‘It has been devastating’: Seneca County officially requests disaster declaration for farmers
TIFFIN, OH (TiffinOhio.net News) — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners received an update from the Seneca County Farm Services Agency Thursday morning, including that the FSA had requested a disaster declaration from the state and national government.
Brenda Blair, the county’s FSA executive director, said these are “unprecedented times” in the agricultural world.
“The rain, I don’t think you can go back in history and match what’s happening out there,” she said. “One producer came in and said he was taking good notes so he can pass it on to the next generation.”
Blair said precipitation has increased this year by a large amount. She said it is estimated that 80 percent of corn crops in the county will be prevented from being planted. Current projections also are that 60 percent of the bean crop is to be lost due to the weather.
Blair said it’s possible the bean number could improve if nicer weather stays consistent in the coming weeks. Blair also said 80 percent of the alfalfa crop was lost due to a terrible winter.
If the state and national government approve the disaster declaration, which Blair said is likely, it could become easier for farmers to receive some financial assistance.
In other business, Seneca County Museum Director Tonia Hoffert gave a report updating the board on happenings at the museum from January through June this year.
She said 886 people have attended the museum so far this year. She thanked several Heidelberg students, including Michael Ware and Allison Blythe for interning, and also saluted volunteers for helping to run a smooth operation. She said 1,221 hours have been volunteered this year at the museum.
Hoffert also said the Robert G. Teach Fund through the Tiffin Community Foundation awarded the museum $10,186 to restore the museum’s carriage house windows.
In other action, several ODOT representatives updated the county on upcoming projects. Pat McColley, ODOT district deputy director for District 2, said the passage of the transportation bill, which included a gas tax, will bring more funding to local entities to improve and maintain roads.
In Fiscal Year 2020 and 2021, all county townships are to receive $147,205 from gas tax revenue annually. Villages in the county are to receive varying amounts from $19,290 to $59,786, while the cities of Fostoria and Tiffin are to receive $732,239 and $975,026, respectively.
Each county engineer in the state also is to receive about $1.53 million annually through the gas tax revenue, amounting to a 62.8 percent increase from that source. Several road projects are to occur this summer and into the fall.
The board also placed the Wolf Creek Petition Ditch Fund on permanent maintenance.
During resolutions, the board approved:
* A $500,000 supplemental appropriation to the Children Services Fund for assistance.
* A $10,750 supplemental appropriation to the Delinquent Care and Custody Grant Fund for equipment.
* A $100,000 supplemental appropriation to the County Sales Tax Revenue Fund for other expenses.
* A $100,000 supplemental appropriation to the Justice Center Operating Fund for contract services.
* A $4,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for Jury Fees.
* A $200,000 supplemental appropriation to the Transfers Out line, to be transferred into the Justice
Center Operating Fund line.
* Establishing the Renewable Energy Agency Fund.
* Placing the Wolf Creek Petition Ditch on permanent maintenance.
* Authorizing County Administrator Stacy Wilson to sign utility and driveway permits.
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