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Donations to help pay for Ohio 53 study

By JIM MAURER
STAFF WRITER
TIFFIN — Seneca County Commissioner Fred Zoeller said donations have been secured for a portion of the county’s share of an Ohio 53 safety study, which is being conducted by the state Department of Transportation and DLZ, a Toledo consultant.
The state will pay $50,000 of the $100,000 cost and four counties will pay the remainder. Seneca County will pay $25,000; Sandusky and Ottawa counties will each pay $10,000; and Wyandot County will pay $5,000.
Zoeller said donations will cover $12,500 of Seneca County’s share and the commissioners will pay the remainder from the general fund.
“I believe this will go a long way when the study is done” toward getting state support for improvements on the 54-mile stretch of highway from U.S. 30/U.S. 23 near Upper Sandusky to Ohio 2 in Ottawa County, Zoeller said.
The four-county group, called Transportation Coalition of North Central Ohio, organized to promote the Ohio 53 safety improvements and wants to seek state funding for the project. A meeting was held in January with representatives of DLZ, hired by the state to conduct the highway study.
A final report, expected in the fall, will include the possibilities for left-turn lanes at intersections, wider berms, lowering some hills which obstruct visibility at intersections, and additional signs to improve safety.
Separately, John Davoli, executive director of the North Central Ohio Regional Council of Governments, said personnel from Burgess and Niple, a Columbus-based consultant, will present information at noon March 5 on a justice center study for Tiffin. The program will be held at North Central Ohio Educational Service Center on West Market Street, Tiffin.
The study was funded with a $100,000 state grant.
The justice center would include space for two common pleas courts, the clerk of courts, and possibly other county offices. Juvenile/probate court would relocate to the county annex building from a Jefferson Street site which is not handicapped accessible.
“There is no mandate (for the county) to do anything with a joint justice center,” Davoli said. “It’s (the study) very straightforward and gives good guidance.”
Maurer: 419-427-8420 Send an E-mail to Jim Maurer

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