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Seneca County Commissioners to host hearing on potential prohibition of wind, solar projects

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

Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners is to meet at 10 a.m. Thursday at its office, 111 Madison St.

At about 10:15 a.m., Seneca County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Charlene Watkins is to discuss a Community Housing Improvement Program loan.

At about 11 a.m., a public hearing is scheduled concerning Ohio Senate Bill 52.

The new law, which went into effect Oct. 11, gives county commissioners increased siting authority on large wind and solar projects.

The approval of SB 52 allows county commissioners to adopt a resolution prohibiting the construction of an economically significant wind farm, large wind farm or large solar facility. This resolution can be for the entire county or for one or more restricted areas.

Proper notice and procedures must be followed, and the decision is subject to a referendum if a petition gets the necessary number of signatures in the 30 days following the passage of the resolution. The petition must have at least eight percent of the number of registered electors who voted in the county in the most recent gubernatorial election.

The hearing will including public comments and discussion related to the new law.

As a reminder, after Thursday’s meeting, the commissioners are scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, Nov. 23. There is no meeting scheduled for Thanksgiving, and the commissioners’ office is to be closed that day in observance of the holiday.

In old business, discussions are to continue on budgets for 2022. For the General Fund, departments requested more than $20 million in expenses, but the county’s Budget Commission only certified $19 million in revenue. To approve a balanced budget, the commissioners must cut expenses below that figure.

During new business, the board is to consider:

  • A $400,000 supplemental appropriation to the American Rescue Plan Fund of 2021 for salaries.
  • A $10,000 supplemental appropriation to the FY20 COSSAP Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program.
  • A $1,000 supplemental appropriation to the METRICH – Seneca County Law Enforcement Trust Fund for equipment.
  • A $2,500 supplemental appropriation to the Special Projects Fund for supplies.
  • Supplemental appropriation reductions of $25,000, $740,000 and $100,000 in the County Capital Projects Fund for the Commissioners’ Office, County Services Building and the Old Youth Center, respectively.

The session will be hosted in person, but there will still be an online viewing option available.

The meeting will be streamed on Zoom and on Facebook Live, but a different experience will be offered on each platform.

Those interested in participating in the session during the public comment portion must join via Zoom. Those who are not interested in participating will be able to view a higher-quality broadcast on Facebook Live. The Facebook feed will include graphics and multiple camera angles.

Here is how to join:

Participants may also join the Zoom meeting by dialing (312) 626-6799 and using the following information:

  • Meeting ID: 925 9523 0790
  • Passcode: 453802

Viewers may switch between the two platforms at any time, and the Facebook broadcast will include a link to the Zoom session during the public comment portion of the meeting.


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