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Commissioners hear about millions of dollars in investments in Fostoria economy

TiffinOhio.net Staff

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From left: Seneca County Commissioners Anthony Paradiso, Tyler Shuff, and Mike Kerschner (TiffinOhio.net Composite)

Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners heard an annual update from Fostoria Economic Development Corp. President Renee Smith Thursday morning.

Smith said 2020 was a challenging, but successful year for her office.

“As far as FEDC in 2020, we can all agree that nothing about 2020 went as planned,” Smith said, adding that economic development continued even given the difficult circumstances.

Smith reported that there was a total investment of more than $34 million across several economic development projects in Fostoria last year.

Smith said new project announcements should be coming soon, including two projects that are expected to create 130 new jobs and include $33 million in capital investment through construction and machinery/equipment purchases.

She also said that a new speculative building is to be constructed in Fostoria, and FEDC is working to acquire the former St. Wendelin school property. She said additional plans and ideas will be shared later.

Smith also announced the creation of the Launch Fostoria business competition which is being hosted by FEDC and the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce. The contest, which Smith said had already received three applications and business plans, will allow aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges. The deadline to register your business idea is May 7th, and a “Shark Tank” style event is to be held in Fostoria on July 23rd to select a winner.

Commissioner Tyler Shuff said he was excited about the competition, and mentioned that he worked to host a similar competition in Tiffin that led to the creation of several new businesses. The winner will receive a prize package valued at almost $18,000 and includes a one-year lease.

To learn more, visit this link.

In other action, Tiffin-Seneca Public Library Adult Programming Manager Trinity Lescallett updated the board on plans for the 2021 Community Read Program. She said last year’s program had many events canceled due to the global health crisis.

She said Steve Lopez, the author of last year’s Community Read book titled “The Soloist,” is to visit the community in October. A program will be hosted on Zoom and on the library’s Facebook page to reflect on previous Community Read books. Lescallett said two authors of previous Community Read titles, Martha Conway and Janet Beard, will join the call to speak with the community about their latest work.
The event will take place on Thursday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. The registration form can be found here.

Lescallett thanked the many organizations that have collaborated with the library over the years and also said the Zoom program will include updates from several community partners such as the Department of Job and Family Services and the Seneca County Opportunity Center.

Also during the session, the commissioners each spoke about the first paid full-time EMS crew that hit the road Wednesday for a 12-hour shift. Paradiso said he received a call from someone in the Attica area thanking the new crew for its quick response during a car accident yesterday.

In other action, County Administrator Stacy Wilson gave a quick update on the county’s finances for 2021, saying that through March, revenue has been about $3.9 million, while expenses have been reported at about $4.5 million. She said the deficit is not cause for alarm, but the lower reported revenue figure is due to an extension on the due date for property taxes. In other years, property taxes would have been settled in March, but due to mailing issues, the settlement is expected to occur in April instead this year.

Commissioner Kerschner said because of this, more will be learned from April’s financial report.

During new business, the board is to consider:

  • A $7,619.70 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund.
  • A $4,000 supplemental appropriation to the Special Projects Fund.
  • A $35,500 supplemental appropriation to the Ambulance Service Fund.
  • A $320,000 and $300,000 fund transfer from the LGF-General Fund to the Ambulance Service Fund.
  • A $70,000 fund transfer from the LGF-General Fund to the EMA Fund.
  • A $60,939.50 fund transfer from the Public Assistance Fund to the County Share – Other line.
  • Appointing Anthony Paulus and reappointing Kellee Hoover to the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties.

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