Tiffin Historic Trust celebrates 40 years

historic-trust-invitationThe Tiffin Historic Trust is inviting the community to celebrate with them their 40th anniversary with an open house at the Grammes-Brown House Oct. 27, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

From the Tiffin Historic Trust:

A Brief History of the Tiffin Historic Trust in Celebration of its 40th Anniversary

In the fall of 1976, during the nation’s celebration of its Bicentennial, a group of citizens met at the Tiffin-Seneca County Public Library.  Harold Hossler presided at the meeting during which Kenneth E. Davison, chairperson of the local Bicentennial Commission, made the motion to create a new organization, the Tiffin Historic Trust.  In mid-October 1976, William D. Fletcher, Mary Lewis, and Barbara J. Howe signed the Articles of Incorporation.

The stated purpose of the organization was to “promote historic preservation in Tiffin by meetings, publications, tours or whatever other means may be chosen by the corporation.”  The articles stated it would be a non-profit organization, with the goal of raising funds through grants, donations, etc., in order to promote and develop a total plan for the preservation and restoration of Tiffin, and to work with all interested groups or individuals to put this plan into effect.

172-jefferson-st-grammes-brown-house-jpgSince its founding in 1976, the Trust has done the following:

  • Compiled an inventory of Tiffin’s public and private buildings; the entries were submitted to the State and National Register of Historic Places.
  • Funded and had the city install signs designating the Historic Districts within Tiffin.
  • Worked with college interns who prepared studies of Tiffin Architecture.
  • Influenced a streetscape project that led to the Court Street design with a booklet published with grant support.
  • The Court Street Extravaganza event led to the creation of a Tiffin Heritage Festival with architecture as the theme.
  • Submitted a bridge design to the Ohio Department of Transportation and convinced them to install historically compatible replacement bridges over the Sandusky River in Tiffin.
  • Sponsored architectural workshops, seminars and conferences, including two Building Doctor Clinics.
  • Prepared various publications, including a set of walking tour brochures focusing on Tiffin neighborhoods, sidewalks, streets and alleys.
  • Created a revolving fund to assist owners with their restoration needs.
  • Established the Annual Dinner Meeting in May, during National Preservation Week/Month.
  • Created the Annual Preservation Awards program.                                                   -cont-
  • Applied for Tiffin to be an early “Main Street” community and narrowly missed being selected, until it was achieved in 2016!
  • Wrote a design review program for downtown Tiffin; although not accepted, Tiffin did eventually implement similar legislation.
  • Accepted the bequest of the Grammes-Brown House from the late Rosina Brown, restored it to its Victorian grandeur, and now use it as its headquarters and for events.
  • Purchased a threatened downtown building and later found a retail business buyer for it, thus saving it from destruction.
  • Arranged for the cleaning of the William Harvey Gibson statue in front of the Courthouse.
  • Fought to preserve major architectural buildings within Tiffin, including the East Junior High School/Old Columbian building, and the 1887 Courthouse.
  • Assisted with the preservation of the Spiva-Manley House.
  • Hosted tours of historic homes and the annual Holiday House tour.
  • Created a series of wooden replicas of historic buildings made by the Trust volunteers. The replicas, along with note cards, were an important fundraising project for many years.
  • Held summer garden tours, and Victorian teas as fundraisers.

Tiffin to host Heritage Ohio Workshop Nov. 9

revit1As a newly minted Main Street Community, Tiffin will be hosting its first Heritage Ohio Workshop: The Economics of Aesthetics on Nov. 9. The workshop is part of the Heritage Ohio Revitalization Series and will feature speakers presenting on the importance of creating memorable, attractive and pedestrian friendly places and how to go about creating such places. Topics will include fostering high quality private investment, creating walkable places, and increasing community engagement. The workshop will conclude with an afternoon placemaking activity facilitated by DS Architects, in which attendees will walk the downtown and reconvene with placemaking ideas specific to the town.

The tentative agenda is as follows:

8:30      Registration

9:00      Welcome

9:15      Understanding Public Space – DS Architecture, Kristen Crocker and Doug Fuller

10:00    Community Engagement and Walkability – Placemakes, Stacy Buttari and Jessica Matthews

10:45    Planning for the Aesthetic- Small Changes BIG Ideas – OHM – Aaron Domini

11:15    Tiffin Downtown Revitalization Projects – Amy Reinhart (SIEDC’s Downtown Main Street Manager for Tiffin)

12:00    Lunch on your own

1:45      Place Game – Facilitated by DS Architecture Staff

4:00      Review Place Game Results

5:00      Workshop Concludes

The event will be held on the second floor of the Tiffin Knights of Columbus and is open to all Tiffin community members. Click here to register (select the Main Street Community option) or learn more.

About the Revitalization Series

The Heritage Ohio Revitalization Series is a quarterly workshop covering each of the Main Street Four Points during the course of a year. The series features expert presenters from Ohio and beyond discussing such topics as fundraising, volunteer management, bikeability, special events, marketing, real estate, business development and much more. Each workshop is held in a different Ohio Main Street Community and will benefit anyone working in community development or downtown revitalization.

Downtown Tiffin recognized at Heritage Ohio Conference

Last week, SIEDC staff attended the Heritage Ohio Annual Conference in downtown Cincinnati. Staff members attended educational sessions on redevelopment, state-wide and national incentive programs, historical preservation and more.

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We also took walking tours of retail shops, restaurants, business development locations, community developments (such as parks and other public spaces), all within once neglected historical neighborhoods of downtown Cincinnati.

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Not only did we gather a wealth of information to be used in our downtown revitalization efforts, on Tuesday night, we were joined by Tiffin community members and downtown advocates as we were recognized as an official Main Street Community.

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We are excited to apply what we’ve learned to our own downtown!

Tiffin Metal Products announces additional expansion

TMP-Exterior-e1415287680364Tiffin Metal Products recently announced a $100,000, 25,000 square foot storage expansion to their Tiffin facility. This expansion comes on the heels of their 2015 announcement of a $750,000 three-year expansion plan, following the success of their SST Gravity Shoot.

“The three-year expansion and this project are related, as the business we are chasing has led to larger products that require more space. It all goes hand in hand,” Tiffin Metal Products CFO Tim Demith said.

The 2015 expansion announcement followed the development of the SST Gravity Shoot, a TMP exclusive design used in package shipping, most notably Amazon distribution centers. TMP also produces half of the billboard frames in America as well as lockers and other custom fabricated products. The 25,000 square foot addition will be a storage area for these large projects.

TMP currently employs nearly 100 workers, 15-20 of which were added in the past several months as production has increased. The plant currently runs a complete first shift, with 10-12 workers on second shift. As production continues to increase, these numbers may change.

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 .

Seneca County Manufacturing Showcase success for students, local businesses

SCMS_logoThe first ever Seneca County Manufacturing Showcase was held at Heidelberg University today, giving 750 high-school students from 12 schools a chance to explore different skills valued in the workplace, specifically in manufacturing.

Fourteen local manufacturers led students through six different skill sets. The kids learned about team building, lean practices, employability, supply chain, machine trades and electrical trades/mechanical engineering/automation through interactive booths staffed by local companies.

Spearheading the coordination of the event was Carol Kern of the Seneca Department of Job and Family Services. Kern was pleased with the outcome of the event,”It’s exciting to see the students so engaged,” she said. “Hopefully they enjoyed the activities and learned a lot about career opportunities in Seneca County.”

Chase Eikenbary of Regional Growth Partnership/JobsOhio stressed the importance of introducing students to career skills early. “October is manufacturing month in Ohio, and it means great things for not only the manufacturing companies in the state but for the pipeline of our future workforce; our students,” she said. “Manufacturing careers are in high demand, provide excellent salaries, and allow employees to work in a high tech, growing industry. Students today were shown how they can become successful adults in their own communities with thriving career options.”

Fostoria Economic Development Corporation President Renee Smith agreed. “Manufacturing is a huge economic component of Seneca County, and it is the largest employer. It is essential that we continue to expose students to the career possibilities with our local companies,” she said.

Nearly 100 volunteers, including teachers from participating school districts, guided students through the planned activities. Tiffin City Schools Business Teacher Stacey Geiger said the event was rewarding as an educator. “It is exciting to see students engaged with Seneca County employers and using the knowledge that I incorporate in my classrooms,” she said.

Carl Pastorella, Human Resources Manager at Toledo Molding and Die, Inc. manning a booth centered around employability, was impressed with the students’ enthusiasm and knowledge. “The students we met got very involved in the activities we were presenting,” he said. “Our intent is to make sure they are prepared to get out and interview for jobs in future, and they already seem to be on the right track.”

Seneca County is also fortunate to have great relationships with state officials who are passionate about workforce development and how it pertains to our young people.

State Representative Bill Reineke, a Fostoria native and Tiffin resident, spoke to the students about the importance of manufacturing and their local community:

Ryan Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, also addressed the students, introducing them to Ohio Means Jobs and the tools the program provides for job seekers:

Check out some of the pictures from the event:

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Small Business Saturday Nov. 26

shop-small-logoAfter the large Black Friday sales, shop local and join the community in celebrating Small Business Saturday. This year’s event is set for Saturday, November 26.

Small Business Saturday was started in 2010 by American Express to encourage individuals nationwide to support small, local business, and it has been a great success. Last year, 95 million people went out to shop at their local small businesses on the appointed day.

From The Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services:

Small Business Saturday is most successful in helping local retail businesses grow their revenues over this key weekend, when public/private coalitions of small business leaders have come together to provide coordination and leadership.

The Chamber is celebrating another year as a member of the Small Business Saturday Coalition and a neighborhood champion. Join us in supporting local businesses by signing up. We encourage all small businesses to sign up for the Small Business marketing and promotional materials. Sign up on the event website.


Workforce Training Funds Available

OhioDevelopmentServicesAgencyPress release provided by Ohio Development Services Agency
Thousands of Ohio employees have received training to advance their career through the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program, and now that number will increase because round five is rapidly approaching.

“It’s important that Ohio’s workforce keeps current,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “This training ensures employees stay ahead of the game, keeping Ohio competitive.”

Training in the following high-demand fields is eligible: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Aviation, Automotive Manufacturing, Automotive Technicians, BioHealth, Corporate Headquarters, Energy, Financial Services, Food Processing, Information Technology and Services, Polymers and Chemicals, Logistics, or Research and Development. Training opportunities include, but are not limited to, operational skills training, certification processes and equipment training. Training can occur at the employer’s facility, the provider’s training facility or at a third-party site.

The Ohio Development Services Agency reimburses the employer for up to 50 percent of the eligible training costs, up to $4,000 per employee, after 1) the employer pays the full cost of the training, and 2) the employee successfully completes the training. The maximum amount an employer may qualify for in a Fiscal Year is $75,000. The company must be in operation for at least 12 months in Ohio to participate.

Eligible businesses can begin the online application process on September 26, 2016 and will have three weeks to gather the necessary information to complete their application. The online applications will be accepted on a first-come, first- served basis and can be submitted beginning at 10:00 a.m. on October 14, 2016.

For more information about the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program visit http://development.ohio.gov/bs/bs_wtvp.htm.

For complete guidelines for the 2017 program, click here.


Employment Law Seminar set for Oct. 7

october-7-seminar-editedThe Mercy Health Tiffin and Mercy Heath Willard Foundations are hosting a US Department of Labor live Continuing Legal Education seminar to answer employment law questions on Friday, Oct. 7 at the Mercy Health – Tiffin Hospital McMullen Conference Center.

The seminar will answer the following questions and more:

·         Can I fire an employee for that?

·         When does the Family & Medical Leave Act apply to my company?

·         What are my obligations as an employer for hiring a teenager for summer employment?

·         Do I have to give my employees a break in the morning and/or afternoon?

·         When do I have to pay overtime?

·         Can I make an employee work a double shift?

·         What happens when an employee is deployed by the military and then comes back and wants the job back after deployment?

The target audience of this seminar is attorneys, CEOs, CFOs, HR and payroll managers. Speakers include field agents from the US Department of Labor, EEOC, VA, etc., and are top notch.

The price of the seminar is only $40. Please pre-register by contacting Bernie Steinmetz at 419.455.7049 or Bernie_Steinmetz@mercy.com. There are only 90 spaces available and pre-registration ends Friday, Sept. 30.

New Housing Ohio moves into downtown office

nho-website2New Housing Ohio, an organization offering multi-family affordable housing, congregate living facilities and recovery residences, has located an office at 68 South Washington Street in downtown Tiffin.

Regional Director Ronele Myers says the new office will help support their efforts to assist underserved populations in Seneca County. “We are here to fill gaps in community services and provide general population housing for people who would otherwise be homeless.”

Tiffin falls within the NHO region operating housing facilities in Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties. They specialize in transitional housing, designed to provide a place to live while residents make a plan and gain skills for the future.

One of their most notable properties is the Morrison House in Tiffin. The Morrison House is a transitional housing development for singles and families, who may stay for up to six months. Since opening in December of 2012, close to 200 Seneca County residents have benefited from the facility, with a 62% success rate, meaning residents left with income and stable housing.

More information from their website:

New Housing Ohio is a developer, owner, and manager of specialized housing, primarily serving the mentally ill, developmentally disabled, substance use, and homeless populations.  We began in 1995, in Lebanon, Ohio, as New Housing Opportunities, Inc.  Starting in the mid-2000’s, we expanded into other communities throughout Ohio.  Eventually, we opened an office in Tiffin, Ohio, which now serves a large portion of Northwest Ohio.  Additionally, we acquired the assets of THR, Inc., an organization in Butler County, Ohio.  Today, New Housing Ohio consists of nine separate corporations and several quasi-independent programs.

Tim Hortons to open $1.4M Tiffin store

Developer receives city tax exemption to offset asbestos abatement

img_1415TIFFIN, OHIO – September 19, 2016 – Rensko Holdings, a company out of Westerville Ohio, has purchased 1630 West Market Street and is announcing today that they plan to build a Tim Hortons franchise on the property. The project will cost an estimated $1.44 million and create 35 new jobs.

Rensko owns nearly 30 Tim Hortons developments in Ohio. The company has been expanding and has identified additional growth markets for this and next year throughout the state. Tiffin is one they are targeting. Rensko is also planning to build a Tim Hortons store in Fostoria.

Jennifer Francis, Manager of New Development for Rensko Holdings, said market research and the community’s reputation has shown Tiffin to be an ideal market for a new Tim Hortons. “We are impressed with all the retail development going on in Tiffin and how the city continues to grow. We think a new Tim Hortons will be a great addition to the community,” she said.

The company tonight received final approval from the Tiffin City Council for a 50%, 10-year Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) tax abatement. Demolition is set to begin within the next 10-15 days and new construction is planned to begin in October. Developers hope to have the store completed by the end of the year. The tax savings are helping the company offset additional unanticipated development costs, including asbestos abatement.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was pleased with their decision to locate in Tiffin. “We continue to see growth in all sectors, from manufacturing to retail. We are very happy to welcome Tim Hortons as the newest national brand in our West Market Commercial Corridor.”

Tim Hortons® Overview

TIM HORTONS®, part of Restaurant Brands International, is one of North America’s largest restaurant chains operating in the quick service segment. Founded as a single location in Canada in 1964, TIM HORTONS® appeals to a broad range of consumer tastes, with a menu that includes premium coffee, hot and cold specialty drinks (including lattes, cappuccinos and espresso shots), specialty teas and fruit smoothies, fresh baked goods, grilled Panini and classic sandwiches, wraps, soups, prepared foods and other food products. As of December 31, 2015, TIM HORTONS® had more than 4,400 system wide restaurants located in Canada, the United States and the Middle East. More information about the Company is available at www.timhortons.com.


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.