New office building underway at Airport Industrial Park

Huston FinanceHuston Insurance & Financial Services investing $700,000

TIFFIN, OHIO – December 5, 2014 – Regional service company Huston Insurance & Financial Services announced today that construction is underway on their new office building at the Airport Industrial Park off of US 224 in Tiffin, Ohio. This is the second project announcement at the park this week. The company hopes to be in its new facility in early summer 2015.

Due to an average annual growth rate since 2006 of 12.5% per year, Huston Insurance & Financial Services is expanding both office space and staff.  The new office building will be 5,200 square feet and represent a tripling of their existing space at 99 Ashwood Dr. It will be located next to the Ohio Hearing Professionals building. Additionally, the company expects to add up to three additional staff members to their existing eight employees within the next two years.

Owners Brian Falter and Matt Hoover are excited about continuing to grow their Seneca County presence. “We appreciate our clients, our employees, and this great community – they are the reason for our continued growth. The local tax exemption program is also a big help in encouraging us to invest.”

Huston Insurance and Financial Services is planning to obtain a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) tax exemption upon completion of their project.  The tax incentive area was created in 1985 and provides a ten-year, year exemption on new taxes generated by commercial or industrial construction.

Seneca County Commissioner President Holly Stacy was pleased about the news.  “I’m excited to see continued growth throughout the county and want to congratulate Brian and Matt on this big accomplishment. This is a great project for Hopewell Township and the surrounding area.”

About Huston Insurance & Financial Services

Started in 1994, Huston Insurance & Financial Services began in Findlay and expanded to include a Tiffin location in 2006. The company provides multiple types of insurance, investments, and financial planning products in an independent agency environment. Learn more at www.hustoninsurance.com or contact Brian or Matt directly at 419-443-1304.

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio. In 2012, the community was ranked in the top 5 percent nationally for economic development, and last year, it was recognized as one of the top ten communities out of 600 micropolitans in the US. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

Irving Equipment announces $1.1M expansion

Irving Equipment - Tiffin LocationState approves six year tax credit for project today

TIFFIN, OHIO – December 3, 2014 – Following the approval of a state Job Creation Tax Credit by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority in Columbus this morning, Irving Equipment announced its decision to move forward with a major expansion at a vacant 40,000 square foot facility located at 1785 County Road 1, just down the road from its existing facility at the Airport Industrial Park. Tiffin won out over Texas, where customers were asking for the company to move, and Tennessee, where economic development officials were aggressively recruiting the company, for the project.

Growth and increased demand for products by the largest privately-owned manufacturer and dealer of concrete pumps is motivating the $1.1 million investment. Irving Equipment will be spending more than $800,000 on building improvements and at least another $300,000 on machinery and equipment. The company will almost double its workforce, adding another 15 to the existing 22 employees.

President & Owner Joe Irving was appreciative of the local and state support for the project, saying “We have strong growth due to great products, great service, and a great team. What helped seal the deal for Ohio was the assistance we are receiving from JobsOhio, AEP, the Ohio Statewide Development Corporation, and Ohio Means Jobs – Seneca County.”

Regional Growth Partnership President & CEO Dean Monske was pleased with the announcement. “Tiffin and Seneca County have been on a roll this year, proving to be a strong area of growth for northwest Ohio. I’m pleased we were able to help put together a state incentive to ensure this project moved forward in our region.”

In addition to the six-year, 35 percent Job Creation Tax Credit provided by the state through JobsOhio and the Regional Growth Partnership, Irving Equipment is receiving a $350,000 Regional 166 loan, a $16,000 American Electric Power grant, and workforce development assistance through Ohio Means Jobs – Seneca County.

About Irving Equipment

Irving Equipment is the largest privately-owned concrete pump assembler and dealer in the US, with sales in the neighborhood of $15 million annually and selling the largest concrete pump in North America last year. The company started in 2003 and invested $1 million in 2007 to upgrade their current facility to accommodate growth. They assemble, sell, and service CIFA and KCP concrete pumps as well as PM cranes and Loop Belt conveyors. Learn more at www.irvingequipment.net.

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio. In 2012, the community was ranked in the top 5 percent nationally for economic development, and last year, it was recognized as one of the top ten communities out of 600 micropolitans in the US. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

About Regional Growth Partnership

Based in Toledo, Ohio, the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP) is private, nonprofit corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in northwest Ohio through business attraction, retention and expansion efforts. The RGP also serves as the JobsOhio Northwest network partner, serving as the JobsOhio point of contact and customer service for state incentives for an 17-county region. Learn more at www.rgp.org.

 

Free wine, beer & food at Holiday Gathering

Ralph's WineOn December 4 from 5:00 to 7:30 pm, we at SIEDC are partnering with the Seneca Regional Chamber to invite members to our new annual holiday thank you event - the Holiday Gathering. The Chamber focuses on helping businesses market, increase sales, save money, and drive tourism. The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC), on the other hand, leads economic, community and downtown development, creating and retaining jobs, attracting new businesses, and improving quality of life.

So, come to the American Civil War Museum of Ohio in downtown Tiffin, kick off the holiday season, enjoy some drinks and yummy hors d’oeuvres, and visit with fellow businesses and family members. Here is what will be on the drinks menu:

Food samples and hors d’oeuvres will be donated (thank you!!!) by the following restaurants (also providing a general description of what they do…what they will offer at the event will be a surprise):

Shop local at 100+ great Tiffin businesses

Small Business SaturdayGiven that tomorrow is Small Business Saturday – a day and event which promotes small and local businesses, I wanted to put in a plug for all of the great locally owned businesses in and around Tiffin. Lots of great reasons why shopping locally is so important (and fun.) This list isn’t inclusive of all the great businesses we have in town – there are so many. Call ahead and/or look online to verify hours before you go. Good luck with your holiday shopping!

Big Ticket Items (15)

  • 2014_Ford_Focus_SEAce Hardware – Christmas trees to power tools…and some of the friendliest folks around
  • Baumann Auto Group – Chevy, Buick, GMC…wouldn’t it be great to put a bow on one of them!
  • Bunky’s Bikes – great selection of Sun bicycles…everything from recumbents to tandems
  • Burns Electric – appliances, light fixtures, cabinets, countertops, flooring – celebrating 50 years in business
  • Coppus Motors – oldest Mercedes Benz dealer in US…plus Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram
  • Crane’s Mattress Superstore – name says it all…Sealy, Simmons, Tempur-Pedic and more
  • Decker’s Home Furnishings & Flooring – 60+ years, 20+ brands…Amish furniture, La-Z-Boy, Butler, Durham and more
  • Ewald Furniture – since 1900…Lane, Vaughn-Bassett, Smith Brothers, Lancer and more
  • Mohawk Golf & Country Club – dining, swimming, Don Ross-designed golf course…a membership might be a great gift
  • Phillips Electric – lots of major appliances…Kitchen-Aid, Maytag, Whirlpool
  • Ralph’s Joy of Living – a regional destination shopping experience…only appliance store in US with wine & beer section…gadgets galore…mid- to very high end
  • Reineke Family of Dealerships – network of 8 locations, 1600 vehicles…Ford, Lincoln and much more
  • Seneca Hills Golf Club – 2015 might be the year to join a great club and amp up your game (and relaxation)
  • Tiffin Aire – have you or anyone you know wanted to learn to fly…here’s your chance
  • Tiffin Pool Center – would anything make the family happier than a pool or hottub? Check them out.

CrystalTraditionsRingsAntiques & Gift Shops (17)

PS4Other – Various Gift Ideas (17)

  • Ace Hardware – not only big ticket items but lots of holiday decor, tools, gift items
  • Bair Bros. Sporting Goods – huge range of sports apparel and equipment…from big leagues to playground
  • Beanstalk & Co – this parochial school uniform supplier has a variety of toys and other items for the holidays
  • Eclipse – window tinting, auto detailing…your vehicle or someone else’s could be the envy of the neighborhood
  • Forrest View Bed & Breakfast – located next to the Forrest Nature Preserve…provides great place to unwind and relax
  • Forte Music – all things music…instruments, gift items, T-Shirts, posters
  • Frameworks – get anything professionally framed…great custom gift ideas
  • Heritage Family Center – great bowling center on Tiffin’s west side…fun activity in the winter!
  • Level Up – retro and new video games, DVDs & VHS, music CDs, and skateboards
  • Line Drive Collectibles – sports cards, gaming cards (Magic, Pokemon, etc.) and other fun items
  • Mountain Man Trading Post – guns, hunting, archery, fishing supplies plus much more
  • Paper and Ink – 3,000 square feet of books, magazines, newspapers, and gifts for all tastes
  • Picture Perfect Photo & Frame – get a holiday family picture (or any other kind of picture) taken today!
  • Ritz Theatre – Tiffin’s beautiful restored theater…buy your favorite person tickets to great upcoming shows or gift cards
  • River’s Edge B&B – plan a getaway close to home but far enough away to enjoy…at the historic Beckley Grist Mill
  • Tiffin Art Guild – a lot of great paintings and other art for sale by local, regional, and national artists
  • Wagner Floral Company – variety of gift ideas…from windchimes and cement angels to throw blankets and plush animals

aveda facialHealth & Personal Care (17)

JeffreyEaringsClothing & Accessories (8)

  • Heidelberg University Bookstore – great place to get your ‘Berg gear and gifts.
  • Jeffrey Jewelry – family-owned, operating since 1946…fine/fashion jewelry, timepieces, giftware, eyeware
  • Kuebler Shoes – Ohio’s oldest retail store focuses on fit and high-quality footware for all occasions
  • Lace and Elegance – over 400 styles of not only wedding gowns but social occasion clothing as well
  • Tiffin University Bookstore – clothing for the TU Dragon in your life…plus glassware, gifts and more
  • Threads – women’s clothing and accessories store (Vera Bradley, Brighton, Pandora)
  • Tuxedo Junction – if you want to dress to impress, this is the place to go…plenty for rent or purchase
  • Who’s Nuts – the best place for Ohio State Buckeyes merchandise…totally devoted to the scarlet and gray

tiffin_university_wine_at_ralphs_joy_of_livingFood & Drink (12)

  • B and B Food Mart – more than 250 international and domestic beers…and they’ll order anything they don’t have
  • Bailiwicks Coffee Company - can get Red Rambler Coffee beans, locally made baked goods, and other things to consume :)
  • Ballreich’s – one of world’s best potato chips…factory store open Fridays…can order online
  • Best Break – fitness and Herbalife drink bar
  • Phoebe’s at 138 – this vegetarian restaurant features both locally made foods for sale and grocery items (including jeni’s ice cream)
  • Heritage IGA – fast and friendly local grocery that makes donuts fresh everyday
  • McCartan’s Grocery – great family owned shop known for fresh meats (incl. prime cuts), also carries variety of grocery items
  • Molyet’s Farm Market & Garden Center – locally grown produce, Amish meats & cheeses, Ohio gourmet foods, deli
  • Ralph’s Joy of Living – great wine selection, olive oil fantastic, craft beers & other goodies
  • Rock Run Bulk Foods – wide variety of bulk foods and nice selection of in-house made chocolate goodies and candy
  • Scrap Happy – scrapbook store and more…also carrying large selection of Neumeister’s candy (yum!)
  • Surf ‘n’ Turf Specialties & More – a “Mom and Pop” fresh meat and seafood market…custom cut steaks, fresh fish, and more

64331_769010069824994_6871484623981484253_nRestaurants & Taverns (31) – after you work up an appetite (or gift certificates)

  • AJ’s Heavenly Pizza – nothing fancy, just good eating…a few tables for dine-in
  • Asian Grill Buffet – daily lunch and dinner buffet with 200+ choices…sushi, hibachi
  • Bailiwicks Coffee Company – great place to have a latte and warm up after a hard day’s shopping!
  • Bear’s Den – historic building in historic downtown Tiffin…nice bar…billiards
  • The Beehive Cafe – farm to table restaurant sourcing local produce, cheese, and meats for the tasty dishes
  • Carmie’s Grill & Bar – great local hangout…large menu…soups from scratch…daily specials…kids eat free
  • Clover Club – great bar and white tablecloth restaurants…great food…100+ items…steaks, seafood, sandwiches, salads, 15 taps
  • Cold Water Tavern – under new management…great new items on menu…craft beers on tap…
  • Cool Creations – local restaurant well-liked by residents
  • Fort Ball Pizza Palace – biggest Italian buffet in Town, popular pizza
  • Golden Crown – an Asian restaurant that gets good reviews…fried rice, egg rolls, sweet & sour chicken
  • GW’s Fine Food & Spirits – restaurant with kitchen open from early (6 am) to late (2 pm+). Steaks, prime rib (weekends), specials.
  • Jac & Do’s Pizza – the dine-in restaurant may not be large, but the pizza is first class
  • Happy Garden – Chinese restaurant at Westgate Shopping Center…can order online…offers traditional dishes and sushi
  • Hunan King – very popular Chinese restaurant in downtown Tiffin…great food, onsite parking
  • Madison Street Tavern – subs, burgers, Philly cheese steak, homemade potato chips, Tuesday night pork, beef, chicken tacos ($1 each)
  • McGowan’s Tavern – local Irish pub with standard fare that goes great with the beer and spirits they serve up with a smile
  • Napoli Pizza – dine-in and carry-out…known as the home of the “foldover”
  • Paulette’s – good old fashioned diner-style restaurant…usually busy
  • Phat Cakes & Cafe – fantastic gourmet cupcake bakery (yum) turned trendy cafe and wine bar…occasional live entertainment
  • Phoebe’s at 138 – vegetarian restaurant owned by great cook…all food from scratch…delicious
  • Pioneer Mill – upscale restaurant in historic mill on the river…great wine cellar (100+ varieties)…talented chefs
  • Reino’s Pizza & Pasta – Tiffin’s first pizza “joint”…great atmosphere…great Italian food…popular lunch buffet
  • Rosie’s Soup & Such – family style breakfast & brunch restaurant…daily specials
  • Sabaidee Coffee House – great selection and some local favorites like Blood Orange Lemonade and White Peppermint Mocha
  • Stiney’s Three Oaks Tavern – chunks, wings, fries, taco Tuesday, Thursday ribs, Friday steak
  • Steamer’s Sports Bar – located in Heritage Family Center…pizza, subs, wings…NFL Sunday Ticket
  • T.J. Willie’s – a Tiffin institution for more than 30 years…ribs, steaks, seafood, pasta, sandwiches, salads, and more
  • The Viaduct Bar & Grill – good pub grub…burgers, apps, wraps, sandwiches, wings
  • Xcaret Mexican Restaurant – very good Mexican option…nice atmosphere…reasonable prices…great services

Donut and Sandwich Shop to open downtown Tiffin location

2014_11_27 - JT's Catawba Cafe - Photo

JT’s Catawba Café to open second location in December

TIFFIN, OHIO – November 27, 2014 – Port Clinton-based JT’s Catawba Café announced today that they would be moving forward with a new location at 14 Sycamore St. on the south side of Tiffin’s downtown. A lease agreement has been signed, and renovations are underway. The shop is expected to open in the second half of December.

Entrepreneurs and sisters Tonya Couture-Grubb & Tina Couture Schank opened their first location on North State Route 53 in Port Clinton in April of 2013. Their mix of breakfast, lunch and donuts has become a favorite with local residents and lake visitors. The new Tiffin store will feature their famous donuts, bagels and various bagel sandwiches for take-out.  JT’S Bagel Bar will be open from 10 am to 7 pm Sunday through Thursday, from “eight to late” on Friday and Saturday.

The newest downtown business owners are ready to serve local residents and visitors here. “The city has already made us feel really welcome, and we can’t wait to open our second location,” said Couture-Grubb. Her sister agrees: “People here are great, and we are excited to become part of this community. There’s a great energy here.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was excited about the newest addition to downtown Tiffin. “It’s great to again have baked goods sold in the heart of our city. More restaurants and food choices translate into a more vibrant downtown and a better quality of life for all residents.”

About JT’s Catawba Café

Located at 1871 NE Catawba Road in Port Clinton, JT’s Catawba Café is a full-service breakfast, lunch and bakery retail restaurant, which opened its doors on April 26, 2013. Founded by sisters Tonya Couture-Grubb and Tina Couture Schank, JT’s offers a wide selection of omelets, pancakes, waffles, soups, salads, and sandwiches and is famous for their offering first-time visitors a free, delicious donut. More information can be found on their Facebook page at facebook.com/1JTsCatawbaCafe.

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio. In 2012, the community was ranked in the top 5 percent nationally for economic development, and last year, it was recognized as one of the top ten communities out of 600 micropolitans in the US. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

AFS to invest $16 million in Tiffin

American Fine Sinter to invest $16 million in Tiffin

Automotive supplier to create 24 new jobs

TIFFIN, OHIO – November 19, 2014 – American Fine Sinter (AFS) announces today that it will be moving forward with a $16 million expansion project at its North American headquarters in Tiffin, Ohio. The project is expected to move forward the first quarter of 2015.

The expansion project involves the construction of 100,000 square feet of new manufacturing space, additional office and storage space, as well as an $8 million investment into new state-of-the-art automation and manufacturing equipment. The company was recently awarded new contracts for both transmission parts for Toyota and shock absorber parts from multiple auto makers, and the need for additional capacity is motivating the project. The company currently employs 140 and will need to add another 24 over the course of the next three years.

In making the announcement, AFS President Masayuki Yamamoto complimented the company’s customers, its employees, and the community: “We have grown by building our business base, nurturing a good corporate culture, and building a company people want to work for. Tiffin has been a great community, and we very much appreciate our associates and the support we receive locally.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was thrilled by the news: “Tiffin is in the midst of a tremendous resurgence. To have American Fine Sinter make this kind of commitment does nothing but continue the momentum. They are a tremendous corporate citizen.”

Local support for the project is being provided in the form of a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) tax incentive, which will provide a 100 percent tax exemption on taxes generated by the new construction over the course of fifteen years. The CRA was put in place at Eagle Rock Business Park in 1985 to attract businesses to the park and has been a significant factor in the location and expansion of Toledo Molding & Die, Tiffin Insulators, and American Fine Sinter at the industrial park.

About American Fine Sinter

American Fine Sinter (AFS) was established in 2001 in Tiffin, Ohio and started production in 2003. Today, Fine Sinter Co. a joint venture between Tokyo Sintered Metals (TSM) and Japan Powder Metallurgy (JPM), the parent company of AFS, is a $350 million company with more than 1,000 employees worldwide. The company manufactures parts for the automotive, railroad, industrial machinery, and hydraulics industries, and American Fine Sinter most recently has focused on valve seats and variable cam units for the automotive industry.

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio. In 2012, the community was ranked in the top 5 percent nationally for economic development, and last year, it was recognized as one of the top ten communities out of 600 micropolitans in the US. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

Historic Clover Club receives renovation grant

One of the oldest restaurants and bars in Tiffin is the historic downtown Clover Club Tavern & Eatery, a community asset and institution that has been running continuously in the historic Dehmer building for more than 78 years.

Current owner and preservationist Sharon Gosche acquired the property and business in 1997 and received the first approval for a Facade Enhancement Program grant from the City of Tiffin. The more than $10,000 investment will involve tuck pointing, balcony restoration, roof repair, new awnings and painting with historic colors.

The Clover Club's proposed exterior enhancement is the first one to receive a Facade Enhancement Program grant.

The Clover Club’s proposed exterior enhancement is the first one to receive a Facade Enhancement Program grant.

The building, constructed in 1893, was the original home of Dehmer & Sons cigars and then later became a soda shop. When the Clover Club was opened in 1936, it was “a place for entertainment and gathering musical scores and pictures of musicians showed that singing and laughing often were heard coming from the bar.” The establishment sold not only drinks but a variety of sandwiches, with prices ranging from 10 to 20 cents. (See 2011 article from the Advertiser-Tribune.)

The Wad Cheeseburger

The Wad! Cheeseburger

Today, the restaurant offers one of Tiffin’s largest menus, with more than 100 items, including steaks, seafood, hearty and delicious burgers, reubens, signature sandwiches, wraps, salads, sides and even breakfast (click menu on the website), all while continuing the tradition of a full-service tavern, with 12 taps and over 50 beers in stock.

2014_01_22 - Clover Club Billiards

Here you can see the white tablecloth dining area and the billiards on the tavern side.

Patrons can enjoy the food and drink from the antique art-deco bar, dining room or on the outdoor patio garden. It’s a very popular spot with the locals, families with kids, visitors, and college students from Heidelberg and Tiffin Universities. I especially love the $2 pint night on Tuesdays as well as the Veggie Basket, Quesadillas and Black Bean Burger. I also really like the atmosphere, like the hand-cut glass clover artwork in the window by Irish master craftsman Aidan Scully.

So, if you’re in the mood for great food, beer, or a combination thereof in a unique, historic downtown atmosphere with a lot of charm, the Clover Club Tavern & Eatery is a great option.

Mr. Hero to open new location in Tiffin

Mr. Hero Sign - 5 inches cropTIFFIN, OHIO – November 6, 2014 – Local entrepreneur Jay Bhavsar announced today that he just received approval to develop the next Mr. Hero franchise for the Cleveland-based submarine restaurant chain.  The shop will be located together with the B & B Food Mart at the 263 N. Washington St. location in the “Six’s Corners” commercial district. Renovations have just begun, and the store expects to open before the end of the year.

Bhavsar’s investment into the property, franchise and renovations are likely to surpass $200,000, and he is expecting to add three new employees to the five currently on staff.  He purchased the property in 2011, and sales have increased steadily as people have become aware of the selection of more than 250 import and export beers as well its humidor and specialty cigars. “We have one of the largest selections in northwest Ohio,” he said, “and willing to fulfill almost any customer’s request.”

Discussions with Mr. Hero began this summer, and the company is willing to allow the owner of Tiffin’s newest retail business to expand further. The company currently has more than 90 Ohio locations, and the closest to Tiffin currently are in Toledo and Sandusky. “Tiffin is my home, and my customers and employees are like family,” said Bhasvar, “but if things go well, we will explore other potential locations in the area.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was pleased with the news, “Jay is another one of our great local businesspeople, and I couldn’t be happier for him. It’s also great to see the retail momentum reach the city’s north side, and we’re happy to welcome a new brand to our community.” 

About Our Hero

Started in 1965 on Cleveland’s west side, the chain has grown to more than 90 locations throughout northeast, northwest and central Ohio. The chain uses proprietary recipes and prides itself on the freshness of its ingredients and cooking each order when placed and not using microwaves or warming trays. Its menu features its signature Romanburger and Hot Buttered Cheesesteak, along with other steak, burger, chicken, side, and deli items. More information can be found at www.mrhero.com.

About Jay Bhasvar

A 9/11 survivor, Bhasvar grew up is an entrepreneurial household. His father and grandfather run the largest producer of raw tobacco in India. He came to the United States to work in the finance and insurance industry, working for Blue Cross Blue Shield on the 38th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center the day of the tragedy. After surviving the attack, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and own his own business, eventually coming to Tiffin in 2011 to start B & B Food Mart. He currently resides in Tiffin with his wife, son and daughter. News about the latest happenings at B & B Foodmart can be found at facebook.com/tiffinbp.

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio. In 2012, the community was ranked in the top 5 percent nationally for economic development, and last year, it was recognized as one of the top ten communities out of 600 micropolitans in the US. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

Strategic Plans for Development

CEDS Cover 1 inchOne of the best things about Seneca County in my opinion is the fundamental belief here that you have to plan. People here agree with some of my favorite quotes: “Failing to plan is planning to fail” (Alan Lukein) and “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything ” (Eisenhower.)

Here is a quick summary of some of the types of plans currently in place.

  • Comprehensive Plan – a long-range (20 to 30 years) and comprehensive (looks at everything) general plan for a geographic area (city, county, state, etc.) that provides policy guidelines on transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, housing, and economic development, among other areas. It is a “community development” plan.
  • Strategic Plan – a short-term (1 to 5 years) general and specific plan for any kind of organization that envisions a future and translates the vision into broadly-defined goals and objectives and a sequence of steps (strategies) to achieve them.
  • Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) – a type of economic development strategic plan required by the federal government to qualify for certain assistance. Must contain (1) background info, (2) SWOT analysis, (3) goals and objectives, (4) public and private sector participation, (5) strategic projects, programs, and activities, (6) a plan of action, and (7) performance measures.

The Plans in Place

Latest Updates

  • Tiffin Comprehensive Plan (CP) – SIEDC, together with the City of Tiffin, are beginning to evaluate when the plan should be updated.
  • Fostoria CPRenee Smith, who just came on board as the new President of the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation (FEDC) in July, is reviewing the Framework (there are large binders for each of the topics in the Summary) and putting together her updates. One of her goals for the coming year will likely be to update and revitalize the plan and Vision 2020, the 501c3 that “owns” the plan.
  • Seneca County CP – The new Director of the Seneca Regional Planning Commission, Roxyanne Burrus, who begins December 1, 2014, will look at the County’s Comprehensive Plan and determine what next steps, if any, need to take place.
  • Tiffin Downtown – Currently, the Tiffin Downtown Strategic Plan is in the process of being updated. On October 6, Tiffin City Council approved $120,000 for a study to be led and managed by SIEDC to not only update the plan but dive deep into catalytic project implementation and design guidelines. The study will be conducted by the Craig Gossman and the Gossman Group.
  • Seneca County CEDS – The Board of the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) reviewed the County’s CEDS at their Strategic Board Retreat on October 29, 2014. Members voted on the top three goals, and the board reached consensus on the top objectives for 2015. A scope of work and budget for 2015 is being prepared based on this feedback. SIEDC indicates that the plan could be potentially updated as early as 2016 or 2017 (five years later.)

 

New Downtown page launched

Here at SIEDC, we’re continuing to move forward with leading Tiffin’s downtown revitalization efforts. One small step is a launch of a Downtown tab under the Seneca Success blog/website. We see a lot more further development as we seek to tell the great stories and make it easy to get the information you need about downtown Tiffin. Here is the current page content:

Beehive Cafe Owner Ashlee Decker signs ribbon at Chamber opening event.

Beehive Cafe Owner Ashlee Decker signs ribbon at Chamber opening event.

In 2014, Downtown Tiffin is bristling with business activity. The Beehive Café, a new local “farm-to-table” restaurant opened up at the Laird Arcade, and Phoebe’s at 138 was revamped as a new “from scratch” vegetarian dining option, with monthly cooking classes. Burrito Loko continues construction on their new Mexican restaurant, with plans to open yet this year. Ohio Hydroponics, Smith Systems, Fraser Clemens Martin & Miller, Gem Yoga & Life Enrichment, and Z Pulse fitness studio have also hung their shingles in the downtown, and the local design firm MLAD opened “The Paper Store,” a retail shop with specialty paper products.

The Residences at 145 in the Gold Bond Building renovated their downtown apartments, and Burns Electric celebrated their 50th anniversary. The new downtown Façade Enhancement Program launched and eight projects have been approved or will soon be underway, representing more than $100,000 in building exterior improvements in the town’s core. The City of Tiffin also approved $120,000 for a downtown strategic plan update and new master plan, and Tiffin Tomorrow, the downtown revitalization organization created in 2010, officially became part of SIEDC this year. In June, we hired a new Downtown Development Coordinator, Amy Reinhart, and we became a Main Street Affiliate with Heritage Ohio.

Key links:

  • Destination Seneca County – information about things to do; places to eat and stay; events; and visitor info (not just downtown information, but includes all of it.)
  • Tiffinohio.org – another great site for info about events, attractions, but includes photos and blogs.
  • Seneca Success – listing of downtown-tagged posts (including grants, projects, Architectural Board of Review process, etc.)
  • Tiffin Historic Trust – organization working for historic preservation in downtown Tiffin
  • Little Box Shops – great group of downtown businesses that promote together
  • Tiffin Art Guild – place downtown where local artists gather

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