County panel OKs airport land deal

Pat Schwan from Richland Engineering Ltd. spoke to the Seneca County Board of Commissioners about the county’s application for a Federal Aviation Administration grant at the meeting Tuesday.

The grant would allow for the acquisition of a parcel on the south side of the Seneca County Airport runway. Acquiring the parcel and eliminating some items, including trees, is to help with safety issues defined by the FAA, Schwan said.

After this acquisition, Schwan said the county should have parcels necessary for safety improvements under FAA requirements.

Seneca County Airport Manager Brad Newman said other properties may have issues with items such as tree height in the future.

Commissioner Jeff Wagner suggested an airport open house to allow residents to ask questions about the airport and the acquisitions, along with explaining FAA requirements.

The board authorized Richland Engineering to prepare and submit the grant application and the real estate purchase agreement for acquisition of the Theis property on behalf of the airport. Applications are due in July.

Due to a typographical error in the pre-application, the board also agreed to amend the resolution authorizing the FY 2014 Airport Improvement Program application to acquire land for approaches and authorizing Commissioners President Holly Stacy to sign the application and related documentation on behalf of the board.

The board also approved a supplemental appropriation of $312,000 for land acquisition.

If the grant application is approved, the FAA would reimburse the county for 90 percent of the cost of acquisition.

In other business, Wagner also spoke about the Seneca County fairgrounds and the possible repaving of three sections of the drive, including the main entrance, the drive from the main entrance to the end of the Public Safety building and the parking area in front of the Farm Bureau building.

County Engineer Mark Zimmerman provided drawings for the project and estimated a total cost of $49,402.

Because the county regularly uses the road and fairgrounds, Wagner suggested paying for half of the project.

Commissioner Fred Zoeller said the county should match funds provided by the Seneca County Agricultural Society for the project.

A resolution regarding the project is to be considered in a future meeting.

Zoeller also announced Seneca Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Jill Griffin is leaving the position June 27 to go into private industry.

He said she is to complete the county’s Community Development Block Grant application before leaving.

Zoeller also discussed mold and water infiltration issues at the RTA Building.

He said Clouse Construction has agreed to complete necessary work and the project would not exceed $40,000.

Zoeller said when writing the contract, Clouse Construction should not be held liable for future issues with the building.

The board approved a supplemental appropriation of $32,000 from the Capital Projects Fund for the project.

Additional funds already were available for the project.

Zoeller said he met with the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. board about a study to be completed on the East Tower property.

SIEDC’s board recommended commissioners support a privately funded study facilitated by SIEDC that would look into the feasibility of using the East Tower as space for a justice center to be shared by Seneca County and Tiffin.

If it is not feasible to use as a shared justice center, the study is to consider other uses for the space, he said.

“We are looking at all options,” Zoeller said. “My preference … would be that we can renovate that grand old building and have it as a tax-paying facility and not a tax-burden facility. That remains to be seen as the study comes forth.”

In other business, the board approved:

A supplemental appropriation of $312,000 for the General Fund for 2014.

A fund advance of $25,839.50 from the General Fund to the Moving Ohio Forward Fund.

A supplemental appropriation of $15,000 for the General Fund for 2014.

A supplemental appropriation of $300 for the Ohio Peace Officer Training Grant Fund for 2014.

An appropriation adjustment of $22,000 within the maintenance and repair fund.

A resolution amending the health insurance section of the county’s police manual.

A resolution authorizing the agreement for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Subsidy Grant for FY2015 on behalf of Seneca County Common Pleas Court.

A resolution approving the agreement between the Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services and American Federal of State, County and Municipal Employees, Ohio Council 8, Local No. 1685.

A resolution re-establishing the members of the Seneca County Health Insurance Advisory Board.

A resolution appointing Carolyn Dorn to the Seneca County Health Insurance Advisory Board as the bargaining representative for the term beginning June 10 and ending Dec. 31, 2017.

A resolution appointing Sharon Skeel to the Seneca County Health Insurance Advisory Board as the non-bargaining representative for the term beginning June 10 and ending Dec. 31, 2017.

Bill vouchers.