Council hears about power purchase plan

Rob Barkley from AEP Energy spoke to Tiffin City Council about possible electrical aggregation at a meeting Monday night. Due to the low rates and the ability to opt-out of the program, Barkley said it was a “risk-free” agreement.

The program may save citizens money on electricity, but the council has been reluctant to agree to the ordinance.

Councilman Mark Hayes said the aggregation would create a “three-year monopoly” on electricity.

Councilwoman Lori Ritzler said the city had “the responsibility to educate” its citizens. Councilman Joe Hartzel then called for a committee of the whole so that citizens could better understand the aggregation issue.

Council is to have a special meeting in order to adhere to the three-reading rule and still have time to get the issue onto the November ballot.

The special meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. July 29.

Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group Manager Rich Zeis came to discuss the plans for the improvement of the Laird Arcade Building.

Executive Board Member Karl Kerschner explained the group had purchased the building and were putting forth efforts to rehabilitate the structure. With their efforts, they hope that businesses and tenants would become interested in the property.

“Our plan at this point is to preserve what is really a centerpiece in downtown Tiffin,” said Kerschner.

Danielle Steinhauser of Poggemeyer Design Group said they were filing for a $100,000-$150,000 Ohio Developmental Services Agency discretionary grant to fund the improvements. The group is apply for the grant and provide matching funds, but would need the support of council to submit the application. The city is not required to provide any funds for the project, but the group intends to pursue the project immediately as the grant is first come, first served.

Mayor Aaron Montz supported the application, saying it would be a “huge win for the Tiffin community.”

The proposal was referred to the Law and Community Planning Committee and Law Director Brent Howard for discussion.

Additionally, Jackie Fletcher from the Tiffin Historic Trust reported historic district signs around town would be replaced. The six districts had signs placed in the 1990s and plans to replace the signs have been finalized.

The project is to be completed by the Heritage Festival.

Montz reminded council of the Seneca County Fair next week and the Farmer’s Market 9 a.m.-1 p.m. July 27.

In other business, council unanimously approved:

An ordinance amending Budget Ordinance 12-73 regarding the City Engineer’s Office.

An ordinance amending Budget Ordinance 12-73 to appropriate donated funds for fireworks display related expenses.