Tiffin council plans more discussion on DORA

Tiffin City Council President Mark Hayes Monday night called for a special committee of the whole meeting for 4 p.m. Jan. 16 so council members can further discuss the possible creation of a designated outdoor refreshment area, or DORA, in downtown Tiffin.

“I think we need to come to terms with it or put it to bed,” Hayes said.

The council agreed to the meeting, to be in the temporary council meeting location at the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center at 928 W. Market St. in Tiffin.

Council Clerk Ann Forrest also read a letter from the owners of The Laird Arcade Brewery in Tiffin in support of the eventual establishment of the DORA at the meeting Monday night.

“We’re glad to finally hear the voice of the businesses in favor of the DORA here at city council,” Hayes said. “We’ll keep the letter on file as we discuss the DORA further.”

In his report, Mayor Aaron Montz said the city received a $15,000 grant from The Tiffin Community Foundation to put up a pedestrian beacon at the intersection of Glenn and Melmore streets. The beacon would rapidly flash a light when cars approach in an attempt to slow traffic going through the intersection.

Montz said Tiffin citizens can drop off their live Christmas trees at the Public Works building at 601 Miami St. or at Water Pollution Control Center at 961 N. Water St. from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

The mayor also announced the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Casino Royale fundraiser night will take place at 6 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Camden Falls Reception and Conference Center in Tiffin.

The mayor also wanted to remind the public that the Joint Comprehensive Plan meeting is set for 4 p.m. Monday. The meeting is to take place in the city council’s temporary meeting room at the North Central Ohio Educational Services Center at 928 W. Market St. and is open to the public. The city of Tiffin and Seneca County are seeking feedback from the public at this meeting about the Joint Comprehensive Plan, which will make decisions about the future direction of the city and county that will last “for at least the next decade, if not the next two decades,” the mayor said.

In her report, Finance Director Kathy Kaufman said the city took in $2,788,584 in December and that the city’s expenses were $3,123,340. The General Fund has an unencumbered balance of $1,948,346 and the total in all funds is $17,265,057. Income tax in December 2018 took in $799,729, which was a 0.47-percent decrease from last year.

Council suspended the rules requiring three readings and approved a resoluion to reappoint Michael Pinkston as a member of the Shade Tree and Beautification Commission for a five-year term beginning retroactively on Jan. 1. The Shade Tree and Beautification Commission meets each month to plan tree plantings throughout Tiffin and has facilitated the city’s membership in the national Tree City USA program for 37 years.

Council also suspended the rules and approved an ordinance to amend the budget ordinance passed at the special meeting Dec. 27 to provide funds for projects approved for 2018 that were not completed by the end of the year. These projects require further funding for their completion in 2019. The ordinance went into effect retroactively starting Jan. 1, and any expenditures made after that date for any carryover projects from last year will be authorized under the passing of this ordinance.

Council passed an ordinance to vacate the first alley north of North Monroe Street running south from Adams Street. Council Clerk Ann Forrest stated the proper payments had been received by the city at this time. There was also a public hearing for an ordinance that revises the city’s codified ordinances by adopting replacement pages, and afterwards council passed the ordinance.

Council heard first reading on a resolution to accept and endorse the downtown Tiffin parking study and garage analysis put forth by the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, which worked with the Gossman Group to produce the analysis. The downtown parking analysis and conceptual garage study was completed in September by the Gossman Group to provide recommendations for city officials in making changes to the downtown Tiffin parking situation. Some of the changes discussed by the committee and offered in the analysis include valet parking options and the possibility for building a parking garage downtown.

The next city council meeting is set for Jan. 22, with a committee of the whole meeting beginning at 7:30 p.m., instead of Jan. 21 as a result of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Council meetings are to continue to be at the council’s temporary meeting location at 928 W. Market St.