grants

Council approves downtown sign program

Grant provides up to 50% reimbursement for sign costs

Renaissance Sign 2TIFFIN, OHIO – December 4, 2017 – Tiffin City Council approved a new Sign Enhancement Program in a meeting Monday night and set aside $10,000 to fund the program in 2018. The program is designed to assist business owners in downtown Tiffin in displaying effective and consistent signage.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said the program is a natural companion to the Façade Enhancement Program introduced in 2014. “Through the Façade Enhancement Program, downtown building and business owners have been able to make drastic changes to the look of their building. To date, the city has invested $350,000 in the program, resulting in $1.4 million in renovations,” he said. “With the sign program, we are able to take the transformation one step further.”

The grant is a 50 percent reimbursement of expenses directly related to perpendicular signage on properties within the downtown target area, up to a maximum match of $1,000.  This grant is available on a first come, first served basis from application approval.  Applications will be accepted starting Jan. 1, 2018. For the first 30 days, preference will be given to owners who have successfully completed Façade Enhancement Program projects.

Signage was laid out in the Downtown Strategic Plan adopted by Council in 2010. The plan called for consistent standards for downtown signage to improve community character along with the Façade Enhancement Program. Similar programs have been adopted by other Ohio Main Street communities, including the Gateway District in Cleveland, Cambridge Main Street, and Main Street Wooster, to great success. A study of one Gateway District business showed a 20 percent increase in foot traffic after a sign enhancement project.

For more information about the program, contact Downtown Manager Amy Reinhart at 419.619.5517 or reinhart@senecacounty.org.

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.

Tiffin awarded $1.6M grant for streetscape project

City of Tiffin LogoMiami Street improvements slated for 2018

TIFFIN, OHIO – July 3, 2017 – The City of Tiffin has received funding for the reconstruction of Miami Street through the Ohio Department of Transportation Small Cities Program, up to $1,636,850, which covers 95% of the $1,723,000 streetscaping project.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is looking forward to beginning the project. “This is a long overdue project that will increase the safety of the road as well as beautify the area,” he said. “The City of Tiffin continues to apply for grants like the Small Cities Program to continue improving our infrastructure while easing the burden on taxpayers.”

The proposed work consists of road reconstruction, new curbs, sidewalks, and lighting, over an approximate length of 2000 feet on Miami Street, from Nelson Street to just east of Clay Street, where the previous project terminated.

This will be a cooperative project with Tiffin University, which will be paying a proportionate share of the local contribution, and covering the costs of non-grant covered items that are of an aesthetic nature, which primarily consist of decorative lighting and textured crosswalks.

“We are excited to partner with the city on this project,” Tiffin University President Lilian Schumacher said. “The continuation of the streetscape enhances our campus and improves walkability of the area for our students.”

Design is expected to conclude early in 2018, with contract award to take place by June of the same year. This schedule may be extended if problems are encountered in the design phase.

Tiffin Facade Enhancement Grant Program: A step-by-step guide

The downtown Tiffin Facade Enhancement Grant Program was launched in 2014 to spur downtown revitalization by providing financial assistance for outside, street-facing building repairs. Eligible projects can receive a reimbursement of up to $10,000 in matching funds. Below is a step-by-step guide to the program.

Application process

The building owner should meet with SIEDC’s Downtown Main Street Manager, Amy Reinhart, to discuss how the program works and obtain an application. The application needs to be submitted and approved before any work has begun.

The building owner must include the following upon submission of their application:

  • Façade Enhancement Application
  • Architectural Board of Review Application  (See ABR Guidelines)
  • W9 form for City to open purchase order.
  • A minimum of two quotes from contractors on the work to be performed (if project is over $3,000 total).
  • Pictures of existing conditions.
  • Pictures or catalog cuts for the items to be purchased (awnings, doors, windows, etc.). If window replacement is recommended, a catalog cut along with dimensioned drawings of the window to be installed are required.  This will include the size of the window, any muntin bars as well as the depth and height of the frame around the window and at any corners where the windows connect.
  • If painting, the historic paint colors must be used. Please provide color samples from the historic line.  This can come from any paint company that provides a historic line, but Sherwin Williams and Ace Hardware do provide a paint discount for any building owner who receives façade approval.
  • A detailed description of the project

Applications are reviewed in the order they are received. Due to the first come first serve nature of the funding, incomplete applications will not be accepted.  When the funds run out, the program ends for the calendar year.  When determining the City budget, Council will determine if funding will be renewed for the following year.

Once the application and all above mentioned items are compiled, they should be brought to the Main Street Manager.  She will review the applications for completeness and determine if there are any issues that need to be addressed prior to submission of the application to the City.  She will work with the Chair of the Architectural Board of Review and the City Engineer’s office to determine if any additional items need to be addressed.

Once the application is reviewed and deemed complete and without any issues, the Main Street Manager will submit the application and attachments to the City to be added to the Architectural Board of Review Agenda.

Architectural Board of Review meetings take place the first and third Tuesday of each month at 3:30 in City Hall.  The owner or a representative must be present at the meeting to answer any questions that may come from the application.  The number of applications reviewed at the meeting is determined by the Chair due to the intensity of the application reviews.  To be considered for the upcoming meeting, all information must be turned in one week prior to the meeting, so proper distribution of materials can take place for Board members.  Additionally, the meeting agenda must be listed in the newspaper as it is required for all public meetings.

Beginning the project

Once the Architectural Board of Review has approved the application, work may begin on the project.  The owner will receive the certificate of appropriateness in the mail following the approval.

If any part of the project changes at any time during the work, the owner must contact the Main Street Manager for a change form.  The changes must be approved by the Architectural Board of Review, as this is a change to a contract that the owner entered into when receiving approval from the City for the funds.

Completing the project

The owner has until December of the following calendar year to complete the work.  For example: if a project is approved in March of 2016, the owner will have until December of 2017 to complete the work.  If the owner is approved in December of 2016, the work must be completed by December of 2017.

Once the work is complete, the owner will submit paid receipts from the contractor to the Main Street Manager.  The manager will complete the final inspection forms and submit those to the City Finance Director and City Engineer’s office along with the paid receipts.  The City Engineer will complete the inspection and sign off.  He will then send it to the City Finance Director who will complete the check and send it to the owner.  The check will be made out to the name on the W9 form only.

For examples of projects that have received grant funding, click here.

For all questions and guidance through the process contact:

Amy Reinhart
Downtown Main Street Manager, SIEDC
419.619.5517
reinhart@senecacounty.org
M-Th, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Tiffin Fire Department receives $1M grant

Funds allocated for truck purchase

Kevin VeleteanTIFFIN, OHIO – August 15, 2016 – Tiffin Fire Chief Kevin Veletean announced at Tiffin City Council Monday night that the department has received a $1 million grant to purchase a new ladder truck. The FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant is a 90/10 split with the City of Tiffin, covering $1 million of the $1,102,000 project.

The funds will replace a 1981 truck nearing the end of its life-span. “The typical national standard for the equipment is 15 years, but like anything else, the biggest factor is how well the department maintains the truck. At this point, it is becoming difficult to even find parts to make repairs,” Veletean said.

Chief Veletean wrote the grant as a regional project, in conjunction with Clinton Township and Bascom. “This is almost perfect timing,” he said. “It coincides with the Joint Justice Center and reinforces the need to break down old standards to work together, not independently.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commended Chief Veletean on his assistance to the city. “This grant will improve safety services for Tiffin and the surrounding area,” Montz said. “It is encouraging to see more departments following the city and county’s lead and working together, especially to provide such a valuable service to our community.”

About the Assistance to Firefighters Grant

The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire-related hazards by providing direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations, and State Fire Training Academies (SFTA) for critically needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operations efficiencies, foster interoperability, and support community resilience.

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 at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

 

BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio offers cost-effective energy solutions

Better BuildingsBetterBuildings is a program available through the Toledo-Lucas Port Authority. The goal of the program is to make cost-effective energy practices and technology more accessible to individuals, businesses and governmental entities across Northwest Ohio while also helping transform the way whole communities use energy. Owners of virtually every type of building are eligible for low-cost financing to pay for high-efficiency improvements to their facilities and building systems.

The program offers commercial financing at competitive interest rates with terms up to 15 years for projects that focus on conserving energy and generating savings through equipment retrofits to existing facilities. Financing is structured so that the energy savings will cover the cost of equipment, upgrades, installation and transaction cost, which make these projects “self-funding.” In addition, eligible utility company rebates and other incentives can be included in the financing.

In many buildings energy savings of 20% or more are achievable. To be eligible, projects must be an energy efficient retrofit to an existing building. Some examples of projects that can be financed are lighting, high efficiency HVAC, building envelope, energy management systems and controls, compressed air and refrigeration.

BetterBuildings offers financing for projects that focus on conserving energy and generating savings through equipment upgrades to existing facilities. The following lists some of the energy improvements eligible for upgrades:

  • Lighting and Building Controls
  • HVAC, Boilers and Chillers
  • Compressor, Motors and Drives
  • Refrigeration
  • Waste Energy Recovery
  • Electrical Distribution

Financing for BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio is available through a $15 million start-up grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The funding was issued in 2010 as part of the Retrofit Ramp-Up project, part of the $80 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio is just one of 25 programs across the nation chosen for participation.

For more information, please contact Teresa Smith, Business Development Manager, tsmith@toledoport.org, Andrea Jones, BBNWO Executive Assistant,  ajones@toledoport.org, or call the BetterBuildings office at 419-243-8251.

SIEDC awarded $4,500 AEP Ohio LEAP grant

INSIGHT logoGrant funds to assist in business retention and expansion

TIFFIN, OHIO – November 25, 2015 – The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) was awarded a $4,500 grant through the AEP Ohio 2015 Local Economic Advancement Program (LEAP) to assist with business retention and expansion program, INSIGHT.

Instituted in January 2015, the INSIGHT program is a collaboration between SIEDC, local Chambers of Commerce, workforce and training development professionals, and downtown and economic development organizations. The goal of the program is to contact 1,000 businesses in Seneca County, and assist them in job retention and expansion.

“In its first year, INSIGHT has already proven to be an important tool to help businesses expand and create new jobs. By approaching businesses in the early stages of possible projects, we are better able to assist them,” SIEDC Director of Development Karen Bowers said.

The INSIGHT team and outreach partners use Salesforce to input and share data. SIEDC applied for a LEAP grant to offset the cost of 10 Salesforce user licenses.

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 at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.