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Commissioners open bids for Eden Twp. agricultural lease, congratulate Conley on winning state title Staff




From left: Seneca County Commissioners Mike Kerschner, Anthony Paradiso, and Tyler Shuff

Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners received four bids Thursday morning for an agricultural lease of county land in Eden Township.

The three-year contract for about 147.1 acres of land received the following bids:

  1. Josh Nagel, $195 an acre 
  2. Doug Fredritz, $256.50 an acre 
  3. Barry Potts, $200 an acre 
  4. Wise Farms, $237 an acre 

The bids are to be reviewed by the Seneca County Engineer’s Office before a decision is made on who to reward the contract to.

In other business, Tiffin Columbian Junior Brody Conley, who won the Division II, 170-pound weight class state wrestling championship last weekend joined the commissioners’ meeting.

Commissioner Tyler Shuff told Conley that he and the commissioners are proud of his hard work and accomplishments and Shuff presented a proclamation. Conley is just the second Columbian student to ever win a state wrestling championship.

Shuff said Conley is successful on and off the mat, as he carries a 3.816 GPA and is enrolled in honors and Advanced Placement classes. Conley is a two-time captain of the football team and was a third-team All-Ohio award winner at linebacker this past season.

Shuff said Conley is a three-time state qualifier in wrestling, with assistance from coaching mentors Travis Sayler, Eric Gibson, Chad Long, Erik Burnett, Joey Simcoe and most importantly, his father Shaun Conley.

Conley recorded a perfect 48-0 during this year’s wrestling season and he won a conference, regional and district championship. He is ranked second all-time in consecutive pins.

Conley is committed as a member of the Class of 2022 to wrestle for the Cornell Big Red.

The commissioners invited Conley to a meeting next week with them and Congressman Jim Jordan.

In other business, the commissioners voted unanimously to affirm and clarify its position that the county has no Road Use and Maintenance Agreement (RUMA) with any private companies. This clarification rescinded a board decision from October 2016 establishing a RUMA.

A RUMA is an agreement between a local government and private energy developers to repair and maintain roadways damaged or degraded by the traffic associated with energy extraction.

In September 2019, the commissioners tabled two resolutions that would have rescinded and replaced the 2016 RUMA to reflect that some townships had withdrawn from the agreement to negotiate their own. Commissioner Mike Kerschner said he is unsure of the legal weight of the decision, but he felt the board must clarify its position that there is no RUMA in place with any developers.

In other action, Kerschner suggested using some of the $10.7 million expected to come to the county through the passage of the federal American Rescue Act Plan to assist townships.

According to information from the County Commissioners Association of Ohio and High Bridge Consulting, it appears that townships across the country are not expected to receive direct funding through federal legislation, while villages, cities and counties are.

Kerschner suggested making $100,000 available to each of the townships in the county to be used for federally approved expenditures via the rules of the bill. County Administrator Stacy Wilson said the county is still awaiting final guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department on permissible uses of that funding.

Kerschner suggested the funding could be used to help townships fund projects related to emergency medical services and he also pitched providing financial benefits for county employees who worked hard through the pandemic.

The commissioners agreed to schedule a work session later to decide how the money is used. The meeting is to be scheduled once there is more guidance from the federal government.

In new business, the board approved all financial appropriations from the pre-meeting release and also approved the resignation of William Anderson from Seneca County EMS, while also approving the hiring of Becky McCann to become the county’s first full-time emergency medical technician. Seneca County Emergency Services Director Ken Majors said he’s excited to welcome McCann, and also said another full-time person is to be brought on soon so the county can provide personnel assistance to joint ambulance districts in the county.