Fostoria was recently ranked the number 10 most affordable place to live in Ohio, according to a study by SmartAsset, a financial calculation firm.
Every year, researchers consider closing costs, real estate taxes, homeowners insurance and mortgage rates over five years among cities with a population of more than 5,000, then see how those figures fit with the communities’ median household income.
This year, Northwest Ohio claimed three of the top 10 slots with Fostoria in the number 10 spot, joining Delphos (#3) and Northwood (#7). Check out the complete SmartAsset study here.
Fostoria is not the only affordable place to live in Seneca County. In 2014, the cost of living in Tiffin was about 20% below the national average, and in 2016 it was listed one of the 20 Most Affordable College Towns.
This is the sixth year in a row that the Tiffin micropolitan area has ranked in the top 100 nationally and the fifth year for ranking in the top ten percent. Qualifying projects must involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, create at least 20 new jobs, or add at least 20,000 sq. ft. of new floor area. Six Seneca County projects qualified for Site Selection, including expansions at Arnold Machine, Church and Dwight, Owens Corning, Tiffin Metal Products, Poet Energy, and Mennel Milling.
Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz cited partnership as a driver of economic development for the county. “Having the city, county and economic development organizations in sync plays a key role in keeping us at the top of development, expansion, investment and employment,” he said. Fostoria Mayor Eric Keckler agreed, “We are pleased with the economic development progress we see going on in Fostoria and in Seneca County. This is a great honor.” Seneca County Commission President Mike Kerschner agreed: “Throughout the county we are seeing record growth in all sectors. The climate for all business and overall quality of life improves with each addition.”
This year, Ohio ranked as the number two state for development projects and the entire Northwest Ohio region posted strong numbers, with Findlay taking the number one micropolitan slot, Defiance tying with Seneca County for tenth, and Toledo ranking seventh in its division. “Northwest Ohio has built incredible momentum over the past few years,” said Dean Monske, President & CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership in Toledo. “National recognition is a testament to the fact that the region is an excellent area to locate or expand a business and to the hard work of our partners in economic development as well as public officials.”
A press release from Site Selection magazine and a complete list of the top 100 micro- and metropolitans is can be found here and more information can be found at siteselection.com.
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.
The Mennel Milling Company, headquartered in Fostoria, has announced plans to purchase General Mills’ Martel Bakery Mix and Packaging plant, expanding their product line into the bakery mix business. The sale is expected to be finalized Nov. 1.
“With this acquisition we will no longer be constrained to selling flour as an ingredient into baked goods or bakery mix,” President D. Ford Mennel said in a press release. “We will now be able to offer a full line of bakery mix products to our big box, commercial, wholesale and bakery customers and marketplaces.”
This expansion is the latest in a series of expansions over the past year. In January, the company announced plans to invest $40-50 million to revitalize their facility. The 2020 Plan is a 10-year project to improve the Fostoria plant by consolidating business operations into one location and expanding grain storage capabilities.
Last year, Mennel invested over $8 million in local projects, several of which are ongoing. They installed a new transformer, replaced four grain bins (all of which were more than 100 years old), and installed a new flour-drying system and a new extrusion plant. They are also preparing to move to their new corporate headquarters in August and plan to add four more storage bins, doubling their previous capacity.
The Mennel Milling Company has been milling wheat into flour since 1886. Their corporate headquarters are located in Fostoria, Ohio, with five flour mills, seven elevators and three trucking companies located across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Virginia. Mennel has been a supplier to the Martel, Ohio facility for over 40 years.