Tiffin Ohio

Seneca County Fair celebrates 175 years

fair logoThis year marks the 175th Seneca County Fair, making it the second oldest county fair in Ohio. At seven days, it is also one of the longest county fairs in the state. The event features livestock exhibitions, live entertainment and other activities for people of all ages.

Seneca County Fair Board member Aaron Howell says this year will have several special features. “A glass-blower will be there, creating commemorative items for the event, there will be a raffle for rides on the Re/Max hot air balloon, and we have invited every previous fair king and queen we could find to a special dinner,” he said. “We’re even bringing back the cow chip throwing contest and dunk tank!”

The Seneca County Fair began 175 years ago as a street fair located first at Rock Creek, and later on Frost Parkway.  The fair found it’s permanent home on the current property, in 1885. Today, it sprawls across 80 acres and attracts 50,000 guests each year.

Every year, more than a thousand kids from across the county participate in the fair through 4H and the Junior Fair Board, exhibiting animals and hands-on projects they work on throughout the year. Additionally, there are children’s rides (only 50 cents per ride), a wide range of food vendors, antique farm equipment, and live entertainment every night of the week. There is live music in the entertainment building Tuesday through Sunday, with acts including Nashville Crush and the Eric Sowers Band, two nights of rodeo, harness racing, horse and tractor pulls, and more. This year’s demolition derby is on track to be one of the largest yet.

Admission to the fair is just $7 per day or $22 for the whole week. Veterans get a special discount on Monday and Seniors on Tuesday, just $2.

Bilger’s Lawn and Landscape

Bilger's Ribbon CuttingMeet Brian Bilger, owner of Bilger’s Lawn and Landscape, located at 1761 N. SR 53 in Tiffin. Brian started his landscaping business out of his parents’ garage in 1999 and 17 years later the business is still going strong and growing.

He began mowing lawns in his neighborhood when he was nine, and continued throughout high school. He started the business in his parents’ garage and attended classes in landscape contracting and horticulture science at Ohio State University and Columbus State Community College during the off-season.

Bilger soon outgrew the garage, moved to a larger space, and finally rented a space on SR 53 North of Tiffin. Last year, they built and moved into their own building at  1761 N. SR 53 (a $300,000 investment), giving them more room for storage, including their new storage building and swing set installation services. The company currently employs 18-20 individuals, and Brian says they are comfortable at that number. “We are working on our internal system and setting a standard of quality,” he said.

Brian is also actively involved in the Tiffin community. Several years ago his design skills landed him on a sub-committee of Tiffin Tomorrow, a group dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Tiffin. In 2014, it was absorbed by SIEDC, with the original group serving as the downtown leadership board, and Brian is still a key member of the board. He is also a member of the Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group, the group responsible for the purchase and revitalization of the Laird Arcade in downtown Tiffin.

Additionally, Brian is a part of the Seneca County Home Builders Association, a group of building professionals who hold educational and networking events for their industry partners as well as assist community organizations. He also takes part in their yearly Home Expo event.

“Tiffin is home,” he said. “I love everything about it. I feel fortunate to be here, and everyone has been really great. I want to give back.”

Bilger’s is able to help with all of your landscape needs including digital landscape design, installation, maintenance, lighting, water features, paver patios/retaining walls, drip irrigation, lawn treatment programs, swing sets/storage sheds and retail landscape materials. Check out their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or visit their website.

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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.

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.

2017 Sentinel’s most successful year yet

sentinel logoThe 2016-2017 school year was another record setter for Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers. The stats for the Tiffin campus are astounding:

August 2016 – May 2017

  • 96% Skill Attainment/WebXam (CTE end of course exam) passage rate among 2017 graduates.
  • 99% 12pt. industrial credential passage rate among 2017 graduates. Industrial Credential Examples: Pro Start, NATEF/ASE, NCCER, NIMS, AWS, STNA, APCO-911, to name only a few.
  • 94% or higher retention rate from the first day of school to the last.
  • 2016-2017 total enrollment: 532, with 180 Career Technology Education graduates.
  • 2017 placement rate: 50% Career, 35% College (2/4 year/or apprenticeship program) & 15% military.
  • 43 State Champions among career technical student organizations (SkillsUSA, FFA & Educators Rising).

Sentinel Career & Technology Center Director Elissa Heal is looking forward to another successful school year this fall, expanding business and industry relationships and offering new outlets for students.

“Continuing to strengthen relationships with the business community is a priority at Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers,” she said. “Each of our 15 career programs have a business advisory team made up of industry/educational representatives from their career field. Offering high quality career technical education to students in our community is a top priority.”

Expanding upon character education – one of the pillars of all VSCTC programs – Drug Free Clubs will be offered starting this fall in addition to other programs designed to serve both the students and community.  VSCTC is also rolling out the “Bronze-Platnum” program model, which will expand options for students and provide opportunities to area businesses and industries. The program is still in development; more information will be provided this fall.

About VSCTC
Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers have been providing quality career technical education since 1968.  The district provides students with specific, marketable skills to begin a career, pursue further training or attend college.  For more information about programs, or to apply to be a student, visit www.vsctc.org.

Tiffin Art Guild to celebrate move with grand opening, exhibition

TAG Grand Opening PosterOn June 3, from 4-6 p.m., the Tiffin Art Guild is holding an open house celebration to welcome friends and members to their new location at 130 S. Washington St. The free event will include tours, refreshments and door prizes, as well as an exhibition.

The celebration will feature local fused glass artists “Three Artisans,” Elaine Bast, Jill Groves & Fran Jackson as their present their latest uniquely designed art glass creations . The Exhibition will remain on display until June 23.

About the Tiffin Art Guild
The Tiffin Art Guild & Gallery was created in 2006 to bring new and varied artwork to the Tiffin Community and surrounding communities. We offer varied art classes for both children and adults and are always looking for teachers and new ideas on classes to offer. We provide a place for artists and those who appreciate art to gather and display their artwork. We also need more members and volunteers in order to continue and expand on our mission.

 

New dance studio opens in Tiffin

On Pointe - Body Works

(left to right) Kaitlyn Boehler, Vicky Boehler, Brooklyn Boehler

Press release provided by On Pointe Performing Arts Studio

Now open for business, On Pointe Performing Arts Studio, LLC is accepting registration for Fall 2017 classes. On Pointe is a new dance studio located in Bodyworks.

On Pointe offers dance classes for ages 3 to 18. They accept dancers of all levels. Classes offered are ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and hip-hop.

Vicky Boehler, owner and founder, along with her two daughters, Brooklyn and Kaitlyn, are excited to see the company develop. The studio will incorporate educational learning during class for younger students, as well as add the personal touch that people are looking for in a small town.

“We’re determined to instill the arts and education into our growing community,” said Vicky Boehler. “Not only do we strive to build a strong relationship with local universities and schools, we want to connect with the Tiffin community. Our mission is to inspire passion, imagination and creativity.”

Training for fifteen years, the daughters developed a strong passion for dance and desired to own their own studio. Their mother was drawn into the business venture. She was captivated by the art and enjoyed attending every performance. As Tiffin University alumni, they believe their education, varying expertise, and experience has prepared them for this adventure.

“We’re so thankful to Larry, Diane and the rest of the Bodyworks’ family for welcoming us into their facility,” said Boehler. “We look forward to working with them.”

On Pointe will have an open house on Saturday, June 24, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Another open house is scheduled Saturday, August 21, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Parents and potential students will have the opportunity to visit the studio, meet the teachers and owner, and register for classes.

The studio will host a summer dance camp from Monday, June 26. 2017 to Friday, June 30, 2017 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The camp is offered for ages 3 to 8; no experience required. This year’s theme, “Groove at the Zoo,” will include educational activities, crafts, and a dance performance for parents to view. The camp is $25. A registration form for the summer dance camp is available at Bodyworks.

Registration forms are available and must be returned to Bodyworks. Upon registration, everyone will have a chance to win three months free tuition for one class and have a free trial class per genre. On Pointe also offers a family discount and a multiple genre discount.

For more information, please contact On Pointe by email onpointeperformingartsstudio@gmail.com or call 419-455-4082. More information can also be found on their Facebook page.

New business, Ink Element Studio, to open downtown

20170418_114815A new business, Ink Element Studio, is set to open on the second floor at the end of the month. In this new venture, owner and modification practitioner Cam Magers and his wife, Cassandra Magers, combine 14 years of experience with a spa-like atmosphere.

Called a “modification studio,” Ink Element services will include tattoos and piercing, as well as body modification such as permanent cosmetics and hair follicle pigment restoration, and free services for breast cancer survivors. They are also working on a clothing line, which will live mostly online.

With the Ink Element studio space, Magers said he is trying to create a relaxing environment for customers. Sessions are to be scheduled by appointment, ensuring privacy and the complete focus of the artist, one entire wall of the tattoo room is a hand-painted mural designed to give customers something calming to look at, and customers can listen to music of their choice. “I want people to come in and feel at home,” he said.

Once the studio is up and running, Magers would like to provide youth art classes using the studio space of Gem Yoga (located just across the hall). “I love what’s going on here,” he said. “We want to leave our positive mark on the community.”

Visit the Ink Element Studio Facebook page for more information.

Select Realty merges with Bolte Real Estate

Press release from Bolte Real Estate

North Central Ohio Real Estate Firm Attains Tiffin Company

new nameBolte Real Estate, a fourth-generation, independently owned company based in Port Clinton, is pleased to announce its merger with Select Realty Group in Tiffin. With four offices currently throughout Ottawa and Sandusky Counties, the merger allows Bolte Real Estate to expand into the Seneca County area and strengthen its presence as a real estate leader in this region of Ohio.

Founded by Ann Bolte in 1936, Bolte Real Estate has maintained its commitment to excellence by taking a personal approach with its customers. With offices in Port Clinton, Clyde, Fremont and Catawba, the company has grown to become the largest independent brokerage in North Central Ohio.

Phillip Bolte and Renee Bolte-Stine, Ann’s great-grandchildren and current owners, bought the company in 2014 and have built a state-of-the-art real estate company while maintaining the family heritage and providing a distinctive personal approach to their business. In 2016, Bolte Real Estate achieved $93 million in real estate sales.

“What excites us about this merger is the opportunity for greater brand recognition throughout the region and access to more tools, training and a larger leadership team,” said Phillip Bolte.

“Also, we feel that our merger will allow us to better help our clients ever growing and evolving real estate needs while also giving back to the communities we represent.”

Co-owner Renee Bolte-Stine is a Tiffin native who graduated from Columbian High School in the early 1990s, along with her husband Cory Stine. “For my family, Tiffin is a part of our heritage so the expansion of Bolte Real Estate into this area is exciting from a business aspect and rewarding on a personal level,” said Renee Bolte-Stine.

Select Realty Group’s office at 23 S. Washington Street will remain open and the only noticeable change will be the name on the building. Owners Fran Andersons and Sara Riesen founded Select Realty in April of 2012 with three agents and quickly grew to be a dominant name in local real estate. Today, there are nine agents who work for Select. Both Fran and Sara will remain in leadership positions once the merger is complete.

Sara Riesen explained that even though the name Select Realty will change, their commitment to their clients will not. “Our team will remain the people that the community has come to know and trust,” she said.

All owners agree that the merger of Bolte Real Estate and Select Realty Group evolved because of a mutual respect among professional colleagues who became friends. Sara explained, “I’ve known Phillip and Renee for a long time but got to know Phillip even better when we served on the board of directors for the Firelands Realtor Association. They were very helpful to us when we began our business, offering advice and support. When the discussion eventually turned to the possibility of ‘teaming up’, it seemed like a natural fit for all of us.”

Philip added, “Our philosophy of working hard, treating people right and having fun will be strengthened by having a larger team across a larger area engaged in the real estate business and committed to our family’s heritage of excellence.”

Final Façade Enhancement Grants of 2017 approved

Funds exhausted in record time

2014_04_15 - Bears DenTIFFIN, OHIO – April 18, 2017 – Today, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved two Façade Enhancement Grants for downtown building improvements, depleting the $100,000 set aside by the City of Tiffin for 2017. The projects were awarded a combined total of $12,754, for a total reinvestment in downtown Tiffin of $50,800, bringing the total investment for 2017 façade grants to $266,000.

The Bear’s Den, located at 60-68 E. Perry St., received approval for a $10,000 grant. The $21,000 project is to include replacement of second floor windows and first floor doors, balcony and tile repairs, painting, and the addition of exterior lighting.

The building at 92 S. Washington St. was the final Façade Enhancement approval of 2017 and received the remainder of the city funds. A grant was approved in the amount of $2,754 for a nearly $30,000 roof repair project.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is pleased with the continued success of the city funded Façade Enhancement Grant Program. “It has been another record year for the façade program,” he said. “We have had 17 projects approved this year, the most since the program began in 2014, and all of the allotted funds were used within just four months.”

Since the Façade Enhancement Program began, 54 projects have been approved for funding and $1.4 million invested in downtown buildings.

About the Façade Enhancement Program
This City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program was started in 2014 and provides a 50 percent match of funds for eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district, up to $10,000. Each building is eligible to receive up to $10,000 per calendar year.  For more information, visit www.senecasuccess.com  (search “Façade Enhancement”).

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.