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Commissioners deny request for street vacation in Hopewell Township

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

Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners on Thursday denied a request to vacate a portion of Continental Street (Township Road 198A), which is in section 24 of Hopewell Township.

The decision follows a public hearing last week and the recommendation of County Prosecutor Derek DeVine and County Engineer Mark Zimmerman.

A street vacation, also known as an alley vacation or vacation of public access, is a type of easement in which a government transfers the right-of-way of a public street, highway or alley to a private property owner.

Both DeVine and Zimmerman previously told the board that it is not legal to vacate this portion of the street because it would landlock a parcel owned by the city of Tiffin.

Tiffin officials visited the public hearing last week to urge the county to deny the vacation because there is a retention pond in the area that has been improved by the city, helping with a flooding issue.

The city mows and maintains the area and crews need to have legal access. This access would be denied if the pending vacation had been approved.

Hopewell Township officials asked the commissioners to vacate the portion of the street, and surrounding property owners offered mixed opinions on the matter.

The area is grassy and has trees and shrubs. Zimmerman said a vacation request for the same area was explored in 1996, but never moved forward due to the same obstacle: a parcel may not be landlocked as a result of a street vacation.

SEE ALSO: Seneca County seeks firm to develop Rural Broadband Strategic Plan

In other action, First Insurance Employee Benefits Consultant Kim Bond visited the meeting via Zoom to discuss the recommendations of the county’s health insurance advisory committee, of which she is a member.

Bond said the committee recommended renewing with the County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio for a three-year contract.

The renewal rate beginning in 2022 is to see no increase or decrease compared to last year’s rate.

The committee also recommended no change to current rates and keeping county and employee contributions the same. The committee also recommended a premium holiday for employees in November 2021, for two pay periods.

Bond also said the committee recommended renewing with Guardian for basic life/AD&D, voluntary life, dental and vision plans.

The commissioners approved all recommendations but abstained on the decision for the county to match HSA contributions ($750 for single and $1500 for family plans) until later this year when the budget picture becomes more clear.

During new business, the commissioners approved:

  • A $14,148 supplemental appropriation to the Juvenile Program and Services Fund for equipment.
  • A $48,000 supplemental appropriation to the Maintenance and Repair Fund for contracts/projects.
  • An $87,095 supplemental appropriation to the Ditch Maintenance Fund.
  • A $15,000 supplemental appropriation to the Victims of Crime Act Grant Fund.
  • A $97,000 supplemental appropriation to the Workforce Investment Act Fund for WIA shared costs.
  • A $2,143.33 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for wages and benefits.
  • The governance plan for operation of electrical power aggregation.
  • A memo of understanding for electric aggregation between the county and the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.
  • Accepting the CEBCO renewal plan design and establishing the county’s premium contributions  and health insurance rates for 2022.
  • The participation agreement with CEBCO of Ohio, pending prosecutor’s approval.

SEE ALSO: Seneca County seeks firm to develop Rural Broadband Strategic Plan


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