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Seneca County Commissioners express concern to ODOT over dangerous intersection

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From left: Commissioners Mike Kerschner, Shayne Thomas, and Anthony Paradiso

The Seneca County Board of Commissioners expressed their concern over a dangerous intersection during a meeting Thursday morning, and also heard a positive update from Destination Seneca County.

Commissioner Tony Paradiso said the commissioners planned to send a letter to the Ohio Department of Transportation asking the organization to re-evaluate the dangerous intersection at US 224 and SR 67.

The letter, which is to be signed by all three commissioners and by Seneca County Emergency Services Director Ken Majors, states the county is requesting intervention and mitigation at the intersection. Since 2017, there have been life-altering injuries to no less than 10 people, and two have been killed at the intersection.

“The people of Seneca County are requesting that ODOT provide more safety measures to prevent, mitigate and hopefully eliminate the danger at this major high-speed intersection at the border of Scipio & Bloom townships,” the letter states. “We are suggesting rumble strips, better warning signs, lights or any other crash preventative measures that ODOT can provide at this extremely dangerous spot in our county.”

In other action, the board heard a 2019 recap from Destination Seneca County Marketing Director Brittany Cook as well as a preview of what to expect from the office in 2020.

Cook said she has continued to work on improving the organization’s website. Enhancements include a comprehensive community calendar, event submissions, a more accessible button to request a visitor’s guide and easier access to the agency’s newsletters. Cook said the Destination County’s online presence reaches about 125,000 people per month.

She said she’s also part of committees that are preparing for the Tiffin bicentennial celebration in 2022 and the Seneca County bicentennial celebration in 2024. Cook said work continues on the 2020 visitor’s guide, and she said it should be available soon. Cook also presented lodging tax revenue data.

She said there has been a gradual increase in lodging tax revenue from 2014-2019. The third quarter of 2019 saw $47,690 in lodging tax revenue, which is the highest revenue from any quarter in the past six years. Data from the fourth quarter of 2019 is not yet available but Cook said the increase from year-to-year is a good sign.

Cook said 2020 should be an exciting year for Destination Seneca County, as she plans to continue old initiatives and create new ones. Among new objectives is being featured in the Best Driving Vacations 2020 publication and being included in the 2020 Destination Toledo Guide. Cook is also planning on meeting with hotels and local attractions to discuss how to best track where visitors are coming from and why they are visiting the county.

In other business, County Auditor Julie Adkins presented a request to the board for a new copy machine. The office’s old machine is from 2008 and is beginning to malfunction. The new purchase would cost about $6,000, with $2,000 coming from the General Fund, the Dog and Kennel Fund and the Real Estate Assessment Fund.

Adkins also requested a $2,300 supplemental appropriation for several different areas in her budget, including the supplies, contract services, travel and advertising lines. The commissioners will formally vote on these requests next week.

During new business, the commissioners approved:

  • Certifying the 2019 county highway system mileage certificate.
  • Re-appointing Carl Miller to the Sandusky, Seneca County, City of Tiffin Port Authority Board of Directors, term expiring March 1, 2024.
  • Disposing of unneeded, obsolete or unfit county-owned property by means of online internet auction as an alternative to public auctions or sealed bid and charging county department administrators or directors with disposal management oversight, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020.
  • A contract with Crawford County Board of Commissioners for the receipt, custody and care of Crawford County juveniles on behalf of the Seneca County Youth Center for 2020.
  • Establishing the Prosecutor DTAC Fund.

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