The former courthouse site may soon be stocked with Allegheny serviceberry trees, day lillies, compact burning bushes and a Colorado blue spruce on the east corner of the lot by Court Street, as commissioners consider moving forward with a landscaping proposal presented by Tiffin City Councilman Brian Bilger Tuesday morning during the Seneca County commissioners meeting.
The cost will range upward of $10,000, according to an estimate by his business, Bilger's Lawn and Landscape. Bilger said a smaller version of the plan is available for $7,500.
Commissioners President Ben Nutter said he favored the $10,000 version.
"He's the only one who stepped up to offer a free design," Nutter said.
"We would like to make the area look attractive for Memorial Day," he said.
He said he doesn't want anything that will prohibit future growth if a courthouse is built in several years.
Commissioner Jeff Wagner also favors the project.
Nutter said Bilger could begin work as soon as a resolution is passed and a contract is signed.
Commissioner Dave Sauber cast a dissenting vote, saying he thinks caring for other county buildings is more important.
Bilger said he could finish the project in three weeks.
Bilger presented the aspects he considers important: minimal maintenance, reasonable cost, appearance, seasonal color and an open, inviting and enjoyable design that maintains the view of Court Street.
Sauber asked Bilger to put a smaller blue spruce on Washington Street to keep a holiday tradition of decorating a Christmas tree.
"There's going to be electricity at that spot now with the flag poles and it'd be nice if we could do something to honor that tradition," Sauber said.
Bilger said that was possible.
His presentation included a gazebo designed by Father Frank Murd of the Franciscan Village, to be at the center.
"I think the concept of a gazebo is a permanent thing, and we'd like to get a lot more public input before moving ahead with that," Nutter said. "I like the idea that three to five years, that if we're building a structure that gets in the way of those trees, it's great we can spade the trees and move them around," Nutter said.
Wagner said they are still waiting for grass seed to be put down, which may be completed this week.
"Now we can sit down and form some committees and talk about what goes in there in the long-term and how that fits into our space utilization plan," Nutter said.
The following items were approved in new business:
A supplemental appropriation of $20,000 for the New Riegel Sewer District Fund.
A supplemental appropriation of $26,000 for the General Fund.
A supplemental appropriation of $20,000 for the Seneca County Sewer District Fund.
An appropriation adjustment of $400,000 for the Justice System Improvement and $10,000 for the Washington Street flagpole within the Capital Projects Fund.
An appropriation adjustment of $400 in the General Fund for jail and road
A supplemental appropriation for the Delinquent Care and Custody Grant Fund of $20,733.30 for a 2012 Ford Fusion for Job and Family Services.
Providing for retaining Squire Sanders (US) LLP for certain legal services in connection with county financing requirements and improvement projects and other financially-related matters.