Commissioners approve annexation petition

Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas greets Kennedy, a school therapy dog for Tiffin City Schools, and Cooper (in vest), a school therapy dog in training, during Thursday’s commissioners meeting while county Administrator Stacy Wilson (right) smiles. The dogs, along with elementary school counselor Trisha Eidt (left) and middle school counselor Melissa Mellott, visited the meeting to receive a proclamation in honor of National School Counseling Week.

Seneca County Commissioners approved an annexation petition and read three proclamations during their meeting Thursday.

Tiffin schools elementary school counselor Trisha Eidt and middle school counselor Melissa Mellott visited the meeting with Kennedy, a school therapy dog, and Cooper, a school therapy dog in training to receive a proclamation for National School Counseling Week.

The counselors said the dogs are beneficial in getting students in counseling to open up and talk.

Kennedy has been a therapy dog for seven years and Cooper is in his training year and will get his “forever school” next year.

The commissioner also read a proclamation for Tiffin-Seneca Public Library’s Community Read program.

This year’s books focus on music and art.

Trinity Lescallett, adult services manager and Community Read coordinator, provided information about the program, which encourages people to read the book and take part in activities related to the book’s topic.

“We want all ages to participate,” she said. “Both authors are coming to visit and we’ll have other programs and events related to the topic.”

This year’s adult book is “The Soloist,” by Steve Lopez, and the youth book is “The Seventh Most Important Thing,” by Shelley Pearsall.

Both are available for checkout at the library.

Pearsall is planning to be in Seneca County March 12. She will present a free public program at 6:30 p.m. at Noble Elementary School. She also will be speaking to Tiffin elementary and middle school students earlier in the day and to students at Seneca East and Mohawk the next day.

Lopez is to be in Tiffin for a free public program at 6:30 p.m. April 2 at Columbian High School Auditorium.

The commissioners proclaimed March as Red Cross Month.

John Spahr, seven-year local Red Cross volunteer, said Red Cross is in need of volunteers. Free training is available to anyone interested.

He reviewed Red Cross programs that offer free smoke alarms and a school program that teaches children how to prepare a pillow-case emergency kit in case of a fire.

The annexation petition is for 3.8 acres of property to Tiffin from Clinton Township adjacent to the spec building near the industrial park. The approval is the next step in the annexation process.

Tiffin Law Director Brent Howard presented the request from Development Solutions LLC and landowner Lenny Clouse. He said the annexation would allow the parcel and the property with the building to be sold together and be in the same political subdivision.

Howard said the petition approval is the first step in the process. The petition describes the property, includes a map, provides a list a adjoining property owners and includes a copy of the existing cooperative development agreement between the city, county and township

Howard said the commissioners could approve the petition without a hearing as long as those elements were included.

The petition next will be delivered to City Hall, he said, where it will wait 60 days before it can be presented to Tiffin City Council. He said council should take action in mid-April.

He said the township does not act on the matter, but Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership has informed the township as a courtesy.

The commissioners also:

*Approved an $18,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund in the Health Savings Account line due to changes in employee health plans.

*Approved a $170,000 fund transfer to the Soil and Water Fund.

*Approved fund transfers of $28,540.95, $33,684.17 and $27,018.04 to the Public Assistance Fund. Among JFS funds

*Appointed David Zak, Steve Painter and Chris Schiefer to the Tax Incentive Review Council as county representatives for the Rural Enterprise Zone.

*Established a Technology Grant Fund to handle money from a grant the clerk of courts received for a new case management system.