TIFFIN — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners met virtually Thursday morning via Zoom video conferencing for a regular board session.
The board agreed to move its May 21st meeting from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Commissioner Shayne Thomas said the commissioners wanted to host an evening meeting through Zoom so it’s possible for more residents to participate while the meeting is occurring.
In the past, the commissioners have attempted to host evening meetings in areas throughout the county. There was a scheduled meeting in Liberty Township for April 21, but it was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In place of this cancelation, the commissioners plan to reach out to Liberty Township Trustees to invite them to participate in the meeting.
The board also plans to invite all county township trustees to a board meeting to discuss how each entity is dealing with the health crisis. That meeting is not yet scheduled.
Also, the commissioners heard from Chris Distel Joyce from the Tiffin Education Association, and Nicki Watson Chaffee of the Seneca East Education Association, as it is Teacher Appreciation Week.
Thomas read a proclamation and the board thanked these two women and all of the community’s teachers.
In other business, County Administrator Stacy Wilson informed the commissioners that a group is working together to decorate the lawn of the Seneca County Justice Center to honor local high school graduates. The decorating should occur sometime next week, she said.
In other action, Wilson reported that General Fund revenue for April was about $1.3 million, while expenses were about $1.4 million. She said through April, the General Fund has had about $7.8 million in revenue and about $6.4 million in expenses.
Thomas said because of a lag in how many of the General Fund revenue sources are collected, these figures had not yet been strongly affected by the COVID-19 health crisis.
The Seneca County Budget Commission met Tuesday and did not make any updates to its previous General Fund revenue certification of $15.5 million for 2020, this is down 2 million from the initial estimate. Thomas said the commissioners are waiting for more data to better evaluate the financial situation.
Also during the meeting, the commissioners directed Wilson to work with city officials and restaurant owners to allow the use of county property, such as parking lots and alleys, for alternative areas to eat and drink.
Proposals to use additional space to help restaurants once they re-open are being discussed by city and county officials.
Wilson also updated the commissioners on orders that were made for Personal Protective Equipment (masks, hand sanitizer, etc.). She said some masks were already here, with many others on the way. The PPE is being collected for county offices to ensure a safe re-opening for employees.
In new business, the board approved:
- A $527.02 supplemental appropriation to the Impaired Driving Enforcement Program Fund.
- A $14,588.03 supplemental appropriation to the Maintenance and Repair Fund for equipment.
- A $19,012.66 supplemental appropriation to the General Special Projects Fund for a grant.
- A $20,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for supplies and COVID-19 expenses.
- A contract with Ward Construction for the 2020 Chip Seal Project. The Leipsic-area company bid $522,620.30 for the project on April 16.
Commissioner Mike Kerschner emphasized that money is not being spent out of General Fund for projects, but some appropriations are being funded by grants or other outside funding sources. The board also is spending on equipment to help combat the spread of COVID-19. The commissioners hope that many of these expenses will be reimbursed because they are related to the health crisis.