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Commissioners invest in ‘Rainy-Day Fund’ bringing the total to $1 million

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 invested $375,000 in its Budget Stabilization, or “Rainy-Day” Fund on Thursday morning, bringing the total in the fund to $1 million.

The board created the fund in April 2018 to protect against a future economic downturn. Commissioner Mike Kerschner said that creating the fund was a good plan because of the uncertainty of the future strength of the economy.

“We can do the opposite of what other government entities do,” Kerschner said. “Instead of spending our grandchildren’s money, we can put it in a savings account.”

Each of the commissioners has expressed a need for a strong Budget Stabilization Fund to protect the county for the future.

In other action, the board approved $135,000 in supplemental appropriations for the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office for four new vehicles and the equipment needed for those vehicles.

Initially, the county had $60,000 in place for the sheriff’s office to purchase two new vehicles. In most years, the commissioners budget enough to buy two new vehicles for the sheriff’s office, but last year there were no purchases made due to budgetary constraints.

Sheriff Fred Stevens joined the commissioners’ meeting last week to request that the county purchase the additional vehicles because of the concerning age and mileage of vehicles in the current fleet. The four new vehicles will be joined by the acquisition of some used cruisers.

Kerschner said the commissioners have committed to making law enforcement services and emergency medical services its two major priorities.

“These are our biggest responsibilities as commissioners,” he said. “We want to establish a good foundation to protect our citizens. To do that, these are two areas we concentrate on.”

In news related to Seneca County Emergency Medical Services, Commissioner Anthony Paradiso announced that the merger of two joint ambulance districts on the eastern side of the county is imminent.

“I’m pleased to announce that the Attica-Venice-Reed Joint Ambulance District, all the entities within, have approved a merger with Boom-Scipio (Joint Ambulance District),” he said. “Those two districts will become one. That will occur in the next 90 days. It’s exciting because that’s a big part of our larger plan.”

Also during the session, County Airport Operator Brad Newman updated the commissioners on work being done at the airport, while he also requested approval to move forward in considering a project to crack fill and reseal the runway in 2021.

In the past, the county has approved similar projects to increase the life of the runway.

Newman is expected to put together bid specifications and the project will be put to bid later this year. In other business, the commissioners received two bids for the CR 48 pavement resurfacing project in Hopewell Township. The engineer’s estimate for the project is $396,296.

  • Gerken Paving, of Napoleon, for $360,142.12
  • M&B Asphalt, of Tiffin, for $341,709.09 

The bids are to be reviewed by the county engineer.

During appointments, Reverend Paul Stark, from Heidelberg University asked the commissioners for an update on the proposed Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.

In October, Stark was joined by members of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Committee to request that a statue honoring King be placed on the property at the Seneca County Justice Center.

Stark said the MLK Jr. Day Committee has celebrated the work of King in Seneca County for more than 30 years. He said Thursday that the memorial could be a place to celebrate the legacy of King and the pursuit of justice for all people.

Kerschner said a committee has been formed to create an application process for any proposed permanent structure to be placed on county-owned land. That committee is scheduled to meet again on April 21.

During new business, the board approved:

  • A $3,395 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for software licenses/services.
  • A $13,983.96 supplemental appropriation to the County Coronavirus Relief Distribution Fund for salaries.
  • A $375,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund transfers out line, with a subsequent fund transfer in the same amount to the Budget Stabilization Fund.
  • An $85,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for equipment-auto.
  • A $50,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for equipment.
  • Entering into an administration agreement for the Seneca County Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund, valid through Dec. 31, 2023.
  • An agreement with the Village of Attica on behalf of the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office, for a vehicle the village no longer needs in return for law enforcement services.
  • A $1,500, $21.75 and $210 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for Salaries, Medicare and PERS.

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