Communities

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).

The Old Fort Banking Company Relocates Headquarters To Downtown Tiffin

old-fort-logoFrom The Old Fort Banking Company:

Denise Martin, Marketing Officer, announced that The Old Fort Banking Company, the subsidiary of Gillmor Financial Services, Inc., has moved into its new corporate headquarters at 33 East Market Street in Tiffin.  The move consolidates and relocates the bank’s accounting department, executive offices, human resource functions, marketing department and retail administration offices to the newly renovated downtown location.  The 8,550 square foot, three-level building will be solely occupied by Old Fort.

Currently, approximately twenty Old Fort associates now work at the Tiffin headquarters location.  Martin said, “The new headquarters provides the bank with the ability to continue to grow, as the building can hold as many as 32 to 36 associates.”  In addition, roughly 12 operational related positions have also been relocated to the bank’s 13,850 square foot operation’s center in Old Fort.  Information Technology, loan operations, deposit operations and additional operations related positions are now centralized in Old Fort.  Full-service financial centers continue to be operated at the new headquarters and also in Old Fort.  Martin stated, “Bank clients will enjoy the same commitment to service they have come to know at all Old Fort Bank locations.”

“We are extremely pleased to have our headquarters located in the downtown corridor,” added Old Fort Banking Company  President & CEO Michael C. Spragg.  “We are excited about our future as a Tiffin-based company, to be a consistent employer in Seneca County and to remain deeply involved in this community.”

Old Fort has built a strong and sustainable banking franchise focused on exceptional client service.  The company has the experience and long-term capital support to continue as a leader in providing financial products and services.  Additionally, Old Fort seeks to continue to drive economic growth and stability in the markets it serves.  The bank was founded in 1916 and has assets totaling approximately $500 million.  Old Fort is an independent bank that operates through a community banking model that is the foundation for local decision making and provides the basis for client service that is reliable, responsive and competent.

The Old Fort Banking Company proudly serves Allen, Greene, Hancock, Sandusky, Seneca and Wood Counties, with financial centers in Bettsville, Clyde, Findlay, Fostoria, Fremont, Old Fort, Tiffin and Sugarcreek Township.  Old Fort operates a commercial loan production office in Lima and also has a mortgage loan production facility in Xenia.  Old Fort is a recognized leader in community banking throughout the area in assisting members of the community, including local businesses and corporations.

Seneca County Land Bank awarded over $4 million

ni-programPress release from the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation

The Seneca County Land bank received over $4 million in Neighborhood Initiative Program funds to demolish blighted houses in the county – $4,025,000 to be exact.  Seneca County was one of the highest funded counties which speaks highly to the quality of the project, the application and the partners involved.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Seneca County,” Seneca County Treasurer Damon Alt said.  “This kind of money will allow us to eliminate blighted houses and increase overall property values in area neighborhoods.”

Currently, the Land Bank has identified 161 properties throughout the county for potential demolition with this award.  This allocation was made possible because of the large number of partners, including (but not limited to) the Seneca County Commissioners, the Seneca County Treasurer’s Office, the Seneca County Prosecutor’s Office, the City of Tiffin, the City of Fostoria, and the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation office.

“For a community like Fostoria, this kind of money will have a tremendous impact,” said Renee Smith, President of the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation.  “Citizens will see the results of this funding and it will benefit the entire county.”

Seneca County formed the Land Bank in November of 2015 by resolution of the Seneca County Commissioners.  A Land Bank is a tool used to strategically acquire properties, return them to productive use, reduce blight, increase property values, and improve the quality of life for county residents.  The formation of the Land Bank demonstrated our elected official’s commitment to healthy, sustainable community redevelopment within Seneca County.

The Seneca County Land Bank will begin acquiring the identified properties and demolition activity will then follow.  This will be an ongoing process but will directly impact property values, safety and even community pride.

 

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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

 

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.