Council mulls plan for new road


Tiffin City Council heard the first reading of legislation Monday evening that would set a payment structure for a road project that could lead to economic development on the city’s west side.

In April, council allocated $245,000 from the General Fund for the design of a road to connect US 224 with 60 acres of land annexed from Hopewell Township. The development is located between South Shaffer Park Drive and TR 18. The project will include improvements to US 224, CR 1, CR 54 and TR 18. It includes creation of Progress Parkway and extension of Fair Lane, which will enter the site as a continuation of TR 18.

Mayor Aaron Montz said the project will provide access to the 60-acre piece of land that could bring significant commercial development to the area. He said a healthcare provider that could bring a $10 million investment and 110 new jobs, not including construction jobs, to about seven acres of the site.

Former Finance Director Gwynn Reinhart said last year the project is to be funded by bonds which are to be paid back by tax increment financing.

TIF will help pay for the project by diverting property tax revenue for a period of time to pay back the bond.

Montz said last year the TIF diverts the value added to a parcel gained by new development directly into payments on the bond.

He said the money will be used to pay off overall infrastructure costs.

“The new property tax money is diverted to immediately pay off infrastructure improvements that were put in and we still benefit because we get all of the additional income tax money on top of that,” he said.

Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. President and CEO David Zak said last year that based on preliminary calculations, the city should be able to pay off the bond quickly.

“Once that site develops, we’ll be able to pay it off early,” Montz said. “Then all that property tax money becomes new revenue. It’s a way for cities to pay for infrastructure improvements without raising any kind of rates. Everybody wins.”

Council will hear the second reading of the legislation on the issuance of bonds, which according to legislation is not to exceed $3.9 million, Monday and is expected to vote on the ordinance March 26.

Tiffin Assistant Engineer Matt Watson said last month that officials hope to have the project out for bid by the end of April, with road construction beginning this spring.