Joint justice center plan discussed

By JIM MAURER
STAFF WRITER
TIFFIN — Seneca County Commissioner Jeff Wagner supports the idea of a joint city/county justice center, but he wants to wait longer before construction begins.
But Commissioner Fred Zoeller said Tuesday he wants to move ahead to avoid higher costs in the future.
Further discussions are expected on the building’s location. A Tiffin property owner last week suggested the justice center be constructed on a corner of East Market and Jefferson streets, the site of a former junior high building.
However, a study released earlier this month recommended construction on the property where the 1884 county courthouse was located, adjacent to the county annex building.
Wagner said the county’s share of the project is estimated to be $6.4 million, or 75 percent of the estimated $8.5 million cost.
He suggested construction in 2018. By then, the county will have about $500,000 in additional money through debt reduction.
But Zoeller said if construction is delayed, the study indicated a 6 percent annual increase in construction cost, or about $500,000 annually.
Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said City Council will discuss the study at its April 7 meeting. He said where the building would be located will be decided later. Also, what will be built and how it will be built will also be decided.
Separately, Jerry Greiner, president of Northwestern Water and Sewer District, will meet with Commissioner Holly Stacy, New Riegel Mayor Larry Bouillon and Seneca County Engineer Mark Zimmerman to discuss the projected monthly increase in sewer bills for New Riegel users, and ways to reduce the impact.
Bills have not increased this year, although treatment charges are expected to increase from $72,000 last year to a projected $80,000 this year, Zimmerman said. That will mean about an $18 to $20 monthly increase.
Cost savings have reduced the projected increase from more than $100 per quarter, as discussed during a February meeting about the issue.
Maurer: 419-427-8420 Send an E-mail to Jim Maurer

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