City worries over relocation

Tiffin City Council members agreed Monday to present their concerns to Seneca County commissioners about the potential relocation of the Board of Elections to the Department of Job and Family Services building.

Councilman Jim Roberts said he was concerned about the possible change because the Department of Job and Family Services building is in Eden Township.

He said he was concerned about losing income tax revenue from board employees, along with the moving of the office outside of the county seat.

Roberts suggested bringing council’s concerns to Seneca County commissioners and urging them to keep county offices in Tiffin. Council approved the motion and is to speak to the board about its concerns today.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said Karl’s Hauling Recycling Center is to be open 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. He said he hoped it would bridge the gap until more permanent measures are put in place.

Council President Paul Elchert asked whether the recycling program was worthwhile, as the market did not produce enough profit for the program to continue.

“We had an opportunity with Karl’s Hauling to help the city out by at least having the recycling program, and for whatever reason, people didn’t go there,” Elchert said. “We need to emphasize to the people that live in town that they need to start recycling and take their products there, that way they can make a little money.”

Karl’s Hauling Treasurer Vicki Turco said the company would like to keep the dropoff site open due to the good response of the public but the volume of recycling has drastically decreased. She said she did not know whether the lower volume was due to township houses maintaining drop-off sites that allowed comingling of recyclables.

Turco said Karl’s Hauling is looking into several companies that will take comingled items that they can provide in a curbside service and dropoff site.

OSS Solid Waste Management District Director Tim Wasserman said townships have implemented an education system and have more regularly scheduled removal of recyclables.

He said the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency requires a recyclable dropoff to be open 40 hours a week to be considered a full-time dropoff. This would force the city out of compliance with the Ohio EPA.

He also said that a grant could be available for the initial purchase of containers for the city.

Law Director Brent Howard said Tiffin has an ordinance requiring recycling, but it has not been enforced for many years since the city did not have curbside recycling.

Elchert said council and Karl’s Hauling should work together to improve the program and help it expand to curbside recycling.

The issue was referred to the Law and Community Planning committee.

In other business, Kenneth Davison gave an update on the Tiffin Historic Trust and said the group is planning to produce revised pamphlets with walking, bicycle and car tours of Tiffin and Seneca County.

He also renewed his request for council to consider becoming an affiliate member of the Main Street program, a plan by Heritage Ohio to revitalize historic downtowns.

His request was referred to the Law and Community Planning committee.

Finance Director Gwynn Reinhart said in her report the General Fund unencumbered balance as of Oct. 31 was $2,517,171.98. Municipal income tax receipts are up 6.5 percent over October 2012.

The unexpended balance for all funds was $13,917,055.51.

Reinhart also requested legislation be brought to the Personnel and Labor Relations committee regarding adding two employees to the city payroll from Fostoria at the first of the year. Judge Mark Repp requested the employees be considered continuing employees, not new hires, so they would maintain their longevity and hire dates from Fostoria and would not have a break in health insurance coverage.

Montz reported that a fifth reserve officer was sworn in last week and thanked Police Chief Fred Stevens for the reserve program.

He also said a study was completed on City Hall and determined that gaps existed in the building allowing leaks and heat to escape. He said improvements to the building would cost $24,000 and would save the city about $5,000 a year on energy usage.

Montz said that with the short payback period, it would be put into next year’s budget.

He also thanked Gwen Lewis for her contribution to the Legacy Tree Memorial in memory of DeWitt Lewis and to Boy Scout Troop 444 for the rehabilitation of the Seneca County Home Cemetery.

He also said all nonessential offices at City Hall will be closed Monday for Veteran’s Day.

Council is to hold a Committee of the Whole meeting at 5:15 p.m. Nov. 13 to complete the budget review.

In other business, council unanimously approved:

An ordinance amending Budget Ordinance 12-73 for insurance proceeds for storm damage to flooring at the police station.

An ordinance authorizing and directing the mayor to grant a right-of-way easement agreement from the city to Inland Corp. and declaring an emergency.

An ordinance establishing a municipal jobs creation tax credit program and declaring an emergency.

An ordinance amending Section 933.01 of Tiffin Codified Ordinances increasing the annual permit fee for trash haulers in the city with a suspension of the three-reading rule.