MHRS buys Ag Credit building

After renting space at Tiffin Developmental Center for 30 years, the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties is to move its offices to the former Ag Credit office, 1200 N. SR 53. At an auction Saturday morning, the board made a successful bid of $100,000 for the property.

Nancy Cochran, executive director of the MHRS board, called for a special meeting Saturday morning, attended by 11 members and Jim Melle, attorney for the board. The agenda included a motion to approve a line-to-line transfer of funds so that two purchase orders could be issued to cover the full purchase price, closing costs and capital improvements. The board also authorized Cochran to enter into contracts for renovations totaling a maximum of $75,000. Both motions passed.

“This is just the perfect building for us. It’s got the number of offices we need. We’ve got two offices we’ll turn into the conference room. The parking is (compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act). It’s everything we need our building to be,” Cochran said.

When the Commission on Aging closed its Riverside Drive office and moved to Somerset Reception Center, Cochran said the MHRS board started thinking about a move of its own. The commission’s building was too large for the MHRS board’s purposes, so they decided to wait until a more suitable location became available.

Because levy funds from 2009, 2010 and 2011 were not consumed completely, the board accepted proposals from local organizations to expand services. At the December meeting, the MHRS board approved a motion to target $300,000 toward its own board initiatives, including the purchase of property.

“These are local Seneca County levy funds. Collections began in 2009 and we had encumbered them for contract services. These were funds that went unexpended,” Cochran said. “Because this purchase and the building is in Seneca County, we can only use Seneca County levy dollars.”

The MHRS board’s lease at TDC expires June 30. Cochran said she would like to be in the new building as soon as remodeling is complete. She said the board could extend its lease at TDC for three months if necessary to allow more time for renovations.

“We’d like to be able to get in there by July 1, but I think that’s going to be pretty ambitious,” Cochran said. “TDC just couldn’t have been a better landlord.”

While construction is going on, Cochran, her staff and board members will sort through files to decide what can be discarded. For now, the board’s focus is on its regular monthly business. Eight proposals from Wyandot County have come in and need to be verified.

“At our April board meeting, we’re going to award this coming year’s funds. We’ve got two additional schools that have applied this year, so we’ll be adding Seneca East and Hopewell-Loudon,” Cochran said.

For more information, visit the MHRS website,, e-mail or call (419) 448-0640.