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Seneca County Commissioners celebrate first graduate of START program




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Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners has approved a proclamation celebrating the first graduate of the START Program. The celebration was held in honor of the first graduate on Wednesday, while the proclamation was approved Thursday morning.

START, which stands for Sobriety, Treatment, and Reducing Trauma, is a voluntary program aimed at addressing substance use disorders with compassion, understanding, and hope for recovery. It is a collaboration between the Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services and the Seneca County Family and Children First Council, along with other community entities.

Seneca County START Coordinator Jill Gosche praised the program’s team for their hard work, calling them “rockstars.” She said the team will continue to support families and grow, with the hope of holding another graduation soon.

The proclamation recognizes the program as a shining example of collaboration and partnership between the Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services, the Seneca County Family and Children First Council, and community partners. It also highlights the program’s commitment to family-centered care.

In other business, County Fiscal Officer Barb Patterson gave the General Fund financial report for January. She said revenue was nearly $1.4 million, while expenses were about $1.9 million, with expenses slightly inflated due to leftover costs from 2022. She added that the revenue does not yet include property tax receipts, which would lead to a higher number.

Mike Dittoe of High Bridge Consulting updated the commissioners on efforts to classify third-service emergency medical services as an “essential service” in Ohio. Only 11 to 12 states in the country have classified third-service EMS as essential, and legislators are working on a way to achieve this goal and relieve some of the financial strain on EMS agencies in the state.

The guidance from the commissioners’ office staff and the Ohio EMS Chiefs Association focuses on three ways state legislators can positively impact third-service EMS agencies: classifying them as essential and making them eligible for state and federal funding, increasing the payout/reimbursement rate of Medicare and Medicaid for EMS transports, and clarifying that third-service EMS departments are not attached to or affiliated with fire departments.

The commissioners rescheduled their meeting for next week to Tuesday, February 14, at 10 a.m. due to a scheduling conflict.

In new business, the commissioners approved:

  • A $22,000 supplemental appropriation to the American Rescue Plan Act Fund of 2021 for equipment.
  • A $2,252.73 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for reclaimed estates and warrants.
  • Supplemental appropriations totaling $10,706.82 for Salary and Medicare in the Recorder’s Office Line.
  • The 2023 software support agreement with MacDonald Friedberg Carr and Dixon on behalf of the Seneca County Clerk of Courts.
  • The Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services 2023 Personnel Policy Manual.

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