Timing may play a role in relocation

A proposal to build a joint justice center in downtown Tiffin to house municipal and common pleas courts raised the level of collaboration between city and county officials.

The possibility of relocating the Seneca County Board of Elections office to the Job and Family Services building outside the city is testing that cooperation.

Because the elections board office also is an early voting location, rules differ for complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Thus, county commissioners are eyeing more-accessible space for the board.

This has city officials concerned about losing income tax from board employees and the thousands of people who visit the elections office to register, cast ballots or file petitions.

Commissioner Fred Zoeller asked a local contractor the cost of meeting ADA requirements and was told a handicapped parking spot could be created and a barrier to access removed for about $7,500.

That, and turnover within the elections board, could buy the city some time. But would it be enough?

Mayor Aaron Montz has asked whether the office could be part of proposed joint justice facility. But Commissioner Jeff Wagner prefers delaying that project a few years to save money.

Working in favor of keeping the elections board downtown: Visitors who patronize stores there do pay sales tax.