Projects

Tiffin University and IGS Solar announce new solar array for Heminger Center

Heminger 2Press release provided by Tiffin University.

TIFFIN, OH, JULY 16, 2018 – Tiffin University (TU) and IGS Solar will begin construction this month on the first solar project to be constructed on the rooftop of the Heminger Center located on Miami Street. The solar system will drive a cleaner, emission-free energy platform, as well as mark the beginning of TU’s environmental commitment.

The solar array will consist of 705 panels constructed on 14,000 square feet of rooftop space on the Heminger Center located in the heart of campus. Sized at approximately 240kW (DC), the array will generate roughly 270,000 kWh’s per year which is enough to supply approximately 26% of the annual electricity consumption for the Heminger Center.

This amount of solar power is enough to provide clean electricity for approximately 24 residential homes, offsetting an estimated 195 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year that would otherwise be emitted by a conventional fossil fuel power plant. That amount of emissions avoided is also equivalent to removing 42 cars from the road annually, or avoiding burning 213,331 pounds of coal.

IGS Solar will own, operate, and maintain the array. The company is helping the University integrate solar generation into their energy portfolio while helping them better control the long-term energy costs for their buildings.

The project is estimated to begin construction in October 2018 and be online November 2018.

“With current challenges that surround funding for non-profit universities, Tiffin University feels strongly that we need to examine all means for cost saving initiatives,” said TU President Lillian Schumacher. “The University is also intentional in doing what is right for the student body, faculty, staff, and local community by putting forth clean energy standards and striving to meet them.”

“We hope that opportunities for solar in Ohio continue to grow because the economic benefits are substantial,” stated Patrick Smith, Vice President of IGS Solar. “Working with Tiffin University to help control their energy costs by utilizing clean, renewable power has been a great success. We look forward to being a long-standing sustainability partner to the Tiffin University for years to come.”

Leadership Park, historic marker dedicated

IMG_20180626_112013.jpgToday, the City of Tiffin dedicated Clouse-Kirian Leadership Park in conjunction with the unveiling of a State historical marker for the founding of Tiffin.

Leadership Park began as the community project of the 2014 Leadership Seneca County class. As part of the nine month course in leadership and civic participation, the class raised $25,000 to create a community park in downtown Tiffin. The city matched $20,000, creating a fund of $55,000 for the park. The park was designed but put on hold due to potential development on the chosen site.

In late 2015, the project was revived when Lenny Clouse purchased the building at 22 S. Washington St., demolished it, and sold the land to the city at cost. From there, two more grants were secured from the National Machinery and Meschech Frost Charitable Trust to cover the funding gap created by the change in location, and the construction of Clouse-Kirian Leadership Park began.

Also dedicated at the Leadership Park site was Seneca County’s twelfth historical marker. The Seneca County Historical Society worked with the Ohio History Connection to place an Ohio Historical Marker denoting 1822 as the founding year of the town.

The text of the marker reads: “In 1822 Josiah Hedges purchased the land that would become Tiffin from the Delaware Land Office. By March, this land, situated across the Sandusky River from old Fort Ball (War of 1812) was surveyed and platted by General James Hedges, the brother of Josiah. These events marked the founding year for the city of Tiffin, which was named after Edward Tiffin, Ohio’s first governor and a friend of Josiah Hedges. The legislature commissioned Thomas Henford, Isaac Minor and Cyrus Spink to establish Tiffin as the permanent seat of justice for Seneca County on March 25, 1822.”

You can find a complete list of Ohio Historical Markers at Remarkable Ohio.

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Aqua announces new water main project for Tiffin system

Aqua_logoPlans total $1.4 million and over 4,600 feet of water main replacements

TIFFIN, OH– Aqua is announcing their 2018 water system improvement projects for the water system that serves the City of Tiffin. The project involves the replacement of 4,600 linear feet of aging, undersized water mains, the installation 6 new fire hydrants and other related infrastructure. The water mains being replaced range in age from 50 to 70 years of service and are located primarily along Melmore Street with additional portions of Fulton and Rosa Streets included.

These plans represent the continued commitment to investing in Aqua’s Tiffin system. Combined with replacements last year, these projects will total over 11,300 feet of water mains with a total investment of nearly than $2.8 million in area improvements since 2015.

“Aqua is continually focused on improving service reliability and water flows, especially for high demand events like fire fighting. We take a strategic approach to main replacement, investing where we really need to while keeping the impact on rates in mind,” said Aqua’s area manager, Scott Ballenger.

The project is expected to be complete by the end of November 2018. Customers along the construction route will benefit from new company service connections. Aqua will communicate directly with residents about planned short-term localized service interruptions outages.

Aqua typically spends between $30 million and $40 million a year in infrastructure across its 33 Ohio water systems to ensure reliability and quality water. In 2018, the company plans to spend $41.9 million in the systems, which equates to more than $280 for every Ohio household they serve.

Customers who have questions about this project should call the customer service center, at 877-987-2782.

Aqua Ohio is the Buckeye State’s largest investor-owned drinking water and wastewater utility and serves about 500,000 people in 19 counties. Visit AquaAmerica.com for more information, or follow Aqua on Facebook at facebook.com/MyAquaAmerica and on Twitter at @MyAquaAmerica

Press release provided by Aqua

Heidelberg receives historic tax credits for major restoration project

FranceHall rendering

Architect’s rendering of the France Hall project.

University has innovative plans for women’s residence hall

TIFFIN – Heidelberg University’s planned restoration and renovation of historic France Residence Hall received a major boost today when the Ohio Development Services Agency awarded the university nearly $1.5 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits for the $7.5 million project (exclusive of planned costs). In July 2017, Heidelberg received $1.2 million in federal historic tax credits, issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, for the France Hall project, which were contingent on receiving state tax credits.

The announcement of historic tax credits for Heidelberg is great news locally. It’s just the second time that building restoration tax credits have come to Tiffin. Heidelberg administrators are appreciative of the important role community leaders played in the application process.

“We are so grateful for the outstanding support of our community partners, which was essential in our university securing these state historic tax credits,” said Heidelberg President Rob Huntington, who noted the backing of Mayor Aaron Montz, County Commissioner Mike Kerschner, State Rep. Bill Reineke and Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. President and CEO David Zak. “Heidelberg University is extremely proud to be part of this collaborative effort with all of us working together to make our universities, our town, our county and ultimately, our entire community better for everyone.”

Additionally, Huntington expressed his thanks to Melissa Furchill, owner/president of MCM Co. Inc. in Cleveland, a construction management firm who lent her expertise to the application process.

Heidelberg was among 31 regional projects that will receive historic tax credits in the most recent round of funding. In all, the Ohio Development Services Agency approved $30.2 million in credits for 13 communities, including about $1.71 million for two northwest Ohio projects, both in Tiffin. In addition to Heidelberg’s France Hall project, Monument Properties is to receive a tax credit of nearly $250,000 to renovate three residential buildings in the Fort Ball-Railroad Area Historic District.

When the restoration/renovation project is complete, France Hall will be integral to engaging women with new, innovative living, learning and leadership opportunities, while supporting Heidelberg’s academic programs. The new France Hall will provide residential space for approximately 70 women students and private apartments for two female faculty members. Other features include office space for The Patricia Adams Lecture Series and other campus women’s leadership initiatives, space for all five of Heidelberg’s women’s Greek organizations, community outreach space, and renovations to the building’s Great Hall to create more space for activities and events. It is a major element in Heidelberg’s Residential Living Plan Vision.

To date, private donors have committed more than $3.1 million toward the project.

“France Hall, in its current configuration and condition, no longer meets the needs of our contemporary women students,” Huntington said. “Yet, we recognize the importance of preserving its heritage. The time has come to bring France Hall into the 21st century and transform it into a compelling, exciting and attractive facility for the campus and the community.”

The project has tremendous potential, Huntington added, because of unique opportunities to bring together the university community with the broader Tiffin community.

“This project will put a new and different face on what residential living can look like at Heidelberg,” he said. “It will integrate academic and co-curricular programs, personal and professional domains, and campus and community circles into a rich and powerful total undergraduate experience for our women students, as well as for male students when special events are hosted in France. We look forward to starting this construction work soon!”

France Hall was constructed in 1925 and is named in recognition of Luella Blackwell France, a benefactor of the university. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It has never undergone a major renovation in its 92-year history.

According to SIEDC, the Tunison Flats housing project received $99,031 in December 2016, designated to rehabilitate and preserve the 1880s-era apartment complex on Frost Parkway.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program is administered in partnership with the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. The State Historic Preservation Office determines if a property qualifies as a historic building and that the rehabilitation plans comply with the United States Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Press release provided by Heidelberg University.

Harbor Freight Tools to open store at Westgate Shopping Center

Visconsi.jpgPress release by Visconsi Companies, Ltd.

Tiffin, OH – June 8, 2018 – Visconsi Companies, Ltd. announced today that Harbor Freight Tools plans to open a store at Westgate Shopping Center on West Market Street. The new 15,000 square foot Harbor Freight location will join Peebles, Kroger, Pat Catan’s, Dollar Tree, and 14 other merchants at Westgate. A Grand Opening is planned for this summer.

“We’re thrilled to be opening our 34th Harbor Freight Tools store in Ohio and very pleased by the warm welcome we’ve received in Tiffin” said Eric Smidt, President of Harbor Freight Tools.  “At Harbor Freight, we’re all about delivering high quality tools at ridiculously low prices.  We do it by manufacturing our tools at the same factories as the expensive brands, but we cut out the middle man and pass the savings on to our customers.  We’ve also invested millions of dollars to build and operate our own state-of-the-art quality test labs to ensure that we’re constantly driving quality at the lowest possible price.  We invite everyone in the Tiffin area to visit our new store at 682 W Market Street and see why if you buy tools anywhere else, you’re throwing your money away.”

About Harbor Freight Tools
Founded in North Hollywood, CA in 1977 and now based in Calabasas, Harbor Freight Tools is the leading discount tool retailer in the U.S. selling in its over 900 stores nationwide and on its website. Harbor Freight Tools stocks over 7,000 items in categories including automotive, air and power tools, shop equipment and hand tools. With a commitment to quality and a lifetime guarantee on all hand tools, Harbor Freight Tools is a favorite of automotive and truck repair shops, government agencies, schools, manufacturers, contractors and tool enthusiasts who want top-quality and great selection and value. The results speak for themselves – with over thirty million customers nationwide and thousands of people switching to Harbor Freight Tools every day. Additional information about Harbor Freight Tools and online sales can be found at http://harborfreight.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/harbor.f.tools and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/harborfreight.

Westgate Shopping Center is managed by Visconsi Companies, Ltd. and owned by affiliate Tiffin Westgate, Ltd. Visconsi Companies, Ltd. is a fourth generation, family-owned developer and manager of retail properties and a provider of real estate advisory services. The company is headquartered in Pepper Pike, Ohio, and manages a shopping center portfolio of over two million square feet. For more information about Visconsi Companies, visit www.visconsi.com.

$3.7M infrastructure improvements slated for development site

Progress Parkway.jpgCity of Tiffin breaks ground on Progress Parkway

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 8, 2018 – The city of Tiffin broke ground today on the first piece of a $3.7 million infrastructure investment at the 60-acre mixed-use development site at the corner of US 224 and South Shaffer Park Drive.

The project will include improvements to US 224, extension of the West Market Street sanitary and storm sewers, a new section of Fair Lane, and the construction, in two phases, of Progress Parkway. The improvements will support the new Trilogy Health Services Senior Living Community announced earlier this year, as well as future development on the site.

Mayor Aaron Montz said the improvements will increase developer interest in the site. “Not only are these improvements going to support the Trilogy project, but they also show developers that we have done our due diligence and are ready for growth.”

The improvements are made possible through a combination of financing. Last year, the Seneca County Transportation Improvement District committee won a $220,000 grant for improvements to US 224, Tax Increment Financing agreements between any business locating on the site and the city will help recoup costs, and Trilogy Health Services will finance the sewer improvements.

2018 Special Recognition Award – Assistant City Engineer Matt Watson

The 2018 Special Recognition Award was presented to Assistant City Engineer Matt Watson for going above and beyond his job duties to create a welcoming environment for development in Tiffin.

For the award presentation, SIEDC asked for feedback from representatives of the NRP Group, the developers behind the 52-unit Tiffin Pointe housing development. Their team members praised Watson for his diligence, and named Tiffin the most efficient and professional community they have worked with.

Tiffin City Administrator Dale Thornton also vouched for Watson’s excellence in the workplace. “Matt is an extremely valuable asset to the city and its residents,” he said.

Watson is a 2004 graduate of Tiffin Columbian High School and a 2009 graduate of The Ohio State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering along with state accreditation to become a Professional Land Surveyor. Aside from his time at OSU, he has been a lifelong resident of Seneca County and active within the community.

 

About the Special Recognition Award
This award is given by the President or Chairman, at his or her discretion, to any person, business, or group whose service to the community is largely unknown.

2018 Partnership in Development Award – Suzie Reineke and Weston Reinbolt

The 2018 Partnership in Development Award was given to Suzie Reineke and Weston Reinbolt for their downtown building restoration projects. Not only do they preserve historic buildings, but also provide opportunities for business and downtown housing.

Suzie and Weston got into historic building renovation through their connection with Bill and Dan Reineke, who were already restoring a building of their own. “These are really cool buildings,” Weston said. Suzie added, “I never knew what was inside.”

Their first project was the “Beanstalk building,” which houses the Beanstalk on the first floor and three fully renovated apartments above. Those apartments are now full

The second project was The Renaissance. In early 2017, Suzie and Weston purchased the former DP’s building and brought in Dave and Angie Spridgeon of the Bourbon Affair in Findlay. The Renaissance of Tiffin opened later in 2017.

Their latest project is the building that house the Tiffin Glass Museum. They are completing the first of two phases in renovating seven upper level apartments.

The couple cited the collaboration in the community as a motivating factor in continuing these restoration projects. “It’s a team oriented project from start to finish,” Suzie said.

Suzie and Weston were both born and raised in Tiffin, left to pursue college and careers elsewhere, and are now living in Tiffin once again. “I love being back in Tiffin,” Weston said. “We’re enjoying the momentum and hope it continues.”

 

About the Partnership in Development Award
This award is presented to an individual, business, organization, or political entity that has provided support and means to promote economic development throughout Seneca County and have demonstrably, through their actions, furthered the mission of SIEDC.

2018 Economic Development Award – Arnold Machine

The 2018 Economic Development Award was presented to Arnold Machine for their recent 25,000 square foot expansion, creating 25 new jobs.

Zach Arnold started Arnold Machine in a garage as a small custom machine shop, beginning with machining and fabricating, in 1994. The business grew quickly, and branched out into designing and manufacturing manufacturing systems in a 50,000 square foot building in the Northstar Industrial Park in Tiffin. The company now has more than a hundred customers throughout the United States, including Commercial Metals Company, Sonoco, Bridgestone, Cooper Tires, Libbey, Nucor, Whirlpool, Roush Fenway Racing, National Machinery, NISIN and SSC.

Arnold is a Sentinel Career Center alum and still maintains a strong relationship with the career technology institution. Arnold serves on their business advisory council and hires on students through a work-study program, as well as a new three-phase employment program that starts students out working in their Junior year of high school and prepares them to be hired on upon graduation. More than 40% of the workforce at Arnold Machine are now Sentinel grads.

In 2016, Arnold Machine announced a new, 25,000 square foot addition to their facility, adding 25 jobs. The expansion was built and completed, the space is full, and 11 of the 25 positions have been created and filled.

Arnold has had a long relationship with SIEDC. In 1996, they purchased their first brand-new machine using the Revolving Loan Fund with SIEDC’s assistance. Today, Zach Arnold serves on the SIEDC Board of Trustees.

 

Economic Development Award criteria:
A community based project that will significantly impact other development in the community. A project that underscores the commitment of the business or owners to the community. A project that eliminates a potential blight in the community. A project that brings recognition to the community and is imaginative.

2018 Outstanding Business Award – Zeis Companies

The 2018 Outstanding Business Award was presented to Zeis Companies for their business growth and exemplary community service.

Zeis Companies started in 1984, in the cabinet resurfacing business. The business grew into fire restoration services, and then sub-divisions and homes. Just this pass year, Zeis Companies was able to bring all of their operations under one roof in a new building N. SR 53. The building includes a showroom, a full shop for custom trim work and other pieces, as well as storage.

Zeis Companies is not just an asset to the community for the remodeling and restoration services they provide, but also for their community involvement and charitable works. Zeis was asked to assist in two Extreme Makeover: Home Edition builds, which inspired them to create the Extreme Build for Habitat for Humanity in 2011. Over the course of a day, volunteers are able to frame up and enclose an entire house. They have done four such builds since launching the program. They are also working with Habitat for Humanity to establish a ReStore, a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

Rich Zeis accepted the award on behalf of the company and all of its employees.

 

 

Outstanding Business Award criteria:
The business must be able to demonstrate leadership in their particular field. The business must be able to show the involvement of its owners, managers, or employees in community affairs. The business must be able to demonstrate generosity of time, talent, and money to local charities or non profit programs. The business must be able to show initiatives taken to improve the quality of life in the community. The business must be able to show activities that improve the community.