Tiffin, Ohio — Great Lakes Community Action Partnership President/CEO Ruthann House provided a positive update to the Seneca County Commissioners Thursday morning regarding a county-funded program created to assist those in the community negatively impacted by COVID 19.
Last year, the commissioners partnered with several agencies to provide about $1.25 million in federal CARES Act funding to programs that would assist county residents adversely affected by the pandemic in several facets.
The commissioners allocated $250,000 to GLCAP through the program, and the agency assisted 287 households with rent/mortgage, utilities and food assistance.
House said 12 homeowners received mortgage assistance, 85 households received help with rent payments, 79 homes were assisted with water/sewer bills and 111 households were provided with food assistance. The break down of funding is as follows:
- Rent: $170,980
- Mortgage: $32,854
- Water/sewer: $22,019
- Operations/admin: $19,051
House also updated the board on the general operations of GLCAP and provided information about other programs that have successfully assisted those in need in Seneca County, as well as in the other counties in the GLCAP footprint (Wyandot, Sandusky and Ottawa counties).
Board President Mike Kerschner thanked House and her staff at GLCAP for the hard work they do to help others.
“A lot of stuff you do goes under the radar,” he said. “Thank you very much. There are a lot of people who have food on the table and who have a roof over their head because of the work you do.” In other business, the board agreed to waive late sewer fees from the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 due to delays with the United States Postal Service. Seneca Regional Planning Commissioner Executive Director Charlene Watkins requested the waiver. She said payments were not being received in a timely fashion because bills were not being received in a timely fashion. Also during the meeting, the commissioners approved the employee classification and organizational chart for the county, which includes the addition of a Human Resources Director.
In 2020, the commissioners began to set aside funds for the creation of this department, but the timeline was moved back because of the economic uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The commissioners allocated about $116,000 in the 2021 budget for the creation of an HR department. Some of the benefits of creating a centralized HR department for the county include minimizing liability and adding structure for employees.
In other business, the commissioners agreed to move forward with the construction of a welcome sign at the Seneca County Justice Center. The sign, which will not be paid for with General Funds from the commissioners, will be near the main entrance on the east side of the building. The sign is to be paid for by the Clerk of Court, Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court and Seneca County Common Pleas Courts. The cost of the sign is $35,872, according to an estimate from Clouse Construction Corp.
The commissioners accepted the move, pending approval from the city’s Zoning Commission and Architectural Board of Review.
During new business, the board approved:
- Moving $1,000 out of the DRETAC-advertising line and into the Treasurer’s General Fund advertising line.
- Certifying the 2020 county highway system mileage certificate.
- Re-appointing Stephanie Little and Kenneth Estep to the facility governing board for CROSSWAEH for three-year terms.