Zoeller, ODOT discuss SR 53 project

Seneca County Commissioner Fred Zoeller met with Ohio Department of Transportation officials to discuss the SR 53 Coalition, he reported at a North Central Ohio Regional Council of Government meeting Wednesday.

Zoeller, along with representatives from Ottawa, Sandusky and Wyandot counties, spoke with ODOT to complete the application for improvements to the SR 53 corridor.

The commissioners hope with ODOT’s help, the project can become a high priority for the state.

Zoeller also spoke with Gov. John Kasich during his visit Tuesday and the governor reaffirmed the importance of the coalition.

“With numbers, we have a stronger voice,” Zoeller said.

Zoeller and the coalition are to present their report to the council at 11 a.m. Aug. 16.

In a special meeting June 14, the board approved a contract with Brewer-Garrett Co. for energy services. The two-year contract will help generate revenue for the council, and several schools are joining the council due to the contract.

John Davoli, director of the council of governments, reported that the council had received several new grants since the last meeting. The grants included a Local Government Innovation Fund of $100,000 for a compressed natural gas study which allows the council to perform a comprehensive analysis of the savings potential of converting school buses, city, county and private business vehicles to compressed natural gas. According to a handout, energy costs could be reduced by up to 66 percent.

The group also received a Safe Routes to School grant. Working with the city, Tiffin City Schools and Tiffin Calvert Catholic Schools, the panel received one of 11 grants in the state to create a new safe routes for students in the city. Along with Tiffin, the group assisted Fremont City Schools in successfully receiving the grant.

Also discussed was a $100,000 Local Government Innovation Fund grant to fund a study for a shared court facility. The application is almost complete.

The council also approved a change to the Code of Regulations, giving the board chair the authority to sign documents as needed. This decision was made because the council feared for the president’s availability to sign council-approved papers.

In other business, the council announced new business partners, including Action Printing and Photography, Diversified Graphics Inc., G.R. Gill Electric Inc., Clouse Electric Inc. Clouse Construction Corp. and Paul’s Supermarket. Schools joining NCORcog include Clyde-Green Springs, Ridgedale, Pleasant, North Union and Old Fort.

The council is to have a one-day energy conservation workshop 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 21 at North Central Ohio Educational Service Center. Those who attend the free program, geared toward public institutions, are to learn how to reduce project and operating costs. Interested officials can learn more at greenappleproject.com.

The NCOESC is to host Open Government Unit Certified Public Records Training 10 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Sept. 27. The training program is in accordance with Ohio Revised Code, requiring Public Records Law training for all elected officials and/or their appropriate designees. The program will review the rights of the public records requester and example the responsibilities of elected officials. The program will be at the NCOESC and those interested can register at www.ohioauditor.gov/


The next North Central Ohio Regional Council of Government meeting is 10:30 a.m. Sept. 18 at NCOESC.