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Seneca County Commissioners support new 2-1-1 program




Seneca County Commissioner's Office

Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners showed their support on Thursday morning for a new program proposed by the Tiffin-Seneca United Way. The program, known as “2-1-1,” aims to provide a countywide information hotline to assist residents with various needs.

Chris Lewis, Executive Director of the United Way, presented the proposal to the commissioners, highlighting the benefits of the “2-1-1” system. Lewis described it as a free and confidential phone line that serves as a comprehensive resource for individuals seeking assistance. The program aims to offer a one-stop shop for people facing utility disconnections or eviction.

Once implemented, the “2-1-1” system will enable residents to dial the number at any time, connecting them to local resources tailored to their specific needs. Lewis emphasized that the service would provide assistance in areas such as housing, utilities, employment, finance, transportation, and education.

The program will be operated through Ohio AIRS, and United Way officials are currently in the process of securing the necessary designations. As part of the designation process, support letters are required. Seneca County EMA Administrator John Spahr had already submitted a support letter earlier this month, and the commissioners added their own letter of support during Thursday’s meeting.

Lewis mentioned that the United Way has been operating a similar service called First Call for Help since the 1970s. However, the existing service is not available 24/7. By collaborating with the United Way, the new call center will be better equipped to serve those in need.

According to Lewis, the program will cost the United Way approximately $20,000 to $30,000 annually, with initial grant funding of $50,000. The organization is actively seeking additional funding to sustain the program in the long term.

To learn more about the “2-1-1” program, visit the Ohio AIRS website.

In other news, Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Steve Shuff attended the session to discuss the allocation of over $1.6 million in grant funding over the next two years. The funding, provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, will support various probation-related services, including presentence and post-sentence investigation reports. The grants responsible for the funding include the Justice Reinvestment and Incentive Grant, the Probation Services Grant, and the Targeted Community Alternatives to Prison Grant.

The commissioners expressed their gratitude to the common pleas court team for their efforts in securing state funding, which will alleviate financial strain on the county’s General Fund.

During the meeting, the board also made adjustments to their July schedule, canceling sessions on July 6th and July 27th.

Additionally, the commissioners received three bids for the CR 23/46 project, with an engineer’s estimate of $1,922,096. The bids came from Gerken Paving of Napoleon, submitting a bid of $2,012,176.90, M&B Asphalt of Tiffin, offering $1,744,294.95, and Erie Blacktop of Sandusky, presenting a bid of $1,760,577.61.

The board will review the bids to determine the most suitable option for the project.

In new business, the commissioners approved:

  • A $10,081.27 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for employee salaries.
  • A $146.18 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for Medicare.
  • A $10,000 supplemental appropriation to the LGRAF.
  • A $15,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for Court Professionals/Experts.
  • A $373.53 supplemental appropriation to the Sheriff Commissary Fund for services.
  • An $11,370.13 supplemental appropriation to the JRIG Grant Fund for contract services.
  • A resolution to sign the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Community Corrections Grant Agreement for Targeted Community Alternatives to Prison.
  • Fund transfers for the Local Government Fund Alternate Formula to the Ambulance Services Fund and to the EMA Fund.
  • Approving the SFY 24 subgrant agreement between the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio Department of Medicaid and the Commissioners for the purpose of establishing terms, conditions and requirements governing the administration and use of the financial assistance received by or used by SCDJFS/CSEA/PCSA, effective July 1, 2023.

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