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Seneca County Commissioners recognize Columbian cheer squad for state championships




Photo Credit: Seneca County Board of Commissioners

Tiffin, Ohio — Tiffin Columbian High School’s cheer squad and Head Coach Jami Hepp were honored with a proclamation by the Seneca County Board of Commissioners on Thursday morning.

Accompanied by four senior team members, Hepp expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to give back to the community and provide dance and choreography expertise to numerous youths at no cost. With 28 years of coaching experience, Hepp, a Tiffin native, previously danced at The Ohio State University and coached alongside her mother, a middle school cheer coach for two decades.

The Tiffin Columbian High School Cheer Squad achieved remarkable success this year, winning two state championships in the OASSA Cheer State Championship. They emerged victorious in the Division 3 non-building (large) and Division 3 Game-day non-building categories. Hepp commended the team for their outstanding representation of Tiffin Columbian High School and their role as ambassadors and supporters of fellow athletes.

The Seneca County Board of Commissioners extended their appreciation to Hepp, the seniors, and the entire team, recognizing their exceptional achievements over the past few years. Hepp, in turn, acknowledged the athleticism of the students and emphasized their positive impact.

During the meeting, Charlene Watkins, Executive Director of the Seneca Regional Planning Commission, conducted the second public hearing for the Community Development Block Grant Program. This program allocates funds every two years for county projects. The proposed allocation of $158,000 for this year includes $102,700 for Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant improvements to Fostoria City Hall, $23,700 for homelessness prevention countywide (excluding Tiffin), and $31,600 for Fair Housing and administrative costs as mandated by program guidelines.

In addition, the commissioners approved the Community Development Implementation Strategy, which requires biennial approval and outlines prioritized community projects.

The commissioners also discussed the progress made on constructing the first of several full-time Seneca County EMS stations. Commissioner Anthony Paradiso announced that the bidding process for the initial station in Bloom Township’s east side would commence during the next commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday, May 23, at 10 a.m.

In March 2022, the commissioners agreed to purchase approximately 3 acres of land on US 224 in Bloom Township for the project. The acquisition process, completed last summer, incurred a cost of approximately $52,500. The board allocated up to $750,000 for the new EMS facility in February 2022. The station will accommodate both paid and volunteer Seneca County EMS staff, improving emergency medical service coverage for county residents and those within the SCEMS coverage area.

The joint ambulance district, which approved a 2.5-mill levy in November, collaborates closely with the county to provide emergency medical services to rural areas lacking coverage from other agencies. The levy’s passage enables the JAD and SCEMS to employ additional paid personnel alongside existing staff and volunteers.

County Treasurer Paul Harrison updated the board on the county’s investment income. While Meder Investment Management manages some investments, Harrison’s office oversees approximately $40 million of the county’s $93 million portfolio. Through consolidation and strategic planning, monthly revenue from non-Meder investments is expected to increase from around $886 to $20,469.

The commissioners expressed their gratitude to Harrison for the positive report and favorable news. Investment revenue, regulated by the state government, constitutes one of the six primary revenue sources for the county’s general fund. The other five sources include sales tax, real estate tax, jail housing fees, casino revenue from the state, and the state’s local government fund.

In new business, the commissioners approved:

  • A $76,589.97 supplemental appropriation to the Targeted Community Alternatives to Prison Grant Fund for contract services.
  • A $38,149.53 supplemental appropriation to the Probation Funding Grant Fund for contract services.
  • A $49,313.29 supplemental appropriation to the Justice Reinvestment and Incentive Grant Fund for contract services.
  • An agreement with the Supreme Court of Ohio for the 2023 Technology Grant for Seneca County Juvenile/Probate Court.
  • The lease agreement with United States Department of Agriculture Amendment 3, effective retroactively to April 1, 2023, and ending March 31, 2026.
  • Setting time, date and place for the viewing and public hearing for the vacation of a bridge located at the end of East Township Road 138 in Pleasant Township. The viewing is set for 9:15 a.m. on June 8, followed by the hearing at 10:30 a.m. at the commissioners’ office located at 111 Madison St.

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