A decision has been made by the Seneca County commissioners to demolish the old 1884 courthouse. A contract has been awarded to a firm to do so. Now members of the Seneca County Courthouse and Downtown Redevelopment Group are coming up with all kinds of demands that it shouldn't. One of the big reasons is that they need more time to raise funds for renovation.
I know SCCDRG has had at least two years to acquire and document the funds they committed to raise. Why should they need or be allowed even more time? SCCDRG claims to have raised or have pledges of considerable amounts toward renovating the old courthouse. However, there never was any information given to the public on any actual amount.
If funds were indeed available, especially from private individuals and some charitable organizations, why not set up an escrow account for the funds?
SCCDRG recently has proposed leasing the courthouse and mothballing it for five years and possibly more to allow for funding. Talk about time! During the time this proposal was being considered, no mention of the juvenile and probate courts' need for ADA access was prominent. When the old courthouse is to be demolished, it is suddenly an immediate need. Why not the same outcry when a five-year time lapse or more would have occurred?
The same concern for needed court space didn't seem to be a priority when the building was to be mothballed. Now additional court space has suddenly become a top priority to SCCDRG! Do I detect a little hypocrisy?
Another big theme of SCCDRG is the courthouse's value to downtown businesses. If anyone truly thinks a renovated courthouse is going to bring huge numbers of tourists to downtown Tiffin, don't hold your breath. Members of SCCDRG dwell on the history of the building and its prominence in the past. The only reason the building has any prominence now is the small bunch who want to force their views on everyone else. They choose to live in the past.
They are showing up at the commissioners' meetings to try to cram their views down the commissioners' throats and the majority of the people of Seneca County. By the way, the voters of Seneca County did vote down a bond issue to renovate, remodel, rehabilitate and restore the 1884 courthouse.
I'm no longer a youngster and I like to think about and talk about the past. I refuse to live like some people live in the past. I choose to live forward and hopefully well into the future.
Delmar Goshe, Tiffin