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Commissioners approve system to distribute CARES Act funding to departments

TiffinOhio.net Staff

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

TIFFIN — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners approved a policy Thursday morning that will allow county departments to begin receiving financial assistance for previously unbudgeted expenditures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

County Administrator Stacy Wilson introduced a policy and a form to the commissioners that were created by a committee of county officials. The committee was tasked with creating a system to distribute about $923,175 in federal CARES Act funds.

Now that the form and policy have been approved, they will be distributed to elected officials and department heads so requests can be made for reimbursement.

The committee will then consider requests, make sure they are compliant with state and federal law and then make a recommendation to the commissioners, who would have final say over if the expenses can be covered.

In other business, the board accepted the findings of the Buildings Master Plan. The plan inventories county-owned buildings and outlines potential futures for them. In January 2019, the commissioners tabbed Gossman Group to create the plan.

In late June, Gossman presented the plan to the board. Further discussion on how the plan could be implemented is to continue during future Seneca Regional Planning Commission meetings.

Also during the meeting, Mike Dittoe of High Bridge Consulting addressed the commissioners.

In August, the board signed a contract with the company for assistance in attempting to land funds in the state capital budget. Since the health crisis has changed plans and adversely affected budgets, Dittoe and the company have provided several different services to the county, including updates and guidance on the use of federal Cares Act funding.

High Bridge has been providing services with no charge, as an attempt to alleviate some of the strain on the county budget.

Dittoe said the company could continue to provide services at no fee through October, and the commissioners agreed.

In other action, Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services Director Kathy Oliver introduced two of her employees to the board. Steve Kaifas, who is the business administrator, started with the agency in April. Jennifer Schumacher, who serves as the Protective Services Administrator, was also introduced. Each spoke briefly about their experience and said they were happy to be working in Seneca County.

Also, Commissioner Mike Kerschner said the county is hoping that county employees are willing to be election workers during the November election. For more information, contact the Seneca County Board of Elections, (419) 447-4424.

During new business, the board approved:

  • Declaring the necessity for a levy of taxes above the 10-mill limitation on behalf of the Seneca County General Health District. If approved, a five-year, 0.3-mill renewal levy would be placed on the November ballot. If approved, the renewal would commence in 2021.
  • A $35,000 supplemental appropriation to the METRICH Fund for equipment. The funding is from a grant and will help to fund a Quick Response Team in partnership with the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties. The team will consist of METRICH officers and a trained behavioral health worker from Firelands. The team is to engage and guide community overdose survivors towards recovery by providing access to treatment and/or recovery support.
  • A $97,560 supplemental appropriation to the DRETAC-Prosecutor Fund.
  • A $397.80 supplemental appropriation to the Transportation Improvement District Fund for contract services.
  • A $225,000 supplemental appropriation to the Children Services Fund for Children Services shared costs.
  • A $382,835.25 supplemental appropriation to the Maintenance and Repair Fund for the CR 592 pavement widening and resurfacing project.
  • The FY20 Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program application for land acquisition at the Seneca County Airport.
  • A contract with E3 RX, LLC, on behalf of Seneca County DJFS.
  • Appointing Jennifer Schumacher for the Northwest Ohio Children Trust Fund Board
  • Appointing Ginni Beaston for the Northwest Ohio Children Trust Fund Board

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