Another milestone

Final beam placed during topping-off

PHOTO BY JIMMY FLINT Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court Judge Mark Repp’s message and signature are seen on the final steel beam before it was placed on top of the building.

Residents and county, city and court officials came together for a topping-out ceremony at the joint justice center site Tuesday afternoon.

Lane Brubaker of Gilbane Building Co., the project construction manager, said the modern topping-out ceremony honors the trades of the people who build the facility. The ceremony includes placing a tree, a symbol of good luck, on the final steel beam placed on top of the building. The beam also honors the country with an American flag. 

Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner thanked county and Tiffin government officials, local judges and all who have worked on design and construction of the building.

“This is a major milestone in our history,” he said.

Commissioner Holly Stacy said the flag placed atop the building was donated by the family of Paul James Hoerig, a World War II Army veteran. Hoerig, a Tiffin resident, was represented at the ceremony by his four surviving children, Mary Ann Remsburg, Robert Hoerig, Linda Crum and Cindy Sifred.

PHOTO BY JIMMY FLINT Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Kelbley (from left) and Commissioner Shayne Thomas look on as Commissioner Holly Stacy delivers remarks during the topping-out ceremony for the joint justice center Tuesday afternoon.

Hoerig died in 2008 and the flag once covered his coffin. 

According to a county release, when Hoerig wife, Dorothy, died in 2010, the family presented the flag to Remsburg, whose husband, Michael Remsburg, is a veteran.

Remsburg said the family had talked about donating the flag to be displayed somewhere in downtown Tiffin. 

She said the family was honored when they learned their father’s flag would fly at the justice center site Tuesday.

Remsburg was in tears trying to describe how it felt.

PHOTO BY JIMMY FLINT John Logsdon (from left), Seneca County supervisor of building and grounds maintenance, and Tiffin City council members Tyler Shuff and Steve Lepard sign their names on the final steel beam before it is placed on top of the joint justice center.

“There are no words,” she said. “He would be very proud.”

Stacy thanked Hoerig’s family for donating the flag.

“Thank you for your service to our country,” she said to Michael Remsburg.

Contractors, subcontractors, elected officials and appointed officials had the opportunity to sign their names to the beam later placed atop the building.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said residents were witnessing history.

“The last courthouse was built in 1884, so this doesn’t happen often,” he said. 

Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Kelbley said the ceremony marked significant progress for the project.

“This is not the end,” he said. “It’s not even the beginning of the end. … In any event, on behalf of all the judges, we are proud to be a part of this endeavor.”

Kerschner said an open house is planned for June 10. There is a Seneca County Farmer’s Market downtown 10 a.m.-1 p.m. that day and justice center walkthrough tours are set for 1-3 p.m.

County Administrator Stacy Wilson said the project is scheduled for completion in late November.

Updates are available at

Commissioners also met for a work session and regular meeting Tuesday morning.

Beth Diesch, Seneca Conservation District outreach coordinator, gave a department overview of 2016.

“It was a very blessed year,” she said.

Diesch said the conservation district added four new staff in 2016. 

She said the group focused on helping farms, homes and schools. The department held several events and received the best educator award from Ohio No-Till.

Diesch said the organization has a new mission and a new vision.

“Our vision is making Seneca County a great place to live, to farm and to grow,” she said.

During the regular meeting, commissioners approved:

• A $14,593.50 fund advance repayment from the Community Corrections Grant Fund to the General Fund.

• A $12,122.25 supplemental appropriation to the Record Retention/Preservation Disaster Recovery Fund.

• An $8,161 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund.

• A $36,800 fund advance from the General Fund to the Wolf Creek Petition Ditch Fund.

• A $2,000 appropriation adjustment within the M&R Fund.

• A $117,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund.

• A contract with Ohio Department of Transportation for road salt on behalf of the Seneca County engineer.

• Setting time, date and place to receive sealed bids for a pavement resurfacing project.

• A contract with Prestress Services Industries of Ohio.

• A contract with Renz & Associates.

• The purchase of two 2017 Dodge Chargers from a local vendor through the state’s cooperative purchasing program on behalf of Seneca County Sheriff’s Office.