Tiffin makes list of best commuter cities

Last week, Tiffin was recognized for another aspect of its great quality of life. The Utah-based insurance company Obrella just published their list of the best commuter cities in Ohio, and Tiffin was in the top 15%, ranking 25th out of 173 communities evaluated.

In its research, Obrella looked at the traffic data from the most recent census survey in cities with a population of more than 10,000 to compile a list of the 40 best and worst commuter cities. There are 173 such cities in Ohio. The results? While the average American travels 25 miles to work each way, the average Tiffin commuter travels less than 20 miles (about a 20% time savings), and the majority of residents travel 15 minutes or less (a 40% time savings).

Add to this the fact that Tiffin also has the third highest percentage of public transit users among the cities listed. For a small community, Tiffin continues to work on its public transit to improve quality of life. SCAT, for instance, provides great, inexpensive transportation throughout Tiffin, Fostoria, and all of Seneca County.

It’s just another reason why it’s great to live, find workers, and grow a business here.

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SIEDC honors local businesses, announces new projects

Awards presented and $350,000 in projects announced at Annual Meeting

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 28, 2015 – The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) held its 2015 Annual Meeting Tuesday night at Camden Falls. The event was attended by more than 275 people and included a review of 2014, project announcements, a keynote speaker and award presentations.

SIEDC President and CEO David Zak presented a review of 2014. “You could and can positively feel the excitement and momentum in Tiffin continuing to build. More than $75 million invested in new and expanding businesses, and 2600 jobs created and retained, absolutely amazing statistics,” Zak said.

In 2014, investment in manufacturing exceeded $40 million and created or retained more than 1,000 jobs, health projects accounted for $16 million in investment and 650 jobs, and education saw $10 million in investment on top of the $50 million invested in the last decade. Retail had the highest number of projects in 2014 with more than 20 new projects, not including down Tiffin. The Façade Enhancement Grant program accounted for $200,000 of investment in 15 downtown projects.

Zak announced two new projects representing $350,000 in investment. The Laird Arcade will move forward with a $300,000 improvement project, half of which will come from the Community Development Block Grant. The project will repair and upgrade the roof, electrical and HVAC systems. Additionally, SIEDC will select and pursue a state-funded $50,000 beautification project in the industrial corridor on Wall Street.

Also announced were the speakers for the Downtown Summit on May 6, and a new email newsletter. Speakers for the summit will be downtown transportation experts Tedd Hardesty and Brad Strader, national downtown authority and author of Tiffin’s strategic plan Craig Gossman, town-gown guru Terry Foegler, and community development expert Lisa Patt-McDaniel. Additionally, the first issue of Incentive INSIGHT, a monthly newsletter updating businesses on government programs, sharing success stories, and profiling local resource contacts, will go out on May 1.

Keynote speaker Glenn Richardson, Managing Director for Advanced Manufacturing and Aerospace for JobsOhio, provided insight into JobsOhio and manufacturing in Ohio and, specifically, northwest Ohio.

The following SIEDC Awards were presented:

  • Partnership in Development Award – Fostoria Economic Development Corporation, accepted by Renee Smith, president, and Chris Iannatuono, board of trustees chair
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit Award – Beehive Café, accepted by Ashlee Decker, owner
  • Outstanding Business Award – Steyer Seeds, accepted by Tony and Bernie Steyer
  • Economic Development Award – Webster Industries, accepted by Andy Felter, president and CEO
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Chuck Cooper, accepted by Ty Cooper
  • President’s Award – Paul Marion

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, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

Downtown Summit speakers, additional topic announced

With the Downtown Summit  a little over a week away, we’d like to give an update on what to expect and some background on our expert speakers.

Lisa Patt-McDanielWe are excited to announce that a fourth topic, housing, has been added to the agenda. Lisa Patt-McDaniel will apply her experience in housing and development to downtown Tiffin. Lisa joined Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) in 2011 as Director of Community Development. She is responsible for developing relationships and services related to community development, including working with cities and in rural areas around housing issues such as vacant housing, leveraging local community development resources, and convening community development officials around common issues.

Terry FoeglerThe town and gown presenter will be Terry Foegler, President of Terry Foegler & Associates LLC. Terry is a public and private sector planning and development professional experienced in strategic planning, university and municipal planning and real estate, development policy formulation, public administration, complex mixed-use project implementation, public-private development partnerships, economic development, innovative development financing and neighborhood/urban revitalization. His former positions include Director of Strategic Initiatives/Special Projects for the City of Dublin, Associate Vice President, Physical Planning and Real Estate at the Ohio State University, City Manager of Dublin, Ohio, and President of Campus Partners for Community Urban Redevelopment at OSU.

Tedd HardestyTedd Hardesty, ASLA, will be speaking about placemaking strategies. Tedd is a Founding Partner of EDGE and brings over 24 years of experience as an urban designer and landscape architect to his project work. He specializes in the visioning and planning of a wide-range of environments including neighborhoods, campuses, open space systems, and downtowns.  He believes that the physical environment is the foundation for healthy living and that all places should be economically, socially, and environmentally successful.  His recent work includes planning and design projects for Downtown Columbus, Downtown Davenport (Iowa), and the Cleveland Metropark System.

Craig GossmanCraig Gossman, AIA, NCARB, will also weigh in on placemaking. Craig is the owner and principal of Gossman Group Planning & Design and a partner with Source3 Development. Craig has over 35 years of experience in urban design, planning, historic preservation and architecture. He has worked with a variety of clients nationally including city and county municipalities, retail and commercial center developers, and historic property owners. Craig employs a holistic approach to strategic planning by considering the balance between social and economic goals and their impact on physical design for long-term sustainability and timeless placemaking. He has developed strategic vision plans, urban revitalization plans and master plans for numerous communities and mixed-use projects.

Brad StraderTransportation will be covered by Brad Strader, PTP, AICP. Brad is an Institute of Transportation Engineers certified transportation planner.  He has over 25 years of experience in comprehensive planning, downtowns, parking, corridor planning, redevelopment projects, campus planning, and linking land use with transportation.   He has been project manager on over 50 projects in ten states, and the transportation advisor on a number of downtown circulations studies and 1-way v 2-way street evaluations.

The Downtown Summit will be held April 6, 2015 from 4:30-8:15 p.m. at Heidelberg University’s Great Hall. This event is free and open to the public. If you would like to attend, please click here to register, or contact Bryce Riggs at 419.889.3932 or riggs@senecacounty.org.

You can also give your opinion on downtown Tiffin and future development by clicking here to take the SIEDC Downtown Survey.

Tiffin Elks building to receive façade enhancement

Elks LodgeElks Lodge is the fifth Façade Enhancement project of 2015

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 21, 2015 – During a meeting this afternoon, the Architectural Board of Review approved the Tiffin Elks Lodge #94 at 106 East Perry Street for a Façade Enhancement Grant. This will be the fifth façade enhancement project of 2015.

Updates to the building’s exterior will include the installation of windows on the Jefferson Street side of the building, where the original windows have been boarded up, and the painting of the balcony and front façade. The cost of the upgrades is estimated at $6,300, with half of that reimbursed by a Façade Enhancement Grant.

Joe Steinmetz, Exalted Ruler of the Tiffin Elks, is excited about the project. “The lodge is important to our organization, and this grant is going to help us restore the structure and keep the building looking great.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is happy to see another positive change downtown due to the Façade Enhancement Program. “The Elks Lodge is a historic part of Tiffin and I am glad that they are able to use the grant program to revitalize the building’s look.”

According to local historian John Huss, the contract for the Elks Lodge construction was given to Emil Converse of Massillon for $30,000 in June 1914. The building was designed by local architect George Netcher, who also designed the Tiffin Knights of Columbus building, and was described by a local newspaper as the “acme of architectural perfection.” Several thousand people toured the facility at an open house held after construction was completed in June 1915.

 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, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

SIEDC to host Downtown Summit

2014_04_15-town-center-signEvent features updates on downtown development and a panel discussion

The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) will hold its Downtown Summit on Wednesday, May 6, from 4:30-8:15 p.m. at Heidelberg University’s Great Hall. The event will begin with a meet and greet, followed by a project review and updates by SIEDC and the Planning Team. Distinguished speakers will also present on topics relevant to downtown Tiffin, followed by a panel discussion.

The topics covered will include town and gown, placemaking and transportation.

Tiffin’s downtown is anchored by two universities that play a dynamic role in the local economy. Town and Gown describes economic strategies for partnerships that foster local development as well as community relationships through college and city collaboration. Examples of how educational institutions have boosted downtown development will provide inspiration for Tiffin, The Education Community.

Placemaking is the driving concept behind current best practices in downtown planning. It is an approach based on connecting people to place by creating inviting, dynamic spaces. Great placemaking is the result of coordinated planning, urban design, visioning, implementation and management efforts that capitalize on a community’s assets, inspiration, and potential and market opportunities. Simply put, placemaking is creating environments that promote peoples’ health, happiness and well-being.

Complete transportation systems integrate parking, bike lanes, sidewalks, and traffic calming concept elements into roadways to create safe, vibrant corridors. Converting one-way streets into two-ways may also enhance pedestrian safety and revitalize downtown economic vitality by reducing traffic speeds and providing more direct access to destinations. Methods to enhance transportation systems will be discussed in the context of downtown Tiffin.

Light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. To RSVP for the event click here, or contact Bryce Riggs at 419.889.3932 or riggs@senecacounty.org no later than April 29, 2015.

 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, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

21 manufacturers hiring at job fair

Last Friday, the Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services (JFS) and Ohio Means Jobs – Seneca  hosted a Manufacturing Job Event on Friday at their offices. Resumes were collected for 50+ types of open positions, ranging from ranged from physical labor and press or machine operation to office management. Mike McLane, JFS Workforce Development Administrator, and Carol Owen-Kern, JFS Business Services Consultant, were pleased with the event and will start delivering those sorted resumes to the various companies today. The economy is booming here, and we are putting in place resources to help companies continue their growth. Area manufacturers who are growing and looking to hire include:

  1. Alpha Coatings (Fostoria)
  2. American Fine Sinter (Tiffin)
  3. Ameriwood (Tiffin)
  4. Arnold Vending (Tiffin)
  5. Ballreich Bros. (Tiffin)
  6. Callie’s Performance (Fostoria)
  7. Church & Dwight (Old Fort, Fostoria)
  8. Green Bay Packaging (Fremont)
  9. Laminate Technologies (Tiffin)
  10. Machine Tool and Fab (Fostoria)
  11. Mennel Milling (Fostoria)
  12. Morgan AM & T (Fostoria)
  13. National Machinery (Tiffin)
  14. NSI Crankshaft (Fostoria)
  15. Owens Corning (Tiffin)
  16. Roppe Corporation (Fostoria)
  17. Sonoco Products (Tiffin)
  18. Taiho Corporation of America (Tiffin)
  19. Tiffin Metal Products (Tiffin)
  20. Toledo Molding & Die (Tiffin)
  21. Webster Industries (Tiffin)

For additional information about the open positions, please contact the Ohio Means Jobs – Seneca office. For information about the companies or resources for companies to assist with recruiting, please contact Carol Owen-Kern, Business Services Consultant, at 419.447.5011 x322 or by email at Carol.Owen@jfs.ohio.gov.

 

 

Oriana House is the newest healthcare expansion

Company expands to 12 jobs, will occupy vacant facilityBetty Jane 2 (3)

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 8, 2015 – Tiffin-based 3EC Development and Oriana House, Inc., are pleased to announce a new partnership which would allow Oriana House to relocate and establish a new expanded, multi-service treatment facility in Tiffin at the currently vacant Betty Jane Memorial Center, located at 65 Saint Francis Avenue. A five-year lease has been signed, and the new facility will employ 12, representing a 20 percent increase in employment. The total investment by 3EC to prepare it for development will be near or exceed $700,000.

This latest project extends the trend in Tiffin and Seneca County for positive growth and development across all sectors including healthcare, which now employs more than 2,200 workers in Seneca County and is a $200+ million business. This small project follows the $9M Sojourn at Seneca facility being constructed on the Mercy Tiffin Hospital campus and the $1M ProMedica dialysis center expansion in Fostoria.

3EC Development co-founder Chris Huffman welcomed the deal. “This is the kind of project we envisioned when we purchased the facility, and we are glad to see more jobs coming as a result.” Oriana House Vice President Jason Varney was also pleased with the arrangement. “We appreciate 3EC, the city of Tiffin, and the positive reception we have received. We are committed to making the communities we operate in stronger and healthier, and we have done that successfully for 35 years. Oriana House has been a part of Tiffin and the greater Seneca County region for many years now and this partnership allows for an expansion of much needed services.”

Oriana House is a nationally renowned private, nonprofit healthcare and social service provider with 800 employees and 28 facilities in Summit, Cuyahoga, Seneca, Sandusky and Erie counties focusing on addiction treatment. 3EC Development is a local investor and developer group which purchased the Betty Jane Center in 2006, a year after it closed. It has been vacant since 2012, when the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center relocated to their current West Market St. location.

Built in 1962 and named after Betty Jane Friedman, the Betty Jane Center sought to become a Mayo Clinic of sorts for northwest Ohio and sought to help people attain their fullest physical, mental, social and vocational independence. In 1968, the vocational/industrial division was developed to help individuals 14 years of age and older develop the skills required for employment. The Center was closed in 2005.

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, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

Fourth downtown business awarded façade grant

Reino’s Pizza and Pasta to update exteriorReino's Exterior

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 7, 2015 – Today, the Architectural Board of Review approved the fourth Façade Enhancement Grant of 2015 for Reino’s Pizza and Pasta. With an investment of nearly $6,000, the planned improvements for the building at 73 East Market Street include tuckpointing brick, replacing third floor windows, painting trim and repairing the roof.

Owner John Reino appreciated the 50 percent match to his investment. “Maintaining a nearly 150 year old building can be expensive; the Façade Enhancement Grant really helps alleviate repair costs and keep businesses in downtown Tiffin looking good.”

According to John Huss, local historian and Architectural Board of Review Chair, ground was broken on the 73 East Market Street building in May of 1867. The first restaurant to occupy the space was Frederick’s Saloon in the 1880’s and many businesses have occupied the space since, most notably, the Royal Theater from 1909 to 1915. The building was also home to Brazley Meat Market in the 1930’s and the Tiffin Jewelry Store in the 1950’s.

Reino’s was founded in 1950 by Frank Reino and was the first pizza establishment in Tiffin. Purchased by his son, John Reino, in 1983 and relocated to the 73 East Market Street building in May of 1990, Reino’s continues today as a cornerstone of the community, serving fine Italian cuisine.

This is the fourth Façade Enhancement Grant approved in 2015, bringing the total investment by downtown businesses to nearly $60,000 and the amount of grant money spent to about $20,000. Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is thrilled by the success of the program. “It’s great to see downtown business owners so enthusiastic about revitalizing the community and making Tiffin a beautiful place to live and work.”

About the Façade Enhancement Program

This City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program was started in 2014 and covers 50 percent of eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district. Each building is eligible up to $10,000 per calendar year. Last year, $50,000 in available funds supported 11 projects, resulting in a total investment of more than $150,000. Learn more at senecasuccess.com (search Façade Enhancement.)

 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, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

THIRD FAÇADE ENHANCEMENT GRANT APPROVED

Graphics company contributing to downtown revitalization

rushn graphix
TIFFIN, OHIO – March 31, 2015 – This week, Tiffin’s Architectural Board of Review approved a Façade Enhancement Grant for Rush Graphix. The company’s proposed renovation and contribution to downtown revitalization involves the replacement of siding fasteners, exterior painting and the addition of a new corner-wrap awning.

Bill Franklin, owner of Rush Graphix, appreciates the grant program and announced they will proceed with the investment.  “The cost of improving a downtown building is significant, a 50 percent reimbursement is a welcome incentive.”

Rush Graphix, located at 30 Riverside Drive, has been in Tiffin for nearly nine years.  Prior to 2006, there were multiple businesses at this location.  In 1931, the Riverside Drive portion of the building, was part of the Frank Shire Filling Station.  It was subsequently owned by several automotive businesses, including Rose Motor Sales, Oldsmobile and Cadillac from 1955 to 1964.  Later, the property was purchased by Riverside Engines (JL Riedle Enterprises) who remained the owner until November of 2005 when the building was purchased by Bill Franklin.  (Source – John Huss, Architectural Board of Review Chair)

This is the third Façade Enhancement Grant for 2015. The previous 2015 approvals were awarded to the Knights of Columbus located at 49 E. Perry St. and Lange, DeVine & Claus located at 27 Court St.  Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz continues to be encouraged by the revitalization taking place downtown.  “Every building owner is an asset to the downtown and each project affirms their commitment to our great City.”

About the Façade Enhancement Program

This City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program was started in 2014 and covers 50 percent of eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district. Each building is eligible up to $10,000 per calendar year.  Last year, $50,000 in available funds supported 11 projects, resulting in a total investment of more than $150,000. Learn more at www.senecasuccess.com (search Façade Enhancement.)

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 almost 600 micropolitans in the US. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

TIFFIN METAL PRODUCTS TO EXPAND LOCALLY

Expansion project approved today for Ohio Tax Credit AuthorityTMP-Exterior-e1415287680364

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 30, 2015 – Tiffin Metal Products announces today its intention to select Tiffin as its location for its next three-year expansion, including an investment of $750,000 in machinery and equipment. It will retain its current 91 existing employees and add 18 new jobs. The company was considering multiple location options, and the decision is contingent upon the finalization of state and local incentives.

Assisted by JobsOhio, Tiffin Metal Products received approval today for a 35 percent, five year Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit in Columbus and intends to apply for a local municipal income tax credit as well. The current project is motivated primarily by the demand for the SST Gravity Chute, a revolutionary solution for large logistics centers here and abroad.

Tiffin Metal Products owner Will Heddles attributes the decision to expand in Tiffin to the workforce and business climate: “Tiffin Metal Products is a strong company with an even brighter future. We truly do appreciate the talented team we have here and look forward to growing it even more, and we appreciate the support from local and state officials to make the decision an easy one.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz welcomed the news. “Tiffin Metal Products has been a great corporate citizen for more than one hundred years, and I could not be happier to see them continuing to grow and invest in Tiffin. It’s just one more sign of our continued momentum.” Dean Monske, President & CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership, “We are pleased to serve as the JobsOhio regional partner and work with Tiffin Metal Products to make this deal happen. Tiffin and Seneca County continue to be a northwest Ohio success story.”

About Tiffin Metal Products
Established in 1903, Tiffin Metal Products is a custom solutions provider serving the outdoor advertising, material handling and storage product industries. It operates out of a 110,000 square foot facility in the heart of Tiffin’s Wall Street industrial district, and is well-known for its Sentinel law enforcement wardrobe, weapons, and evidence lockers as well as its Tiffin Outdoor billboard frame systems, which are used in almost half of the billboards in the US. Learn more at .

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, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

About JobsOhio
JobsOhio is the private economic development marketing and sales arm of the State of Ohio, developing and implementing the state’s economic development strategy and crafting incentive and support packages to spur economic development in key targeted industries. In 2013 alone, JobsOhio reported projects involving 18,000 new jobs and $3.6 billion in capital investment. Learn more at www.jobsohio.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 a 17-county region. Learn more at www.rgp.org.