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Published: Thursday, 5/29/2014

Seneca County commissioners want to begin discussions with Tiffin officials about sharing a joint justice center

BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

TIFFIN --Seneca County commissioners today said they want to begin discussions with Tiffin officials about sharing a joint justice center.

The three county commissioners -- Holly Stacy, Jeff Wagner, and Fred Zoeller -- agreed to start talking about a courthouse concept proposed in a state-funded study released in March.

The $100,000 study recommended the county and city team up to plan and build a new justice center to house Tiffin Municipal Court and Seneca County Common Pleas Court.

Commissioners said today they will begin negotiating terms of such a project with city officials, but stressed that the step does not commit them to building a facility. Mr. Zoeller said commissioners also have not decided where a structure could be built.

The study recommended an $8.5 million joint justice facility at the site of the former Seneca County Courthouse, demolished in 2012. 

The owner of the former East Junior High School has asked officials to consider renovating that 1893 building for use as a justice center. Officials will consider public input and the results of a privately funded study examining the school site before deciding on a potential justice center location, said Mr. Zoeller.

“We don’t want to let this thing lay dormant until that decision is made,” he said.

Discussions between city and county officials will include how to pay for the project and who would be responsible for items such as maintenance, he said.


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