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Published: Tuesday, 1/15/2013

Seneca County loses $100,000 grant bid

BY LISA SWICKARD
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

TIFFIN --

 Seneca County has been turned down for a $100,000 state grant to to study the feasibility of a new, combined county/city judicial facility, and must reapply.

John Davoli, director of the North Central Ohio Regional Council of Governments, told county commissioners Monday that the Local Government Innovation Fund grant from the Ohio Department of Development fell just two points shy on the state's grant-eligibility requirement point scale.  

Another hiccup was the use of the word “courthouse” in the application.

“We were so close. But they [the Ohio Department of Development] want us to have more of a feel for the building that's not just limited to the word 'courthouse,'” Mr. Davoli explained. “We need to make it open to a multi-function building in regard to city and county offices. Just changing the name on the application might help.”

Mr. Davoli said the county will reapply for the grant in time for the March 1 deadline. Shortly after the county's 1884-built courthouse was reduced to rubble last January, the commissioners and Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, along with city council, began discussing the possibility of constructing a new building to house common pleas and municipal courts.

“We know how to tweak it, so I think we should be pretty good on that one,” Mr. Davoli said.

He added that the council of governments also will be reapplying for a conversion-study grant that would determine the feasibility of converting county, city and possibly school vehicles to operate on natural gas. That grant also was denied last week by the Ohio Department of Development.

In other business, the board decided that the last Tuesday meeting of each quarter will be a 7:30 p.m. session held in a village or municipality within the county. The first of those meetings will be in Fostoria in March.



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