Funds raised to open city pool

The Tiffin City Pool has raised enough money to open this summer, the city and representatives from a local realty company said during Monday night’s Tiffin City Council meeting.

Jan Betz and Leslie Dundore of Real Living Generations Realty, which has been raising funds for the pool since February, said they have exceeded their goal of $20,000, and have raised $22,500 for the city pool.

“Hopefully this will get the pool open,” Betz said. “I know it won’t open on a full-time basis, but at least the kids will be able to enjoy it this summer.”

Last month the city approved an agreement with the YMCA to operate the pool during the summer.

“Companies like that and individuals like them, make the community very proud to be here in Tiffin and be a Tiffinite,” Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said.

Any additional donations are likely to go to the fund to open the city pool next year, he said.

Also during the meeting, Karen Bowers, director of development at Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp., gave council an update on Community Development Block Grant projects.

Bowers said this year’s CDBG program has been completely revamped.

The city is guaranteed $75,000, but it also could be eligible for up to $600,000 in additional set aside projects, Bowers said.

The city could apply for two of three set-aside programs, including a critical infrastructure program for a low- to moderate-income area. The other set asides are a neighborhood revitalization program for a low- to moderate-income area, and a downtown revitalization program.

“We stand a very good chance at coming away with a lot more money than your standard $75,000,” Bowers said.

Montz suggested the city use some CDBG money to tear down the former Salvation Army building.

Councilwoman Lori Ritzler agreed that city should use the money to demolish the building.

“We’ve been talking about that Salvation Army building for a couple years, and I know that’s a priority of mine to have that tore down,” President of Council Paul Elchert said.

Montz said another potential CDBG project would be to expand Fair Lane so that it runs through to US 224.

He said the county also could apply for the same project, and the city and county could each put money toward the project, estimated to cost $1.5 million.

Montz said the extension would open up space for commercial development.

Bowers said she is working with a field representative to extend the scope of a low- to moderate-income area that runs down West Perry Street to Frost Parkway and West Market to Benner Street, to include the property at 25 E. Market St., which the city recently agreed to purchase.

If approved, the city could then apply for a neighborhood revitalization program grant to tear down two buildings on the property, she said.

In other business, Montz gave council an update about meetings he had with state officials last week.

He said the state is willing to conduct a study on SR 53, and would likely pay for most of it. He said he will get a cost estimate on how much the city is expected to pay for the study soon.

“Seneca County is actually in the top five counties in the state of Ohio for accident fatality rates,” Montz said. “When you have as little population as we do, that says a lot about what’s going on here in Seneca County, especially with Route 53.”

Also during the meeting, Montz said that City Engineer Curtis Eagle will be retiring May 31. Eagle has worked for the city for more than 20 years, Montz said.

In new business, council approved the following on 7-0 votes:

* A resolution declaring the necessity for the city to proceed with the 2013 sidewalk replacement project.

* A resolution approving the mayor’s appointment of David Martien for an unexpired term on the planning commission.

* Amended and restated a resolution confirming the pick-up of the Tiffin Fire/Rescue Division employee contributions to the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund.

* An ordinance amending budget ordinance 12-73 appropriating money for donations and expenses for the dog park, and to return unused money for the CHIP private rehab program to the CHIP Revolving Loan Fund.

* An ordinance authorizing the city administrator to prepare plans and specifications, advertise for and receive bids and recommend and execute contracts for the 2013 sidewalk replacement and installation project and for the installation of handicapped accessible curbs at certain corners within the city.