Commissioners hear update on Facilities Master Plan

Seneca County commissioners heard an update from Craig Gossman on the county’s Facilities Master Plan, which is being put together by Gossman Group.

Under than plan, county-owned buildings are being investigated and inventoried, and an overall plan with recommendations is expected before the end of the year, Gossman said.

“We’re still trying to find additional information,” he said. “In some cases, I think they had to go into the catacombs.”

Gossman said the plan will have three parts – the main plan and two appendices containing building inventories and orginal scanned dreawings and documents.

“Each building owned by the county will have photos, blueprints, data and anecdotal information,” Gossman said.

He said recommendations would include space efficiency, energy efficiency, sustainable practices, improving the “farm campus,” signage and ideas for health and wellness.

Commissioner Mike Kerschner said he likes the idea of having an overall strategic plan, and funding may be available within the next few years to follow through on some recommendations.

Commissioner Shayne Thomas said some parts of the plan could be funded through grants, and others would have paybacks of cost savings.

In another matter, the commissioners declared real property at 801 Kirk St., Fostoria, as no longer needed for public use and authorized its sale. The building houses the Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (formerly WSOS) Head Start program and other services, and the purchase requires a five-year lease remain in place for those program. Bids are to be opened at 10:15 p.m. Oct. 3.

Thomas said the commissioners have submitted questions for cross examination during the Republic Wind legal hearing. Questions concern topics such as noise, birds and bats, groundwater and other concerns.

Thomas said county Prosecutor Derek DeVine is representing the county, townships and Seneca County Park District in the matter. He has asked for a continuance from the hearing’s set date of Oct. 2 until a later date.

Board of Elections Director Jim Ehrman updated the commissioners on upgrades to voting security. He said the county received a $50,000 grant from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office to upgrade computer systems so changes are ready for the November election.

Ehrman said Homeland Security representatives provided five pages of further recommendations also, but the Secretary of State has not mandated them and the board is reviewing them.

Also Thursday, the commissioners:

• Tabled matters concerning a road use management agreement with Republic Wind LLC until county Engineer Mark Zimmerman could attend the discussion.

• Took part in a ditch hearing with Huron County commissioners.

• Went into executive session to discuss personnel compensation and security.

• Approved re-designating a fund to become the USDA Grant Fund on behalf of the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties.

• Approved certifying unpaid assessments to the county auditor for collection per the Ohio Revised Code.

• Authorized the disposal of a 2015 Ford F-250 truck on behalf of the Seneca Conservation District.