 28, 2023] — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners and a packed room of community members said goodbye to outgoing County Public Relations Director Jimmy Flint on his last day in the position. Kathy Oliver of Max’s Miles shared information on an upcoming event, and Mike Dittoe of High Bridge Consulting updated the commissioners on state funding opportunities.
Commissioner Anthony Paradiso, Commissioner Bill Frankart, and Seneca County Administrator Barb Patterson thanked Flint for the impact he had on the county, and several visitors expressed gratitude that Flint is leaving the county in better condition than when he arrived.
Kathy Oliver and her husband Jim Oliver spoke about the upcoming Max’s Miles Community Walk. The remembrance and suicide awareness event will be held on Oct. 7 at Hedges-Boyer Park at 9 a.m. The event honors the life of Oliver’s son, Max, who committed suicide in July 2016. The Olivers described Max’s Miles as an important but fun event that will feature family-friendly activities such as a dog walk and bouncy houses. Attendees are invited to bring photos of their loved ones who have died of suicide to post on a memory board. Family and friends can also share stories of their loved ones during an open mic session. More information can be found at www.facebook.com/events/1474385060083871.
Mike Dittoe of High Bridge Consulting informed commissioners that an Ohio General Assembly redistricting map was unanimously approved on Sept. 26. There are no changes to Seneca County representation in the new map. Seneca County will remain in Bob Latta’s 5th Congressional District and will continue to be represented by Senator Bill Reineke and Rep. Gary Click.
Dittoe also presented information on a state One-Time Strategic Investment Fund which will provide $700 million for capital projects across the state. Dittoe said possible projects could benefit transportation services, schools, jails and other needs across Ohio. This fund is separate from the state capital budget.
Paradiso and Frankart plan to research projects that will benefit the county and will discuss those ideas with Dittoe at a future date, with the goal of establishing a proposal for the One-Time Strategic Investment Fund by the end of the year.
Dittoe informed commissioners that Senate Bill 119 regarding solid waste and construction and demolition debris, which was passed by the Ohio Senate on June 21, has been assigned to the Ohio House Energy and Natural Resources Commission.
Dittoe also discussed a portion of the state’s operating budget that opens the door to increased EMS funding to the county and state.
After advocacy efforts from county staff, State. Rep. Gary Click, the Ohio EMS Chiefs Association and Dittoe and his team, the language to create a supplemental payment program was included in the biennial budget approved earlier this year.
According to Dittoe, An EMS organization (like Seneca County EMS) is eligible to receive supplemental Medicaid payments under the program if it meets all of the following requirements: (1) it is a public organization operated by a governmental entity, (2) it holds a valid Medicaid provider agreement, and (3) it provides emergency medical transportation services to Medicaid recipients.
Currently, the budget requires the Ohio Department of Medicaid Director to seek federal approval to establish the program for ground emergency medical transportation service providers (ORC 5164.96). Dittoe said his team will continue to monitor the progress of the program.
During Commissioner Frankart’s report, he said he had a positive experience speaking at the OSU Farm Talks event, and he shared updates on countywide plans for the April 8, 2024 eclipse, including camping availability at local fairgrounds and private property.
During Patterson’s report, she said future commissioner meetings will be recorded but not broadcast live. There will be no commissioners meeting on Oct. 5.
In new business, the commissioners approved all resolutions and financial matters from the meeting agenda, including the approval of entering into a contract with the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Ottawa, Sandusky & Wyandot Counties.