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$2.8 million debt could take glitz from Tiffin Ritz

By STEVE MURPHY and VANESSA WINANS

BLADE STAFF WRITERS

 

TIFFIN - Struggling with $2.8 million in debt, rising expenses, and falling ticket sales, the historic Ritz Theatre in Tiffin is trying to reorganize its finances and keep its doors open. 

 

The board of trustees of Tiffin Theatre Inc., the nonprofit corporation that owns the 77-year-old facility in downtown Tiffin, plans to ask a committee of financial, legal, and arts professionals to review its finances and "make recommendations regarding the feasibility of continued operations," a statement from theater officials said.

 

Tiffin Theatre Inc. took over the former film palace in the late 1980s and started a capital campaign to restore the theater to its original glory.  But the renovation project's estimated $4.3 million price tag ballooned to $6.6 million because of cost overruns and additions to the original plans.  The fund-raising effort generated just over $4.1 million, leaving the 1,200-seat theater with a shortfall of more than $2 million when it reopened in 1998.

 

But even well-known artists have failed to attract big crowds: About 400 tickets were sold for Ms. Rivers' Nov. 13 appearance, he said.  The Tiffin venue's money woes came to light a week after the Sandusky State Theatre closed because of a cash shortfall and debts of more than $700,000.

 

MORE: http://www.toledoblade.com

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What a shame and just a week after hearing Sandusky's future is bleak.

 

I guess acts like Joan Rivers just don't appear to college kids.

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Yeah, this is a shame.  So many of these old movie "palaces" have either deteriorated or been lost to the wrecking ball, especially in Ohio's smaller cities.  I think a possible "fix" would be to generate partnerships with groups or organization that have a need for either a small to medium-sized performance or meeting space.  Galion did a great job converting its theater into a combination space that can handle live theater, movies, meetings and even art shows.

 

I could see cities like Tiffin and Sandusky getting together with not only local arts groups, but high schools and colleges for performance or meeting space, local employeers for company functions, local government for public meeting space, etc.  It can work as long as the space is marketed creatively and not just a place for showing movies.  Even the big movie megaplexes are fighting to grab more or just maintain their audience share from competition like on-line DVD rentals and video on-demand on cable.  A small-town movie palace can't hope to compete solely with movies.

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I like the high school idea. I know in my hometown, they built a $2M auditorium that all the schools in the district use and several years later the old theater downtown was demolished. It would have been great for the school district and city to take over ownership. From talent shows to musicals the new auditorium is used constantly and it would have been neat to see that in the old theater. 

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Well, being that it's a college town, they could transform it into a Newport-ish kinda place like OSU has.

 

I don't think the combined enrollments of Hidelburg & Tiffin Universities would equal OSU's summer enrollment.

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From the 12/2/05 Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune:

 

Mercy obtains site for medical center

By Kendall S. Cable, kcable@advertiser-tribune.com

 

Three warranty deeds, which granted Mercy Hospital of Tiffin land between East US 244 and TR 18 in Hopewell Township, were filed with the Seneca County Recorder's Office Wednesday.  About 65 acres of land were granted by: Deerwood Estates Ltd., Nina King (by Duane King), Walter and Debra deVlugt, Hopewell Church of God, Charles and Ann Feimster, and Robert and Lorene Ashby, according to the deeds.  "It is always very rewarding to see the conversion of your vision into reality," said Dale Thornton, Mercy Hospital of Tiffin's president and CEO.

 

He said the idea for the hospital's new medical campus originated in October 2003.  The land was purchased for $1.75 million, but $1.73 million was agreed upon at closing, Thornton said.  This decrease was due to taxes and fees.

 

Thornton said there were two reasons why the particular site was chosen.  For one, it provides sufficient space to allow for the hospital's campus vision.  Also, it provides access to the new facility from US 224.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/news/story/122202005_new01mercyland1202.asp


Mercy Hospital of Tiffin "new construction" page:

http://www.ehealthconnection.com/regions/toledo/content/Tiffin_New_Construction_Home.asp

 

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From the 12/24/05 Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune:

 

Hospital buys another 76 acres

By Kendall S. Cable, kcable@advertiser-tribune.com

 

Mercy Hospital of Tiffin has purchased 76 acres of property in Hopewell Township, according to a warranty deed filed with the Seneca County Recorders Office Monday.  The acreage is adjacent land purchased for a new medical center.

 

Based on a convenience fee listed on the deed of $3,997.60, the land was purchased for about $999,400.  This purchase is in addition to 65 acres bought by the hospital Nov. 30 for $1.73 million.

 

Charles Ervin, the hospital's facility and support operations director said, "That land is really part of our long-term strategic plan.  Our thinking was that it does fit into our health promotions campus."  The new land is bounded by West US 224, CR 591 and TR 18, Ervin said.  He said it is located just west of the prior purchase.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/news/story/1224202005_new02commission1224.asp

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http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060128/NEWS17/601280416/-1/NEWS

 

Ritz Theater, banks work out deal to keep theater's lights on

Article published January 28, 2006

By JENNIFER FEEHAN

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

TIFFIN - Just hours before officials with the Ritz Theatre planned to announce they were closing the historic venue, the board of trustees worked out a deal to keep the theater's doors open.  "We're open and in better shape than we have been for years," Michael Strong, executive director of the Ritz, said during a news conference yesterday. 

 

Mr. Strong said an agreement was reached about 10:30 a.m. yesterday with the seven banks to which the theater owes nearly $2.75 million.  The loan, which was secured to pay for the theater's $6.6 million restoration, came due Jan. 5.

 

The tentative agreement requires Tiffin Theatre Inc., the nonprofit corporation that owns the 1,260-seat theater, to come up with $1 million within 90 days or face closure. Mr. Strong said that money is to be paid to the banks, which have, in turn, agreed to forgive a "significant" portion of the debt.

 

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http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060129/NEWS17/601290333/-1/NEWS

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Tiffin will still put on the Ritz; takes HeART for the future

Article published January 29, 2006

By STEVE MURPHY

BLADE STAFF WRITER

 

TIFFIN - The department stores, food markets, and pharmacies are gone from downtown Tiffin.  On the northern edge of the business district, the historic Ritz Theatre almost joined them.  A tentative agreement reached Friday with seven banks allowed officials with the debt-ridden theater to avoid announcing it was bankrupt and closing - at least for now.     

 

Richard Focht, president and chief executive officer of the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp., said rehabilitation projects over the last decade have restored historic buildings and brought businesses and people downtown.  Those projects include the former Shawhan Hotel, a 1904 structure at Washington and Market streets that was converted into an assisted-living facility in the late 1990s at a cost of $6.5 million.  In addition, the old Gold Bond department store was converted into apartments and the building that houses Burns Electric Fixtures & Appliances was renovated.

 

The Ritz Theatre, a 1928 movie palace, was renovated for $4.2 million in 1998. Lingering loan debt from those improvements of nearly $2.475 million nearly led operators to announce bankruptcy and close last week. Theater officials announced Friday that they were undertaking a major capital campaign, dubbed "The HeART of the Community," to raise $3 million to retire that remaining debt and finance an endowment to provide income for future operations.

 

"I think downtown has a lot of things to offer, and I think we have a lot of historic value," Mr. Focht said. "There's been a lot of activity here in the last decade, so there's a lot of things to build on."

 

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From the 3/29/06 Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune:

 

Mercy gets $45 million in bonds

By Kendall S. Cable, kcable@advertiser-tribune.com

 

Mercy Hospital of Tiffin, Catholic Healthcare Partners and Peck, Shaffer and Williams LLP officials met with the Seneca County Commissioners Tuesday for a public hearing regarding a bond for the new hospital and other hospital-related projects.

 

At the conclusion of the hearing, the commissioners voted in favor of a resolution to allow the hospital to receive up to $45 million in bond revenue from Lorain County.

 

"As with all bonds of this nature, the bonds would be secured slowly by revenues provided by Catholic Healthcare Partners and Mercy Tiffin - no liability on part of the county to pay debt service on the bonds," Glenn Pratt, bond counsel for Peck, Shaffer and Williams, said.  Pratt said the $45 million in bond revenue Lorain County is to issue avoids the need to issue several bonds and to make things more economical for the hospital.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/news/story/0329202006_new01mercy0329.asp

 

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Tiffin Park and Recreation Board looks for improvements

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 4/31/06

 

More hiking trails and another picnic shelter may be in the distant future for Nature Trails Park.  Two members of the Tiffin Park and Recreation Board met at the park with Director Steve Dryfuse and assistant Matt Coleman for the board’s monthly meeting.

 

The group toured the park, which extends from the playground and shelter area on West Davis Street to the Sandusky River, and around the corner into a grassy area along the river on North Water Street.

 

“This was at one time a dump,” Bing told the group. “It’s really a great asset. It’s one of the different areas of the city that has great natural and public potential.”


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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From the 5/5/06 Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune:

 

Mercy Hospital representative meets with Hopewell Township residents

By Jane Tomaszewski, Correspondent

 

BASCOM - A director of facility and support operations for Mercy Hospital - which plans to build a new campus on land annexed from Hopewell Township - met with township trustees Monday night.  "We may be annexed into Tiffin, but we still see a relationship with Hopewell Township," the director, Charlie Irvin, said. .

 

One property owner was concerned about increased traffic on TR 18 and whether the township planned to widen the right-of-way, claiming traffic has already increased as drivers avoid congestion at the intersection of SR 18 and US 224.

 

The hospital has no plans to put an entrance on TR 18.  Irvin said the hospital does plan another open meeting no later than mid-June with residents on West US 224 and TR 18.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/news/story/055202006_new06hopewell0505.asp

 

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Steyer Preserve to grow

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 5/10/06

 

The Seneca County Park District plans to close Wednesday on the purchase of 56 acres adjoining Steyer Nature Preserve.  The purchase of the area, known as the Adelsperger property, is to increase the acreage of Steyer Park to 141 acres. The area already contains hiking trails and the southern portion of the land, which adjoins a Division of Wildlife nature area, would be open to hunting in season.

 

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife provided 25 percent of the cost. It also provided matching funds for a Clean Ohio grant covering the other 75 percent.

 

Board members approved a resolution finalizing its plans to place a 0.3-mill levy on the November ballot. According to the resolution, funds generated from the levy would be used to conserve, maintain, acquire, develop, protect and promote the use of park properties, as well as provide programming. Part of the money also provides grants for outdoor recreation projects to towns and townships.

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From the 6/23/06 Toledo Blade:

 

RENDERING: This artist’s rendering depicts the $60.4 million Mercy Hospital of Tiffin renovation. Groundbreaking is set for today, but actual construction won’t begin until next month, officials say.

 

New Tiffin hospital project about to start

 

TIFFIN - The city's largest employer grows today when Mercy Hospital of Tiffin embarks on a $60.4 million project that involves replacing its 93-year-old medical facility with a hospital on a new campus.  The new hospital is expected to take two years to complete.

 

Although a ceremonial groundbreaking was set for this morning, construction will begin next month on a 60-acre site near U.S. 224 and State Rt. 18, a mile from the current hospital.

 

Spokesman Bernie Steinmetz said Tiffin Mercy, with an annual payroll of $16.3 million, is the city's largest employer with 500 people.  The new facility was not expected to expand that number, he said.  The hospital's board of trustees spent 18 months studying the community's medical needs and whether it was more practical to build new or renovate the three-story hospital that was built in 1913.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060623/NEWS17/606230362/-1/NEWS

 

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Jail work chases tight schedule

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 7/1/06

 

Construction of the jail expansion project is under way and on time.  “In looking at this schedule, it is a very tight schedule. We’re going to do what we can to beef up our masonry. The key is to get this thing done to roof right now. I believe we were looking at somewhere in mid-August to late- August to get this thing, so to speak, ‘in the dry,’” said Ray Weithman Jr., Weithman Bros. Inc. vice president.

 

Weithman said his company — the project’s general contractor — has been purchasing items such as masonry block, steel and equipment, which have been shipped to the site.  Footer excavations were completed and tested. Concrete footers and steel are in, he said.

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M.I.A.: Two subcontractors do not show at jail expansion meeting

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 7/15/06

 

WDSI Inc. of Cedarburg, Wisc., and Central Fire of Springfield — subcontractors for the Seneca County Jail Expansion project — were not in attendance at a jail meeting held Friday.  A contract between the Seneca County commissioners and companies working on the project requires attendance at progress meetings.

 

“I did talk to Sandy (Jacobi of WDSI),” said Tom Stuckey of Poggemeyer Design Group.  “I appreciate her dilemma in trying to make it here. I impressed upon her the fact that she did get this contract for the project, and it is a requirement to be at these meetings. I appreciate the fact that it is a long distance, but I really specifically asked they be here today.”

 

Stuckey asked general contractor Ray Weithman, Weithman Bros. Inc., if he is getting what he needs.  “No,” Weithman answered.  “I am not satisfied. I am not saying that I won’t. I am saying that we really should have had the frames here.”

 

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Buckeye Central school board picks design for new building

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 7/18/06

 

The Buckeye Central Board of Education voted Thursday night to base design for the proposed new campus on a building of roughly 133,000 square feet.  This means 22,551 square feet would be a locally funded initiative, beyond the size covered through an Ohio School Facilities Commission 80-percent construction assistance program.

 

The additional space would allow for a larger gymnasium, shared common area and administrative requirements.  The district also would be responsible for 20 percent of the cost of the first 110,449 square feet of a new building.

 

The building is estimated to cost $19 million, and the overall number would be about $21 million including demolition of the existing structures.  The state also provides assistance toward demolition costs.

 

The project would hinge on voter approval of a bond initiative planned for November, meaning the board would need to decide ballot language by Aug. 24.

 


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Seneca East approves changes for building

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 7/26/06

 

The Seneca East Board of Education needed a special meeting early Monday to approve a change order on the new building project.  While Superintendent Mike Wank and the Ohio School Facilities Commission have standing authorization to OK items up to $25,000 between board sessions, Adena Corporation estimated up to $49,035 for recommended work to bury underground pipes deeper.

 

Last week, Bob Sewell of Gilbane Construction told the board foundations were ahead of schedule, and concrete block work had started for the new campus on the school farm west of Attica on US 224.  Work was projected earlier to continue through 2007, and the new facility would be ready some time between the first and third quarters of 2008.

 

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune: Construction work on Seneca East campus under way (7/20/06)

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Building could cure space case

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 7/26/06

 

A local developer said a new speculative building may help with available warehouse space in the area. 

 

Richard Focht, president of the Tiffin area Chamber of Commerce and Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp., said he hopes if Tiffin can build its infrastructure, it will entice manufacturing companies to move into the city.  Focht said a new building is to be erected at Eagle Rock Business Park, located at the corner of CR 11 and Tyber Road.

 

The project is called the Eagle Rock Warehouse, but Focht said it does not have to be used as a warehouse.  “A city does these things for infrastructure; you already have the space, land and everything in place,” Focht said.  “We are hoping to get another manufacturing company in.”

 

Toledo Blade: 4th speculative building set for industrial park in Tiffin (7/24/06)

 

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Tiffin gets $750,000 to clear glass site

Toledo Blade, 7/26/06

 

The city of Tiffin has been awarded $750,000 from the state's Clean Ohio Assistance Fund for soil remediation and demolition at the former Tiffin Glasshouse Co., removing the last physical reminder of the city's glass heritage.

 

The old buildings in the northwest part of the city will be demolished to prepare the property for the expansion of Tiffin Paper Co.

 

The four-acre site had been used for the manufacture of stemware and decorative glass starting in 1889, when A.J. Beatty & Sons moved its operations there from Steubenville, Ohio.

 

The funding will be used for the remediation of polluted soil and the removal of dilapidated structures that will allow Tiffin Paper, which borders the property on the north, to expand onto the site.

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Planning Commission approves structure for Heidelberg baseball team

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 8/2/06

 

It is the hope of Heidelberg College head baseball coach Matt Palm that in the fall, the Heidelberg baseball team can practice come rain or shine.

 

Monday afternoon, members of the Planning Commission met at City Hall with representatives of Heidelberg to move one step closer to making that happen.  The meeting was to discuss a new shelter structure at 180 Prospect Street.  It would be placed over the batting cages along the third base line.

 

Heidelberg was represented by Palm, Art Heredia, vice president of facilities, and Stephen Storck, vice president for administration and chief financial officer.  Palm explained to members the batting cage structure is open on all sides.

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56 acres added on to Steyer Park

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 8/17/06

 

The Seneca County Park District added almost 56 acres to Steyer Nature Preserve when it completed the purchase of a property Wednesday morning, increasing the park’s total acreage to 141.  More than $50,000, or 25 percent, of the $206,000 price tag was contributed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.  The other 75 percent was a grant from the Clean Ohio fund.

 

The property east of Fort Seneca, purchased from Mike Adelsperger, now is adjoined to 85 acres previously purchased from Tony and Kathy Steyer. 

 

“We are fortunate in Seneca County to be able to provide more opportunities for our residents,” said Seneca County Parks Director Roland Zimmerman. “Hiking trails, fishing and canoeing will be a big attraction for families to this park. This addition will also provide opportunities for hunting.”

 

The park runs along the Sandusky River for almost a mile with about a half mile of bluffs.

 

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Seneca County Jail expansion ahead of schedule

Fostoria Review Times, 8/19/06

 

One change to the Seneca County Jail expansion project has been denied by the county commissioners and another is being considered.  Contractors met at the jail for their bi-weekly update meeting Friday and discussed the possible changes.

 

Ray Weithman Jr., vice president of the general contracting company Weithman Bros. Inc., asked for verification that the recreation area change order was denied. Weithman stated he needed the verification in order to continue with ordering the fence.

 

The change would have extended the fencing to utilize the asphalt on the west side of the building to give inmates an extra walkway, Tom Stuckey, Poggemeyer Design Group project representative, explained.  The commissioners decided Monday not to construct the recreation area after an estimated cost of $30,000 came back from the general contractor.

 

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Kalmbach Feeds to build a new plant

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 8/12/06

 

Kalmbach Feeds can now build a new $10-million feed plant to help service the demand of its customers.  Wyandot County Commissioners and Crawford Township Trustees helped move the project ahead by approving an enterprise zone and a state grant for Kalmbach Feeds.

 

According to Jeff Neal, vice president of sales and marketing for Kalmbach Feeds, the enterprise zone agreement provides Kalmbach Feeds with a real property tax abatement of 75 percent for 10 years and a tangible personal property tax abatement of 10 percent for 10 years. This is estimated to total $7,503 annually, and Kalmbach Feeds agreed to pay this amount to the Carey Exempted Village School District.

 

The grant from the state was approved by the Wyandot County Commissioners. It comes from a small cities community development program through the Ohio Department of Development. The grant is for $63,600 and is to extend electricity to the site of the new plant.

 

Neal said Kalmbach Feeds was formed in Upper Sandusky in 1963 and manufactures livestock and poultry feed. Kalmbach Feeds employees 230 people. The company has one manufacturing site and one mill in Upper Sandusky.

 

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Concerns over airport expansion option aired out

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 8/26/06

 

Residents with houses located in proximity to the Seneca County Airport responded Monday evening to a Seneca County Airport Advisory Committee recommendation that could affect the backyards of five properties.  The committee recommended to the Seneca County Commissioners Option 2A be presented to the Federal Aviation Administration in the hope a 95-percent federal match would be awarded for airport improvements.

 

The option, as stated in the Airport Master Plan Update for the third public meeting, would lengthen Runway 24 by 92 feet and Runway 6 by 400 feet, “giving a total runway length of 4,400 feet to meet operations demands.”  According to the update, “Land acquisition would include four or five residences south of runway end 24.”

 

“The responsibility for this decision lies solely upon the three commissioners,” Commissioner Ben Nutter said.

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Grant OK’d for armory

Toledo Blade, 8/15/06

 

The State Controlling Board yesterday approved a grant for an upgrade of an old armory building here.  It gave the Ohio National Guard Armory in Tiffin $219,000 for plumbing upgrades and kitchen renovation at its armory in Seneca County, which hasn’t been renovated since 1954.

 

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TU takes another step in remediating scrapyard

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 8/22/06

 

Tiffin University officials are to submit the university’s Clean Ohio Assistance Fund application today, seeking money to help revitalize a scrapyard property near campus.  Tiffin Mayor Bernard Hohman said the application had to be kept in the Tiffin-Seneca Public Library for 45 days.

 

Hohman met with university and URS Corp. officials at a Rosenblatt property redevelopment meeting at Tiffin City Hall Monday afternoon.  Michael McKim, an Ohio Voluntary Action Program certified professional through the URS Corp., said officials should hear comments or a request for additional information in 30 days.

 

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Sycamore looks to transform school for police department use

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 8/25/06

 

Council members discussed keeping part of the Sycamore School to be used for the police department.  Mayor Mike Tschanen said he met with contractor Lenny Clouse about the possibility of converting the modular section of the school into the police quarters.

 

Clouse said the village would be better to keep some of the newer parts of the school instead.  “Lenny said we could break off part of the school and close it up and gradually do the work,” said Tschanen.  Council members talked about keeping the south east part of the school, but converting it at a later time.

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Digging the new digs

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 8/14/06

 

The Seneca County Commissioners’ Office expects construction to be completed on the new commissioners’ building sometime in September, said County Administrator Lucinda Keller.

 

“I believe that they had 90 days to complete the job and I think that comes real close to the end of September,” Keller said.  “I think that we have really stayed on top of everything when they said, ‘Pick out a color, pick out a sample, pick out this.’ We did everything fast and did not delay any of the project.”

 

A wheelchair ramp facing Madison Avenue is finished and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant restrooms are nearing completion.  Floors still are bare, and doors sit ready to be placed on hinges.

 

“We are putting the grid ceiling in and just finishing up the drywall and stuff so they can paint it and everything,” said Tony Moler of Quality Craft Construction of Sycamore.

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From the 9/11/06 Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune:

 

Paint the town

By Melissa Topey, mtopey@advertiser-tribune.com

 

A Tiffin Area Chamber of Commerce committee is looking at starting a murals project in the downtown area.  Committee members said they hope having murals painted on downtown buildings would beautify the area and create focal points, which would bring residents and tourists to downtown Tiffin.

 

Discussions are in the early stages, but Focht said committee members would like to talk to local artists. He said they also considered whether to hire Eric Grohe, an artist from Seattle.  Grohe painted the Great American Crossroads mural in Bucyrus in 1999 and a mural for Marion’s mural project.  Marion used local artists for the rest of the murals.

 

Full story at http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/articles.asp?articleID=3699

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Other hospitals also are working on expansions

By MATT SANCTIS

Staff writer

 

At least three other area hospitals are undergoing renovations.  In Tiffin, a project is under way to construct a new hospital.  The $60 million project was necessary because of a number of factors, including parking issues, difficulty attracting specialists to outdated facilities and lack of space for expansion, said Tiffin Mercy Hospital Public Relations/ Development Manager Bernie Steinmetz.

 

The new campus will be on a 60-acre site about a mile from the current facility near U.S. 224 and Ohio 18. It is scheduled to be completed in late 2008.

 

Full story at http://www.thenews-messenger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060923/NEWS01/60923003/1002/rss01

 

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From the 9/26/06 Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune:

 

RENDERING: Shown is an artist’s preliminary rendering of Heidelberg College’s proposed new facility.  IMAGES COURTESY HEIDELBERG COLLEGE

 

Heidelberg looks to build

By Jill Gosche, jgosche@advertiser-tribune.com

 

Heidelberg College administrators are working on plans for a new recreation and wellness center and may transform its track into a football stadium if funds become available.  “This building, we think, is going to be a big component to help us accomplish our strategic goals,” said Stephen Storck, vice president for administration and chief financial officer for the college.

 

Jerry McDonald, athletic director, said the 52,000-square-feet facility would connect to Seiberling Gymnasium on Hedges Street and relocate the softball diamond. It will have a 200-meter track and four multi-purpose courts, and be equipped with a cardiovascular area and the necessities to run an indoor track meet.

 

More at http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/articles.asp?articleID=3989

 

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Officials ready to cross bridge to park

Fostoria Focus, 9/24/06

 

A new addition to the Seneca County Park District should soon be open for the public, according to park officials. Steyer Nature Preserve may open as soon as late October, provided that construction on a bridge leading into the park continues as scheduled.

 

Abbott’s Bridge, which leads into Steyer Nature Preserve, east of Fort Seneca, is close to being completed. Once finished, the bridge will connect with a parking lot near the entrance of Steyer. Located off Co. Rd. 33, the land for Steyer Nature Preserve sits adjacent to land owned by the state of Ohio. 

 

Steyer Nature Preserve currently has a total of 141 acres, which includes 115 acres of woodlands and 26 acres of grasslands. The park also has almost one mile of Sandusky River frontage; one-half mile of river bluffs; 2½ miles of trails; and four trail bridges.

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Tiffin is left $750,000 for upgrades to park

Toledo Blade, 9/22/06

 

A former Tiffin resident has left the city $750,000 in his will and stipulated that the money be used for improvements to the 78-acre Hedges-Boyer Park.  Clive Lupton, who died in May at age 89, specified that the Tiffin Charitable Foundation administer the bequest.  Mr. Lupton was retired from General Electric Co. in Tiffin.

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Oriana House looks to convert annex into corrections facility

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 9/29/06

 

Oriana House has converted Akron school buildings into corrections facilities and is seeking to do the same to Tiffin City Schools’ annex on South Washington Street.  Its administration has offered the Tiffin City Schools Board of Education $90,000 for the building housing the Tiffin-Seneca Teen Center, and the school board is considering the sale.

 

Oriana House operates CROSSWAEH on SR 100 and also would manage the new 75-bed, residential community corrections facility.  Bernie Rochford, executive vice president of Oriana House, said some offenders need corrections services that are more than house arrest but not incarceration.

 

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Meadowbrook Park gets renovations

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 10/3/06

 

Hopewell Township trustees heard about expansion plans for Meadbrook Park at Monday’s meeting. Park official Troy Briedenbach said the Hickory picnic shelter has been renvoated.  The Bascom Lions Club is funding this project.  Trustees gave their approval for the installation of sewer lines in the west campground expansion.  The cost of the installation is estimated at $20,000.

 

The trustees agreed this would be the first phase of the expansion project. Installation of electric and water would be considered in the spring.  The expansion should add 28 campsites.  Briedenbach calculates the park should be able to recoup the outlay in three camping seasons.

 

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Park board plans grand opening

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 10/12/06

 

The grand opening of Steyer Nature Preserve near Fort Seneca is planned for mid-November.  The Seneca County Park District board tentatively chose a few Sunday dates for the event, but discussion is needed from other groups before a date is confirmed.  The board has been waiting on the CR 33 bridge to be completed before scheduling the opening. Director Roland Zimmerman reported at Wednesday’s meeting the concrete has been poured on the bridge, and the project may be nearing completion.

 

He said he received an occupancy permit for the nature center at Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve, which was needed before the Out and About Preschool could open.  Because the permit process took four months, Program Director Linda Rose said the preschool program won’t happen this year because most parents who were interested put their children in other preschools.  The board encouraged her to continue working on the project for a future start.

 

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Construction continues for new Seneca East campus

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 10/18/06

 

Construction work is on track for the new Seneca East K-12 campus, Fanning/Howey Engineering project manager Curt South told the board of education Monday night.  “From my perspective, everything is going well as scheduled,” South said.  “We have a plan and we’re sticking to it.”  He said interior work lies ahead once the basic structure is enclosed, with furnishings and site improvements to follow.

 

The Ohio School Facilities Commission is to fund 68 percent toward construction of the new building, with taxpayers covering the balance through a 28-year bond package.  The new campus on the school farm west of Attica should be ready sometime between the first and third quarters of 2008, according to information released earlier.

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Tiffin board of ed OKs bid for former school site

Toledo Blade, 10/24/06

 

The Tiffin Board of Education has accepted a $93,000 bid for a former school building called the Annex on South Washington Street.  The bid, submitted by Marci Funkhouser, a real estate agent who plans to renovate the facility into offices, was accepted by the board at its meeting Tuesday night.

 

The board had considered a lower offer from Oriana House, which provides treatment for offenders.  The building, a one-time post office, has been vacant for several years.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Realtor offers to buy annex

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 10/24/06

 

A local realtor has offered Tiffin City Schools $93,000 for its annex.  Marcie Funkhouser — broker and owner of Marcie and Associates Realty Inc. at 206 S. Washington St. — said Monday afternoon she would turn the building into a professional office space.

 

Papillon Limited — a business that helps Funkhouser and her husband make purchases — offered $3,000 more than what Oriana House’s administration offered the board for the building at 217 S. Washington St. a month ago.  “It’s going to be another anchor building in town that people will be proud of having,” Funkhouser said.

 

Bernie Rochford, executive vice president of Oriana House, said he can’t imagine the school board would accept his agency’s offer — with the controversy attached — for less money than the new offer.

 


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Buckeye Central voters to decide on bond issue to fund new facility

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 11/2/06

 

Buckeye Central Local Schools seek taxpayer approval of a bond issue to fund a new K-12 facility.  The 6.72-mill bond includes a required 0.5 mill for maintenance and is for 28 years, said Ronald Cirata, superintendent of the district.  He said the district purchased about 120 acres in 2003 that’s located at the corner of Guiss Road and SR 602.

 

“It’s out by our football complex,” he said. “We had that already planned, and that land was purchased. … It’s paid for.”  Cirata said the state of Ohio is funding $16.9 million of the project — or 80 percent — and the local share is $4.3 million.

 


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Down with the old, up with the new

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 11/6/06

 

Forty-five people gathered on Elm Street for Sunday’s dedication of three Habitat homes that occupy the spot where an aging water tower once stood.  The crowd included the homeowners, many Habitat volunteers, Tiffin Mayor Bernard Hohman and Michele Bighouse, executive director for Seneca Habitat for Humanity.

 

Don Loving, a member of Habitat’s Church Relations Committee, offered prayer. Sr. Paulette Schroeder, Orders of St. Francis provided music for the dedication ceremony.  Rev. Cliff Farmer, vice president of the Habitat board, read appropriate scripture passages suggesting people turn a building into a home.

 

“The Seneca Habitat builders have erected these three houses. They’re sturdy and warm, attractive and serviceable. They represent a good amount of effort and devotion toward that goal of eliminating inadequate housing for God’s people,” Farmer said.

 


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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From the 11/21/06 Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune:

 

Glasshouse site on council’s mind

By Melissa Topey, mtopey@advertiser-tribune.com

 

The former Tiffin Glasshouse was the topic of discussion at Monday night’s Tiffin City Council meeting, with three of the ordinances on the agenda involving the property.  The Tiffin Glasshouse went out of business in the early 1980s, leaving behind titanium and lead in the soil that was not cleaned up, said Jim Boroff, 4th Ward councilman.  Right now the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. owns the property, but when the property is cleaned up, it is proposed the Tiffin Paper Co. buy it for more than $70,000 to expand its operation.

 

That proposal moved one step closer when 1st Ward Councilman Steve Lepard introduced an ordinance to authorize the mayor to contract with Burgess and Niple Inc. for an estimated $80,398 to review bid specifications, oversee the soil samples taken from the property and to prepare a “no further action letter” for the environmental clean up at the property.  The city has received a Clean Ohio Assistance Fund grant for $750,000 that is to pay for these services.

 

More at http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/articles.asp?articleID=4950

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From the 11/29/06 Fostoria Focus:

 

Ritz Theatre to continue as the HeART of the Community

By MICHAEL STRONG

Ritz Executive Director

 

TIFFIN — Just 10 months ago the future of The Ritz Theatre appeared bleak when a January 2006 press conference was scheduled to announce the theatre would cease operations at the end of that month.

 

Eleventh hour negotiations between the board of Tiffin Theatre Inc. and the group of sevent banks which held its mortgage resulted in a reprieve.  The Ritz has reorganized and recently embarked on a new capital campaign to reduce the remaining debt and establish a stable endowment account to ensure the long term operations of this architectural and cultural gem.

 

MORE: http://www.fostoriafocus.com/viewarticle.asp?artID=7769

 

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Park gains 63 acres from donation

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 12/14/06

 

The Seneca County Park District board Wednesday accepted the donation of a 63-acre nature preserve west of West Lodi by John “Jeb” Bowen.  An estimated value is not yet known, pending an appraisal scheduled for this morning. A survey and final paperwork also must be completed before the donation becomes final.

 

Bowen, an archeologist with the Ohio Historical Society, created the natural area. He lives there and is to have a life lease. Upon his death, seven more acres are to become park district property.  The area — on the north side of CR 38 — contains grasslands, wetlands and woodlands.  “All we have to do is develop trails,” Park Director Roland Zimmerman said.

 


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Residents voice concern again

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 2/21/07

 

Residents came to Tuesday’s Tiffin City Council meeting to discuss their concerns on the Woda Group development project.  Mark Wade, of Huss Street, addressed council members, asking them to not pass a resolution authorizing a letter of support for the Dallas Street project.

 

The resolution would be submitted by the Woda Group to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency when it submits in June an application for a tax credit.  Wade asked council members if there was a need for rental properties in Tiffin. 

 

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Seneca East site work could be finished later this year

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 2/28/07

 

The Seneca East Board of Education approved items for the new campus project Saturday morning, and the construction manager indicated Monday site work may be finished later this year. 

 

The board approved a permanent easement with the Ohio Department of Transportation for installation, maintenance and repair of posts for a traffic light at the entrance to the new school off US 224, west of Attica.  Also, the board purchased a fraction of an acre for $1 from an adjacent landholder to accomodate ODOT signal requirements and donated a strip of land along the front of the new site to ODOT for lane widening.

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Buckeye Central bond sale OK’d

Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, 3/10/07

 

The Buckeye Central Board of Education voted Thursday night to expedite bond sales for the local cost share of the new campus project.  The decision should lock in an interest range around 4 percent on the roughly $8.45 million borrowed through the bonds, enabling the district to reinvest the money at about one point higher and earn about $80,000 over the following 12-18 months before spending the principal on construction expenses.

 

Voters approved a ballot issue for the new campus last month, and the bond sale is the next step before design work and construction of the new school on the outskirts of New Washington.  The Ohio School Facilities Commission is to provide 80 percent of the cost of the basic layout, known as the master plan, while bonds finance the balance and pay for additional square footage.

 

“We are hopeful we can capture the low rates that currently exist in the market,” said Patrick King of A.G. Edwards, the Columbus firm handling the bond sale for the district.  He said Thursday’s board vote will allow the district to enter the bond market May 1.

 

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