City of Tiffin launches housing survey

Study enters next phase as city faces housing shortage

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 19, 2019 – The City of Tiffin and the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership announce today that they have officially opened an online housing survey to determine the market demand for housing. The survey is part of a City-funded study to determine what kind of housing is most needed and to attract developers to create that product. The survey can be found at tiffinsurvey.com and is expected to be open for until the end of April.

Understanding from local realtors and newcomers to the community that the housing supply has not been able to meet the current demand, the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership convened a committee of local realtors, builders, mortgage lenders, city council and administration members and plans were put together to interview multiple research firms. Dublin, Ohio-based DiSalvo Development Advisors was selected and hired at the end of last year.

The first phase of the study has unofficially revealed that there are about 60 homes for sale in the Tiffin market, and a recent apartment survey of 19 projects and more than 800 units showed there were just 3 vacancies. That is a 0.4 percent vacancy rate, compared to a healthy market which is considered 5 percent vacancy. The survey is the next step in the study process. It will be marketed to the general public, and TSEP will be working with local employers to distribute to their employees.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said he welcomes the findings that the survey may bring. “My office regularly gets requests about housing needs within the city. We hope that the information gathered from this study can be used to sell Tiffin to developers for commercial projects and new housing opportunities. It’s a key part of our overall community and economic development strategy.”

Questions in the survey range from the types of home people are interested, prices and locations within the Tiffin area they would be interested in relocating to. In addition, there are questions related to the types of businesses that people would like to see in Tiffin.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

Downtown Tiffin sponsoring Blooming Artist Stroll

Third Thursday Event in Downtown Tiffin

Downtown Tiffin is sponsoring the Blooming Artist Stroll 4-8 p.m. April 18, 2019. The stroll will feature musicians and local artists that will set up their creations inside of downtown Tiffin businesses.  Door prize entries will be available at each location.

Artists are needed to set up at this event for a small fee. To apply, download the application here.

For more information call Mary Lewis at (419) 448-0370 or email Jill Groves at manorridgecreations@gmail.com 

About Downtown Tiffin

The revitalization of downtown Tiffin began in 2011, when a group of community members came together to for “Tiffin Tomorrow”, with the goal of promoting and encouraging economic development in downtown Tiffin, and creating plans, programs and actions to ensure long-term vitality and prosperity. In 2014, the city of Tiffin contracted with SIEDC to act as the downtown organization and “Tiffin Tomorrow” came under the SIEDC umbrella as the “Downtown Development Committee,” which serves as the governing board of the downtown organization. For more information, click here.

Architectural Board of Review approves façade grant to replace roof

The Renaissance awarded $10,000 for project

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 19, 2019 – Today, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved a Façade Enhancement Grant to replace the roof of The Renaissance. The City of Tiffin has set aside $100,000 for projects this year.

Building owner ReinX3 LLC requested $10,000 for the project at 27 S. Washington St. to be used to replace the rubber roof, add insulation and repair chimneys and exposed brick walls on the roof. The project is estimated to cost about $34,419.

With this project, the total amount spent for 2019 is $23,160.53 of the available $100,000. In January, the ABR approved grants for an apartment complex at 269 S. Washington St. and updates to the law offices at 27 Court St.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented: “I’m glad to see more building owners take advantage of this program to beautify Downtown Tiffin,” he said.

To apply for a Façade Enhancement Grant, the building owner should meet with Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership Downtown Main Street Manager AmyReinhart to discuss how the program works and obtain an application. Once the application is submitted, reviewed and deemed complete and without issues, the Architectural Board of Review will consider it before approval. Since the program’s inception in 2014, 68 projects have been approved for a total downtown investment of nearly $2.2 million.

About the Façade Enhancement ProgramThis City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program was started in 2014 and provides a 50 percent match of funds for eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district, up to $10,000. Each building is eligible to receive up to $10,000 per calendar year. For more information, visit http://www.senecasuccess.com (search “Façade Enhancement”).

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.com.

Hopewell Township Community Reinvestment Area #3

Hopewell Township’s Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) #3, may have a misleading name, as there is only one CRA in Hopewell Township. This CRA was established prior to the 1994 change in state law; such a CRA is often referred to as a “pre-1994” CRA. Please refer to the
main article on CRAs for general information. This article provides information on the benefits and process for obtaining a CRA tax exemption in Hopewell Township’s CRA #3.

Benefits – Fixed

In a pre-1994 CRA, the benefit levels are fixed and not subject to negotiation or approval by any legislative body. They are as follows:

  • Renovation of residential property (two units or less) – 10 years, 100 percent
  • Renovation of residential (more than two units), commercial or industrial property – 12 years, 100 percent
  • New construction of residential, commercial, or industrial property – 15 years, 100 percent

Process

  • Step 1 – Contact Nick Dutro at TSEP, dutro@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.767.0328 Nick can verify the project is in the CRA and help determine if there are any other resources that can help the project.
  • Step 2 – Draft and send a quick “letter of intent.” Once Step 1 has been completed, an email and/or letter should be sent to Seneca County Auditor Julie Adkins at jadkins@seneca-county.com. It needs to identify the parcels involved, amount of investment, business doing the investment, and timing.
  • Step 3 – Complete the project.
  • Step 4 – Fill out and submit application to
    Seneca County Auditor Julie Adkins at jadkins@seneca-county.com. She will then review the application for eligibility and completeness, and then verify the project has been completed. If the project is eligible and the application is complete, she will issue a letter notifying the applicant that the project (property improvements) will be exempted.

Program Contact

For additional information or questions, please contact Nick Dutro, Downtown Main Street Manager at TSEP, dutro@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.767.0328

Tiffin Community Reinvestment Area #5

Diverse Development received a 50 percent, five-year CRA tax exemption.

Tiffin Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) #5 is located in the West Market Street area in Tiffin. It is a CRA established after the major overhaul of state law in 1994. Such a CRA is often referred to as a “post-1994” CRA. Please refer to the main article on CRAs for general information. This article provides information on the benefits and process for obtaining a CRA tax exemption in Tiffin CRA #5. You can find the legislation and map here – legislation, map.

Benefits are Negotiated

In a post-1994 CRA, the benefit levels are negotiated and subject to approval by the Tiffin City Council. The maximums allowable by the city statute are as follows:

  • Renovation of residential property (two units or less) – maximum of 10 years, 100 percent
  • Renovation of residential (more than two units), commercial or industrial property – maximum of 12 years, 100 percent
  • New construction of residential, commercial, or industrial property – maximum of 15 years, 100 percent

There are currently three Tiffin CRA #5 agreements and all three were for new construction (two commercial, one residential). They were 50 percent agreements for five years and each had compelling circumstances (e.g., an existing structure with asbestos had to be remediated, demolished, and removed prior to new construction.)

Process

  • Step 1 – Prior to starting the project, contact Nick Dutro at TSEP, dutro@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.767.0328 Nick will discuss and assess the overall project, gather information, and prepare a Project Summary for the company’s review.
  • Step 2 – Based on the approved Project Summary, he work to prepare an offer (of incentives and assistance) letter. If the project is eligible for CRA and deemed appropriate, Nick will then work with the local negotiation team to confidentially discuss the project and determine the percentage and term. He will also determine any needed additional steps before an offer (of incentives) letter can be prepared.
  • Step 3 – The offer letter is prepared and submitted to the company.
  • Step 4 – If the company accepts, an action plan is developed and submitted to the company to (1) obtain official approval for the exemption as well as (2) communicate publicly (official approval meetings are public meetings, and local media is always present).
  • Step 5 – Once the company approves, the action plan is set into motion. Once the prospective project is made public, the County Auditor and City Engineer will be notified.
  • Step 6 – Any additional paperwork needed to finalize the exemption will be completed (e.g., execution of legal agreement with the City of Tiffin).

Program Contact

For additional information or questions, please contact Nick Dutro, Downtown Main Street Manager at TSEP, dutro@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.767.0328

Tiffin Community Reinvestment Areas #2-4

The new (2018) spec building in the Eagle Rock Business Park is receiving a 15-year, 100-percent CRA tax exemption.

Tiffin Community Reinvestment Areas (CRAs) #2, #3, and #4 are generally located in industrial areas in Tiffin. They are CRAs established prior to the major 1994 change in state law; such CRAs is often referred to as a “pre-1994” CRAs. Please refer to the main article on CRAs for general information. This article provides information on the benefits and process for obtaining a CRA tax exemption in Tiffin CRAs #2, #3, and #4.

Locations

  • Tiffin CRA #2 is located at Eagle Rock Business Park (legislationmap)
  • Tiffin CRA #3 is located in northeast Tiffin (legislationmap)
  • Tiffin CRA #4 is located in the area of Northstar Industrial Park (legislationmap)

Benefits – Fixed

In a pre-1994 CRA, the benefit levels are fixed and not subject to negotiation or approval by any legislative body. They are as follows:

  • Renovation of residential property (two units or less) – 10 years, 100 percent
  • Renovation of residential (more than two units), commercial or industrial property – 12 years, 100 percent
  • New construction of residential, commercial, or industrial property – 15 years, 100 percent

Process

  • Step 1 – Contact Nick Dutro at TSEP, dutro@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.767.0328 Nick can verify the project is in the CRA and help determine if there are any other resources that can help the project.
  • Step 2 – Draft and send a quick “letter of intent.” Once Step 1 has been completed, an email and/or letter should be sent to Seneca County Auditor Julie Adkins at jadkins@seneca-county.com. It needs to identify the parcels involved, amount of investment, business doing the investment, and timing.
  • Step 3 – Complete the project.
  • Step 4 – Fill out and submit application to City Engineer (and Housing Officer) Matt Watson at mwatson@tiffinohio.gov. He will review the application and verify the project has been completed to the County Auditor.
  • Step 5 – County Auditor will review the application for eligibility and completeness, and if the project is eligible and the application is complete, she will issue a letter notifying the applicant that the project (property improvements) will be exempted.

Program Contact

For additional information or questions, please contact Nick Dutro, Downtown Main Street Manager at TSEP, dutro@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.767.0328

Tiffin Community Reinvestment Area #1

Tiffin Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) #1 is located in downtown Tiffin. It is a CRA established prior to the 1994 change in state law; such a CRA is often referred to as a “pre-1994” CRA. Please refer to the main article on CRAs for general information. This article provides information on the benefits and process for obtaining a CRA tax exemption in Tiffin CRA #1. You can find the most recent legislation and map here – legislationmap.

Benefits – Fixed

In a pre-1994 CRA, the benefit levels are fixed and not subject to negotiation or approval by any legislative body. They are as follows:

  • Renovation of residential property (two units or less) – 10 years, 100 percent
  • Renovation of residential (more than two units), commercial or industrial property – 12 years, 100 percent
  • New construction of residential, commercial, or industrial property – 15 years, 100 percent

Process

  • Step 1 – Contact Amy Reinhart at TSEP, reinhart@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.619.5517.
    • Amy can verify the project is in the CRA and help determine if there are any other resources that can help the project.
    • Amy can also determine if the project needs to go through the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approval process.
  • Step 2 – Draft and send a quick “letter of intent.” Once Step 1 has been completed, an email and/or letter should be sent to Seneca County Auditor Julie Adkins at jadkins@seneca-county.com. It needs to identify the parcels involved, amount of investment, business doing the investment, and timing.
  • Step 3 – Complete the project.
  • Step 4 – Fill out and submit application to City Engineer (and Housing Officer) Matt Watson at mwatson@tiffinohio.gov. He will review the application and verify the project has been completed to the County Auditor.
  • Step 5 – County Auditor will review the application for eligibility and completeness, and if the project is eligible and the application is complete, she will issue a letter notifying the applicant that the project (property improvements) will be exempted.

Program Contact

For additional information or questions, please contact Amy Reinhart, Downtown Main Street Manager at TSEP, reinhart@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.619.5517.

Community Reinvestment Areas (CRAs)

Tiffin Pointe received a 50 percent, ten-year Community Reinvestment Area tax exemption (Tiffin CRA #5)

Note – this article replaces and expands our earlier 2014 article.

What it is – A Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) is an area of land in which local government has the authority to grant tax exemption on real property improvements. Land or existing real property does not qualify for an exemption. That is to say that if someone is considering renovating an existing building or doing new construction, they could be eligible to receive a tax break on the increased taxes for the “real property improvement.” More detailed information can be found here:

How taxes on real property work – Real estate taxes in Ohio are local. In Tiffin, for example, the true (also known as “effective”) real property tax rates for commercial and industrial property are 66.143 mills (or 6.6% or $6.61 per $100.) Only 35% of the appraised value of the property is subject to the tax, which means effectively that there is a 2.32% tax on the value of any property (land, building.) This means that if the County Auditor (the entity who determines the value of property for purposes of taxation) were to assess the value of a new building at $1,000,000, the owner who had it built would have to pay $23,000 a year in new property taxes. Over ten years, that could cost upwards of $230,000 or almost a quarter of a million dollars. (See all Seneca County property tax rates.)

How does it work and what will my benefit be? – The amount of the benefit depends on the particular CRA. First, identify the zone you are considering and then go to that page for more information:

You can also refer to the Ohio Development Services Agency’s Seneca County CRA page on the areas and existing agreements for Seneca County.

For additional questions, contact:

  • Tiffin CRA #1 – Amy Reinhart, Downtown Main Street Manager at TSEP, reinhart@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.619.5517.
  • Tiffin CRAs #2-5, Hopewell Township #3 – Nick Dutro, Development Manager at TSEP, dutro@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.767.0328
  • Fostoria CRA #2 – Renee Smith, President at the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation (FEDC), at 419.435.7789.

Counseling center to locate in downtown Tiffin

Higher Ground Counseling Center sets April 1 opening date

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 13, 2019 – Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Lea Frank has announced that she is opening a new counseling center in downtown Tiffin April 1. Frank, owner/proprietor of Higher Ground Counseling Center, 205 S. Washington St., is to offer clinical counseling for mostly people ages 17 and older. She can diagnose and treat emotional and mental disorders, including depression and anxiety and offers marriage counseling, Christian counseling and other services. In August, Frank is to get intensive training in EMDR therapy, eye-movement-desensitization and reprocessing, to help those who have suffered from trauma.

“I just never really felt the push to do my own thing until it fell into place over the last 3 months,” Frank said. “I’m excited to start my own business and downtown Tiffin felt like the perfect location.”

Frank has been an independently licensed clinical counselor since 1995. She worked at Heidelberg University part time for 23 years, partnered that with working at private practice Corner Stone in Bellevue and then was with New Transitions in Tiffin for about 10 years. Most recently, she has been working at Tiffin University as a counselor since 2015.

Higher Ground Counseling Center was approved for the first Sign Enhancement Grant of 2019, receiving $1,000 toward a new sign for the business. It builds on the momentum of other businesses in the healthcare field coming into downtown Tiffin including MK Counseling and Consulting and Reser Chiropractic.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was pleased with the announcement. “It’s wonderful to have so many businesses making downtown Tiffin their home.”

Clients can schedule sessions by calling (567) 220-6055 or email lfrank@highergroundcc.com for more information. To learn more about available services, visit highergroundcc.com.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.com.