Tiffin, Ohio — The Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership on Friday released the 2022 Dream Big Tiffin! Report officially capping off the six-month long community development process.
Overseen by the Tiffin Community Development Committee (TCDC), Dream Big Tiffin! is a community-sourced and driven process to help guide and support community development in Tiffin. The report can be read and downloaded at dreambigtiffin.com.
This report is the culmination of an in-depth process to solicit, review, and categorize project proposals and ideas from Tiffin residents and key stakeholders. The second Dream Big Tiffin! initiative opened for project submissions on September 3, and over the next six weeks, seven new project proposals and sixteen new ideas were submitted. Additionally, the projects and ideas from the 2021 cycle carried over resulting in fourteen total project proposals and 44 total ideas for review.
Following the end of the submission period, the public was asked to weigh in on how important they felt each project was for the upcoming year. Using this community feedback, the proposals themselves, and interviews with project sponsors, the TCDC assessed each project to determine its priority ranking for 2022: “Priority” for impactful projects that are ready to go and have significant support; “Recommended” for impactful projects that have outstanding questions, need more support, or aren’t immediately ready to go; and “Reviewed” for projects that qualify for the other two categories at this time.
It’s important to note that receiving a “Priority” ranking does not mean a project will happen or happen in the near term; they are dependent on funding, capacity, and a host of other factors. It does, though, provide additional support to those projects, increasing the likelihood of their realization.
This year, nine projects were ranked as a “Priority,” two as “Recommended,” and three as “Reviewed.” Below is a listing and short description of the “Priority” projects:
- Bunky Bike Tree: $5,000 sculpture of a tree made from recycled bicycle parts to honor the life and legacy of Mark “Bunky” Roehrig.
- Court Street Alley Improvement Project:a $407,000 project that seeks to transform Court Street into a destination space like Cherry Alley including lighting, seating, and other amenities.
- South River Road Trail Improvements:$200,000 for the development and beautification of a recently closed street area as a portion of trail along the Sandusky River, increasing safety.
- Holiday Lighting: $31,000 to produce and hang 61 branded snowflakes on the South Washington Street light poles to make downtown brighter, prevent vandalism, and increase visibility of community branding.
- Downtown Parking Lot Improvements Design: $101,342 to repave and restripe the eight downtown public-use parking lots and the installation of additional high-quality lighting, landscaping, signage, and other amenities.
- Community Gardens:$2,732.86 to build and support a model garden in the heart of Tiffin to serve community members who struggle financially to obtain a balanced, healthy diet, and who may lack the knowledge needed to grow their own food.
- Cycling Without Age:a $70,000 program to provide free bicycle rides for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
- Tiffin Community Kitchen:$2.7 million community kitchen space where people can connect around local food, service, cooking, eating, and growing.
- Transformational Life Center:$100,000 to develop a comprehensive center that will provide housing, clothing, food, and services for those in need.
Jodie Reinbolt, Executive Director of the Tiffin Community Foundation, was pleased with the announcement. “This report is further evidence that the community is working together and thinking strategically about how to improve and accelerate projects that improve the quality of life for our community. Two projects were completed last year, and we are excited to support more projects moving forward.”
Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented, “The Dream Big Tiffin! process is unique in Northwest Ohio. It is a long-term strategy designed to help create a culture of community development and fuel more projects getting the funding they need and moving forward. Although it’s not a silver bullet, it is one more tool we’re using to move our community forward.”