Communities

OSU Extension Office connects community with university resources

osu extensionThe Ohio State University Extension in Seneca County aims to connect the university’s resources and knowledge to the community. Originally working closely with farmers to share research on growing better crops and livestock, the OSU Extension now works with many different parts of the community. It separates these parts into four compact areas of outreach; Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4-H Youth Development, Family and Consumer Services, and Community Development.

Agriculture and Natural Resources programs assist with technology, marketing and educational support, and even offer training opportunities and certifications.  4-H Youth Development teaches kids lessons in leadership, communication and collaboration while increasing their knowledge in math, science, technology and a variety of other topics. Kids are able to participate in a number of ways, including community clubs, camps, in-school and after-school activities, and summer programs that both increase their self-confidence and personal skills in addition to honing their skills in specific subjects such as animals, computers, public speaking, or cooking. Family and Consumer Services provides community members with the skills, knowledge and resources to make informed, healthy life choices. This is done through teaching and promoting safe food practices, better nutrition, better finances and better relationships using evidence-based, impartial, current research into useful information that can improve the quality of people’s lives. Community Development advances income and employment opportunities by applying cutting-edge research, knowledge and innovations to improve local businesses and the communities they serve. By examining the needs of each community, the OSU Extension is able to enhance the wellbeing of communities and neighborhoods through interactive and collaborative partnerships with local businesses and organizations, community leaders and local officials.

Since 1914, the Ohio State University Extension has been helping Ohioans build better lives, better businesses, and better communities. To learn more about the OSU Extension visit their website, and check out some of the additional programs they offer like the Master Gardener Volunteers and SNAP-Ed, a free nutrition education and obesity prevention program serving low-income adults and youth.

Check out this video for an overview of the office: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuP5o__j4Hk

Allen Eiry Center helps seniors stay active

allen eiryThe Allen Eiry Senior Center is a social organization that provides and promotes activities for those in and around the Seneca County community. Programs aim to benefit the health, educational, social and recreational interest of the community. It is a private, non-protif organization funded by Tiffin-Seneca United Way, The Columbus Foundation, membership dues, grants, special events, and friends of the organization. Named for Allen Eiry, the center honours his support in assisting seniors in the community.

Since 1983, the Allen Eiry Fund has benefited the citizens of Seneca County to honour the wishes of Mr. Eiry. A native of Seneca County, Mr. Eiry operated an automotive dealership in Green Springs, Ohio for more than 40 years.  A member of the Seneca County Farm Bureau and the Green Springs Masonic Lodge, Mr. Eiry’s ties to the community long succeeded him, having provided over $2.8 million to senior citizens.

Membership forms can be found online or at the center. Dues are $25 per person, paid annually from January through December. Members can participate in scheduled activities geared towards their interest, with a wide range of entertainment including bingo, potlucks, and live music. Seniors are encouraged to enjoy a full schedule of social activities, or meet friends at the center all on their own time. Health screenings and flu shots are regularly provided, allowing seniors to monitor their overall health. The Allen Eiry Center prides itself on its ability to provide activities that encourage an active lifestyle in order to maintain a happy and fulfilled lives.

Learn more here.

Saint Francis campus has much to offer

saint francis logoThe Saint Francis campus, located on St. Francis, offers many opportunities to the Tiffin community. These include education, conservation, relaxation, spiritual programs as well as senior living. Several of their programs:

The Franciscan Earth Literacy Center is an environmental education center and demonstration center that promotes the appreciation of nature and encourages sustainable living practices. Providing both indoor and outdoor learning experiences, “hands-on” activities make learning apart of who they are. The center is a place to meet, discuss, meditate, and act upon ideas for the community to work together and live well on earth. Experimental education programs and programming for people of all ages and abilities is lead by the professional staff, and volunteers are welcome to aid in the mission to encourage awareness of the environment and deepen the understanding of the relationship between the community and the earth.

Little Portion Green, the Project S.T.R.A.W. endeavor of the Franciscan Earth Literacy Center headed by Sister Jane Omlor, will be an educational and demonstrative facility teaching young and old alike how the use of natural building materials and saving energy preserves the environment. With a goal to attain zero energy, the house will demonstrate the many ways that it will save resources by using passive solar design, solar panels, straw bale insulation with earth plaster, Energy Recovery Ventilation, and many other innovative systems.

The St. Francis Spirituality Center gives individuals and groups a brief respite from personal cares and worldly pursuits in a soothing natural environment that is conducive to quiet reflection and contemplation. Three different-sized meeting rooms, overnight and dining accommodations, make the center the perfect place for religious, not-for-profit, business, or family groups to use for retreats, workshops, meetings, personal growth activities, training sites, or celebration events. Although the Center is a retreat/renewal center based in Catholic tradition, all groups of diverse faiths and backgrounds are welcome.

Sisters of St. Francis come together in community to discover, express and celebrate the rich diversity and unity of God’s family and to strengthen and encourage one another in effort to be faithful to the gospel. They extend the rich blessings of community to those among whom they minister.

St. Francis Senior Ministries, a faith-based, values-driven ministry, serves the healthcare and housing needs of older adults. It provides opportunities for an active lifestyle now and a more assisted lifestyle as needs change without having to leave the campus. St. Francis Senior Ministries includes St. Francis Home, Elizabeth Schaefer Apartments, St. Francis Villas, and Friedman Village at St. Francis.

Seneca Conservation District

seneca conservation district logoFor more than 60 years, the Seneca Conservation District has been working with landowners, local, state, and federal agencies as an advocate of conservation in order to maintain healthy and productive working landscapes. With 24 staff members, 4 of which have joined the team in the last year, the District’s long history of helping people is continued through educating the community on how to take care of the environment. Many members of the staff specialize in an area of conservation, and they are ready to assist the community by providing resources and guidance to residents and business owners.

The Seneca Conservation District helps farmers with nutrient management, improving soil health, responsible water quality and quantity, protecting local wildlife habitats, and managing manure nutrients. The District has cover crop resources for farmers, as well as no-till drills, tree planters, and soil probes to rent, and field flags, erosion control netting and staples for purchase. In addition, the District arranges pasture and grazing management plans, engineering plans, private sprayings on rural ditches, new research and investigation into conservation techniques, and wildlife crop damage complaint consultations. Also overseeing the Seneca County Ditch Maintenance Program and the Seneca County Floodplain Management program, staff is ready to help farmers balance decisions by considering economic impact.

Schools can incorporate conservation into their curriculum with ease as the Seneca Conservation District provides educators with classroom instruction, presentations, and education materials on natural resources and agricultural topics. Students can also benefit from the educational tours given at the outdoor learning lab, Miller Conservation Farm. The District can assist educators on grant applications for related projects and with “Wild School” sites and fundraising, and supports students through Conservation Camps scholarships, academic scholarships, mentoring/job shadowing experiences, and youth conservation trophies at the Seneca County Fair. Students can also explore the Miller Conservation Farm, Kelbley Wildlife Area, and Red Fox Wildlife area which are maintained by the Seneca Conservation District. All these environmental programs are top of the line educational materials that strive to teach our youth about the importance and value of soil and water resources.

The community is encouraged to take part events hosted throughout the year by the Seneca County District. Farmers, college, and high school students join the team as part of the Nutrient Bus Tour, a fantastic learning experience to gather information about nutrients flowing into the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) and how they affect Lake Erie algal blooms last November. Farmers were invited on a cruise in August with The Charter Boat Captains Association to chat with the Division of Wildlife to learn about the unique habitat and species that live in and on the shores and water of Lake Erie. For families, Water Fest is a day filled with games and activities held at the Miller Conservation Farm, including crafts, hands-on water activities, and hayrides. Miller Conservation Farm hosts many events including youth clay pigeon shoots, a mobility impaired deer hunt, a youth turkey hunt, and many more!

Learn more about the Seneca Conservation District here.

Community seeks proposals for new Comprehensive Plan

Seneca County, Tiffin, Fostoria to collaborate on community plan

View the complete request for proposal here.

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 27, 2017 – The Seneca Regional Planning Commission released a request for proposals for a new county-wide Comprehensive Plan, to include Tiffin and Fostoria. The request includes a combined plan for the three entities, as well as individual plans, each with separate cost estimates, and a twenty-year horizon. Proposals will be accepted until Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 3 p.m.

Seneca County Commission President Mike Kerschner said the plan is yet another way for the county to partner with the cities on a common cause. “This plan will continue the climate of collaboration between the different entities within Seneca County, including the successful merger of the Fostoria and Tiffin courts, as well as the execution of the Justice Center,” he said.

The Comprehensive Plan will address long-range policy for land use planning, transportation, economic development, housing, public facilities, historic, natural and cultural resources, agricultural preservation, intergovernmental cooperation, budget preparation, and capital improvement planning and other facets of community life deemed important by the chosen consultant and agreed to by the participating entities.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is looking forward to a new plan and direction for the city. “Our current plan was created in 1994 and is, at this point, extremely outdated. I am excited to see what the consultants will come up with for the community’s development,” he said.

Work is anticipated to begin in 2018 with an 18- to 24-month timeframe, if a firm is selected and funding allocated. The finished product should be ready for adoption by the participating legislative bodies at public hearings by late 2019.

Inquiries should be directed to Charlene Watkins, Executive Director, Seneca Regional Planning Commission, cjwatkins@senecarpc.org, 419.443.7936 ext. 123.

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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

39th Tiffin-Seneca Heritage Festival this weekend

heritage festival brochureBeginning in 1979, the Heritage Festival is the 8th largest in Ohio and is preparing for a great 39th year. Originally a one day event, the festival was an event for the community to celebrate the town’s history by visiting the Seneca County Museum, strolling among craft exhibits, enjoying bands, and eagerly watching to see which ladies dressed in old fashion clothing would win the titles of Miss and Mrs. Heritage Festival. Although times have changed, the event still honors the traditions of the city while including some new attractions September 15th-17th, 2017.

At the Park

The Living Historic Village in Hedges-Boyer Park features reenactments, live entertainment, arts and crafts, and much more for a fun family environment. “Children’s Village Crafts and Games on the Green” are free to all ages, and children under 12 can enter the Village gate for free as well, with adult tickets costing $3. “Candy Cannon Shoot” happen at 12:30pm and 3pm both Saturday and Sunday for children 12 and under, and a “Heritage Cemetery Walk” at the Village Entrance at 6pm Saturday. Be sure to check out the “Heritage Ball” held in the YMCA Fieldhouse Saturday night at 7:30pm, where the whole family can learn dances of the era. Sunday the games continue with a Vintage 1860s Baseball Game at 10am and the Lake Plains Chorus performing at 1pm. Throughout both days live music will play, making any time a great time to stop by!

Downtown

German Heritage Block kicks off downtown Friday night with Richard Wiener 6:30pm-9:30pm in the County Health Department Lot. The Fostoria Community Band will perform the following day 12pm-1pm, followed by a Cream Puff Eating Contest (sign up quick, only the first 6 can compete!). The Toledo Holzhacker Baum will be there 2:30pm-3:30pm as well as 6:30pm-7:30pm on Saturday, with the Route 161 Happy Wanders following 4pm-6pm and again 8pm-10pm. Men and women are encouraged to show off their skills with a Women’s Beer Stein Carrying Contest at 7:30pm on Saturday and a Men’s Beer Stein Holding Contest Sunday at 4pm.

In City Lot 7, New Frontiers: Journey Tribute Band performing Friday from 9pm-12am, and on Saturday, Smalltown Throwdown will perform 6:30-9 pm followed by eighties arena rock tribute band Electrik Circus 9:30pm-12am.

Following the annual parade Saturday, which begins at 10:30am, Elk Lodge 94 is hosting the Kids Korner, filled with free kids events include face painting, sand art, prize giveaways, and crafts, making Saturday’s events fun for all ages.

Also on Saturday, gear up for the 5th Annual Independent Car Show from 12pm-5pm, at the Seneca County Museum. The show will include raffles and drawings to support the museum, as well as the Jolly’s food truck for refreshments. Judging starts at 2pm and plaques will be awarded to winners at 4:30pm.

In the downtown area food will be available all day and rides will run all weekend in the RTA parking lot. Tickets are available at the event and pre-sale tickets can be purchased at Croghan Colonial Bank and Old Fort Bank, 24 tickets for $10 (2-3 needed per ride). For more information visit TiffinFestival.com, a free shuttle is available to the Village and Downtown locations. Come join the community of Tiffin September 15th-17th for the Heritage Festival, where history comes alive!

Other Events

Elks Lodge 94 and Tiffin Eagles 402 will both have beer gardens and live music both night. The Elks will feature Nebdroola Friday and Alternate Ending Saturday night; the Eagles will feature Quickshine on Friday and the Eric Sowers Band on Saturday night.

The Behind the Facade Tour: Riverside Ramble takes place Sunday from 2pm-5pm at Frost Parkway, an exploration of Tiffin’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods. More information can be found at TiffinHistoricTrust.org or contacting Vicki Ohl at 419-448-8588.

Museums around town will also be open, including the American Civil War Museum, The Enchanted Moment Doll Museum, Tiffin Art Guild, Seneca County Museum, and Tiffin Glass Museum. Hours can be found on each museum’s website, as well as the Heritage Festival’s site TiffinFestival.com.

View the brochure and schedule of events here.

Tiffin and Seneca County win $220,000 for road improvement

20170629_151509.jpgGrant supports $1M commercial access project

TIFFIN, OHIO – July 5, 2017 – The City of Tiffin has been granted $220,000 through the Ohio Department of Transportation Jobs and Commerce for an improvement project on US 224; a 25 percent match with the city for a project totaling $1 million. It will provide access to a 60-acre site for potential commercial development annexed by the city earlier this year.

The grant is the first received by the Seneca County Transportation Improvement District (TID) created by Seneca County Commissioners in September 2015. “The district was put in place with the future of the county in mind,” Commissioner Shayne Thomas, head of the county’s transportation sub-committee, said. “This project is the first of many for which we plan to secure TID funding.”

Last year, Tiffin, Fostoria and Seneca County representatives collaborated to update and reprioritize the county’s Transportation Improvement Plan. Originally created in 2001, the plan was revised with a clear focus on key projects throughout the county. The revision was approved by all groups, as well as the TID Committee, composed of engineers, elected officials, and economic development organizations from each jurisdiction.

Charlene Watkins, Executive Director of Seneca Regional Planning Commission Executive Director commended the partnership between Seneca County organizations in securing the grant. “The foundation is in place and all parties are working to implement the plan,” she said. “We appreciate SIEDC’s work with different entities to gather information and submit the application, as well as the involvement of State Representative Bill Reineke and State Senator Dave Burke, and everyone else who had a hand in the process.”

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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Bascom Communications announces Full Throttle fiber optic internet service

20170420_083420.jpgBascom Communications announced last week a new, ultra high speed internet service provided via fiber optic line. They are the first company to offer such a service in Seneca County.

Press release provided by Bascom Communications:

Communications Company Offers New Service Over Fiber Optic Infrastructure
Bascom Communications Delivers Service Announcement and Presentation for Accelerate Full Throttle

Bascom, Ohio: Bascom Communications hosted an event to announce Accelerate Full Throttle, the service provider’s newest offering available to members May 1st. Full Throttle offers Gigabit-capable access over Bascom’s state-of-the-art, fiber-to-the-premise infrastructure, featuring faster download speeds and aggregate bandwidth. The service announcement and presentation on the social and economic impact of how fiber optic and Gigabit service from Bascom is propelling Seneca County forward took place on Thursday, April 20, 2017 in the historic Redwood Ballroom of Meadowbrook Park in Bascom, Ohio.

Bascom Communications has provided services to Bascom and surrounding communities since 1906. Bascom is a cooperative company and anyone with wired services becomes a member. Once a member, if Bascom has a strong year and posts a profit, the membership receives an allocation back to them in the form of capital credit refunds. Bascom serves around 59 square miles of service territory and covers 99.92% of its subscribers with fiber to the premise.

Bascom is one of only a couple providers in the entire state of Ohio, and the only in Seneca County, to offer a service of this magnitude. Many companies use Gigabit service as a marketing ploy but Bascom wants to have people utilize it. To accomplish this, Full Throttle features a metered-usage approach to bring down costs, which allows customers to pay for only what they need and never worrying about speed again, as opposed to traditional internet plans that utilize a smaller bandwidth model to keep costs and resources manageable. Residential customers will be able to choose between numerous, tiered-data plans including an unlimited option, while business customers who want and need it, can improve their productivity and efficiency with Accelerate Full Throttle Business Unlimited. Customers will be able to go as fast as their devices will let them and can and will in many cases see speeds up to 16-200 times faster than those they are used to currently through Bascom or their competition.

Fostoria #10 most affordable place to live in Ohio

smartasset2_1000x563_2-4-2014Fostoria was recently ranked the number 10 most affordable place to live in Ohio, according to a study by SmartAsset, a financial calculation firm.

Every year, researchers consider closing costs, real estate taxes, homeowners insurance and mortgage rates over five years among cities with a population of more than 5,000, then see how those figures fit with the communities’ median household income.

This year, Northwest Ohio claimed three of the top 10 slots with Fostoria in the number 10 spot, joining Delphos (#3) and Northwood (#7). Check out the complete SmartAsset study here.

Fostoria is not the only affordable place to live in Seneca County. In 2014, the cost of living in Tiffin was about 20% below the national average, and in 2016 it was listed one of the 20 Most Affordable College Towns.

First annual Local Job Fair set for March 10

job_fair_imageThe Tiffin City Schools Business Advisory Council is sponsoring a job fair on March 10 at Tiffin Columbian High School. The primary purpose of the fair is to assist high school seniors who don’t plan to attend post-secondary classes in the fall.  It is also an opportunity for those who do plan to continue their education to learn about employers who will have a need to hire individuals with the skills they will be learning.  In addition, this event will get 8th graders thinking about their futures and give them the opportunity to learn about local career opportunities and the skills and education they will need to succeed.

The agenda is as follows:

10-11am:  8th graders from the Tiffin Middle School will meet with the employers

11am-12pm:  Lunch

12pm: Columbian seniors will arrive

1-2:30pm:  High school seniors from 10 other area schools will be in attendance

2:30-4pm:  Heidelberg and Tiffin University students have been invited and community residents will also be able to attend

There is space for approximately 50 tables and to date 30 Seneca County employers have responded to express an interest in attending.  To reserve a table, contact Pat Smith at Tiffin City Schools at 419-447-2515.

Students should bring a resume and be prepared for a brief introduction interview.

The Business Advisory Council is committee of the Tiffin City Board of Education and is comprised of people from industry, retail, public relations and journalism, medical fields, construction, government agencies along with parents and educators from elementary through higher education. Members look at the trends in the community, employment needs, and other issues to develop a plan that helps students become career ready.  Together they develop curriculum and/or study existing curriculum and activities that would teach necessary skills, career awareness, and economic knowledge while preparing the students to be good citizens. Meetings began in February 2016 and accomplishments include:

  • Implemented the REACH program for the TCS 4th-6th graders
  • Created student advisory committees at the middle school and high school
  • Have plans for Camp Invention this summer
  • Have plans to implement the STRIVE program for high school students at risk to not graduate (Coordinated with the Tiffin Rotary Club).