SIEDC endorses license fee

The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. Board of Trustees unanimously endorses the $5 vehicle registration fee to be used solely for highway improvements in Seneca County.

Seneca County has been a great place to live, learn, play and work. New jobs and new investment have been created through the combined planning and efforts of local business and local government.

This past week, we saw evidence of the improvement in the local economy with our first Jobs Fair conducted at Tiffin University. More than 50 businesses participated and more than 500 individuals seeking employment attended. Currently, there are more than 300 jobs available in the Tiffin/Fostoria area.

What this means is we have worked hard to improve the economic climate of the things we can control. One thing that is out of our control and impacts our local economy is the status of our highways. In this area, we are sorely lacking in terms of adequate safety and efficient traffic flow.

In terms of safety, Seneca County has the highest per-mile accident rate of any rural county in Ohio and is in the top five of all counties in Ohio. Between 2009 through 2012 (most current information provided by the Ohio State Highway Patrol) there were 29 fatal accidents and 287 serious injuries.

In terms of efficient traffic flow, Seneca County is one of the few counties in Ohio that does not have a four-lane highway. In fact, many of our intersections do not have turn lanes. There are many blind spots because of elevation problems. There are many narrow roadway areas with ditches extremely close.

Agriculture is a key industry, but many of our highways are inadequate to allow modern farm equipment to safely travel. We need to make the roads safe for the agricultural businessman, truck traffic, motorists and their families.

A highway improvement plan for Seneca County has been developed with the support of numerous entities to upgrade our current roadways. The state of Ohio will be allocating millions of dollars to counties for improvements. In order to obtain these funds, counties need to be prepared to assist with matching funds to support state and federal spending. Without these matching dollars, not much will change, as we have witnessed in Seneca County for far too long.

The board of trustees of the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp., through a resolution of support, “hereby gives its unanimous support to the Seneca County Commissioners’ proposal to add a $5 fee to the cost of yearly vehicle registration for the purpose of generating the local funds required for necessary highway improvements in Seneca County.”

John Arnold, Lenny Clouse, Don Coletta, Tom Daniel, Steve Dandurand,

Chuck Daughenbaugh, Charles Ervin,

Steve Favor, Tom Hay, Rob Huntington, Denny Kerschner, John Kerschner,

JoAnn King, Blair Lane, Aaron Montz,

Ron Myers, Jim Nordholt, Carl Pastorella, Ron Schumacher, Shirley Smith,

Mike Spragg, Jim Roberts, Fred Zoeller