County eases limits on square

Seneca County Board of Commissioners lifted the temporary freeze on weekend events being held on Courthouse Square during their regular meeting Tuesday.

Resident Dean Henry asked the board to allow the Aug. 31 movie night to be moved from South Washington Street to Courthouse Square. He said his daughter attended the movie night last Saturday and she thought it would be better in the grass. Moving the event also would allow the street to be open, he said.

“We’ve got the biggest yard in Tiffin 30 feet away,” Henry said. “We can put a movie on the grass next Sunday night.”

Commissioner Jeff Wagner said he never was comfortable with the stay, as the county always decided on events on a case-by-case basis.

Commissioner Fred Zoeller said the county needs to establish guidelines to determine liability, especially for daytime events.

The board agreed to lift the stay only for weekend events until guidelines are set by the committee.

“Jumanji” is to be shown on Courthouse Square at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 31 as a tribute to actor Robin Williams, who killed himself last week.

County Administrator Stacy Wilson said she met with the Seneca County Board of Elections to discuss a request for an additional $36,600 to its budget.

After discussion, commissioners unanimously approved $28,600 of the request. Funding is to go toward contract services, poll worker training, supplies and advertising. The advertising expenses are to be reimbursed by the state.

Because the board of elections already has money for staffing and an increase for poll worker salaries is not necessary until November, commissioners decided not to include those items in the increase.

Commissioners also approved a resolution authorizing the county’s participation in an application for a Local Government Innovation Fund grant through the state.

North Central Ohio Regional Council of Governments Director John Davoli said the $50,000 grant would study the needs and implementation of an improved geographic information system for organizations within Seneca County.

If approved, the study would start in January and Davoli said the county is not required to do anything with the information upon completion of the study.

No cost would be incurred by the county if the grant is approved.

Davoli also explained a 10-year, $500,000 loan the county can apply for with Tiffin and other organizations to be spent on a justice center. Details, including a location, do not matter as long as the money is spent on a justice center.

The board is to consider county participation in the loan at a later meeting.

Both applications are due Sept. 8.

Wilson also said AT&T is adamant the county sign a contract before the company releases a $30,000 reimbursement for overcharges. By not signing the contract, Wilson said the county is incurring $10,000 a month in overcharges.

While the contract cost is lower than the county’s original contract, she said commissioners had wanted to eliminate unused phone numbers before signing a new contract.

In the meantime, Wilson said Time Warner Cable is trying to switch the commissioners office to its phone service, but it might not be compatible with county telephones. If that is the case, Wilson said the county may have to switch back to AT&T. The county would not be penalized for leaving the contract with Time Warner Cable.

Zoeller suggested signing the AT&T contract, getting in writing what the county needs to do should it decide to end its service with AT&T and making sure the county receives the overcharge reimbursement.

In new business, the board approved bill vouchers and a resolution authorizing an agreement with the Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca County Solid Waste District and the Seneca County Prosecutors Office.