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Seneca County Commissioners move forward with capital projects

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Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners continued work on the county’s local capital project priority list and indicated various levels of support for several projects.

On March 10th, County Administrator Stacy Wilson provided a packet of information to the commissioners including capital project priority recommendations from the county administrative team. Wilson worked with county staff to rank and prioritize capital project requests. Over the last several weeks, the commissioners continued researching the lists.

The prioritization list ranks about 35 capital project requests. The list was created after Wilson and County Building & Grounds Maintenance Supervisor John Logsdon presented 114 project requests to the commissioners. Of the 114, 68 had price estimates of more than $15 million. On Thursday, the commissioners discussed plans for the top 10 projects on the county administration’s capital projects recommendations list.

The top priority on the list is a new Agriculture Services Building. The commissioners each indicated support for the project and agreed to move forward with a preliminary study, drawings and more detailed price estimates with RCM Architects.

The rough estimate for the project is about $2.5 million.

The board also showed unanimous support for projects #2 and 4 on the list, which were both requested by the County Engineer’s Office. The projects would see the county garage’s backup power supply replaced while an air ventilation system would be added. The power supply is a 1940s unit that has become inoperable. The ventilation system will provide a safer environment by filtering harmful toxins. The projected cost for the two projects is about $72,000. The commissioners also agreed to a small scanning project with an estimated cost of about $39,000 on behalf of the Juvenile and Probate Court. This project would help free up space in county buildings by digitizing records.

The board also indicated support for a duct cleaning project in the RTA, County Services Building, Justice Center Annex and the County Jail and Sheriff’s Office.

The duct cleaning would help to improve air quality in older county buildings, creating a safer environment for employees and county residents alike.

The commissioners also supported moving forward with projects 6-10, which include upgrading the locks at the Seneca County Youth Center (about $30,000), signs for the interior of the County Services Building (about $5,000) and three projects at the Seneca County Museum. The signage project would follow the ongoing work to replace the health department wall/entrance.

The proposed projects at the museum include re-wiring the building and improving lighting, adding an air conditioning and de-humidification system to better preserve historical artifacts and converting the Fort Ball Room HVAC unit to a gas system to increase efficiency. For work at the museum, the commissioners agreed to spend $7,600 for a preliminary study to get better cost estimates for the projects.

The commissioners agreed to continue working on the rest of the list. In the coming weeks, financial appropriations are expected to be considered to move forward with the 10 projects discussed on Thursday officially.

In other action, the former director of the Seneca Parks, Roland Zimmerman shared information with the commissioners about how a Seneca County resident helped to make flint the State Gemstone of Ohio.

Harry L. Sheely came to the County Park Board in 2002 to ask about the possibility of displaying his collection of more than 50 samples of geology formations found in the US. He late presented his collection of flint found in Ohio to Zimmerman. In 1965, Sheely was one of four gemologists who went to Governor Rhodes’ office to present a display, one that was chosen by state government officials. The display also includes a signed and dated copy of the bill that made flint the state’s official gemstone.

“I am asking you, as county commissioners, and the general public, to help me make this important decision about this Seneca County heirloom. Along with the display, I believe there should be a written presentation about the role a Seneca County citizen play in Ohio History,” he said, adding that he is open to suggestions on where the exhibit should be displayed. In other business, the commissioners signed a proclamation recognizing the Cycling Without Age Seneca County organization that is hosting a 5K event at Hedges-Boyer Park in Tiffin Saturday morning. The organization has worked to bring two “trishaws” to the county in order to allow nursing home and care center residents to experience the joy of being outdoors and feeling the “wind on their hair.”

The commissioners also received bids for two projects.

The 2022 Pavement Markings Project, with an engineer’s estimate of $112,641, received one bid from Griffin Pavement Striping, of Fremont, in the amount of $92,452.05.

The Airport Runway Lighting project, with an engineer’s estimate of $362,964, received the following bids:

  • Jess Howard Electric, of Blacklick, for $395,212.70.
  • J Ranck Electric, of Mt. Pleasant, MI, for $480.073.25.
  • Vaughn Industries, of Carey, for $364,115.22

In new business, the board approved:

  • A $117,779.71 supplemental appropriation to the Victims of Crime Act Expansion to the Transfers Out line.
  • Supplemental appropriations totaling $3,124.89 to the County Sewer District.
  • A $1,442.33 supplemental appropriation to the Revolving Loan Fund for contract Services.
  • A $1,326.89 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for PERS.
  • An $800,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund in the Transfers Out line.
  • An $18,939.81 supplemental appropriation to the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Planning Fund for other expenses.
  • A $25,000 supplemental appropriation to the County Capital Projects Fund for work at the courthouse annex.
  • A $5,000 supplemental appropriation to the FY22 Selective Traffic Enforcement Program.
  • Fund transfers to the Victims of Crime Act Grant Fund.
  • A fund advance repayment from the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program Fund to the General Fund.
  • A contract with Henry W. Bergman, Inc. for the 2022 Chip Seal Project. Last week, the company bid $687,694.60 for the project, which is to include upgrades on CR 8, 11, 18, 25, 28, 37, 44, 50, 56, 57, 60 and 90.
  • A contract with R&I Construction, Inc. for the superstructure replacement prestressed box beams project. Last week, the company bid $476,528.66 for the project, which is to include upgrades on TR 132, CR 49 and TR 8.
  • The 2023 Workers’ Compensation Group Retrospective Rating Plan Agreement between the county and the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.

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