Tiffin City Council

Tiffin Municipal Arts Commission approved by City Council

New city body to guide and oversee public art

The mural at City Lot 7 in Downtown Tiffin is an example of public art.

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 21, 2021 – During a meeting Monday evening, Tiffin City Council approved the creation of the Tiffin Municipal Arts Council, the first of its kind in the city’s history. The Arts Commission will promote and oversee public art in the city of Tiffin. It is the result of the work of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership’s (TSEP) Downtown Design Committee, part of Downtown Tiffin’s Main Street program, together with Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz and the City Administration.  

Montz celebrated the development: “I am very pleased to see Tiffin continue to be proactive and progressive in enhancing the quality of life of our community. Public art is an important part our Downtown Strategic and Comprehensive Plans, and we believe it will build community pride, strengthen our downtown and tourism, and celebrate talent residing in our community.”

The Arts Commission will help develop public art sites, support artists, provide policy input, coordinate artwork installation and signage, serve as a liaison between stakeholders, serve as a resource to the City on art-related matters, develop a planning process, and other matters. The initial annual budget for the Commission to support and promote public art will be $10,000.

Ryan Poignon, local artist and member of the new Arts Commission praised the development. “Art is such an important part of the fabric of our community, and I’m truly appreciative of city leaders and volunteers working together to make this happen. I’m looking forward to working with the City and TSEP to strengthen public art and the arts in general.” Poignon also owns The Poignon Project, a downtown Tiffin art studio and shop featuring handmade artwork, glass, and live glassblowing.

The Arts Commission is the product of a year and a half of work that began last summer. Throughout 2020 and into this spring, members of the Downtown Design Committee benchmarked Ohio communities such as Athens, Yellow Springs, Marietta, and Sandusky, looking to develop a public arts policy for the City of Tiffin. Public art appears several places in the 2010 Downtown Strategic Plan, most notably in the sections on promoting the downtown to visitors (Promotion) and the appearance of the downtown (Design.) 

Tiffin’s Director of Downtown Revitalization Amy Reinhart said, “I want to express my appreciation for Mayor Montz, the city administration, and Law Director, as well as Tiffin City Council. I also appreciate Design Committee Chair Brian Perrine and the volunteers who did a lot of the work to help make it happen, in particular Mike Pinkston, Debbie Roszman and Design Committee Vice Chair Tony Consolo.”

The 2020 Comprehensive Plan has a public art strategy under Goal 6 “Strong Community & Image,” recommending the city “commission pieces of public art and install them at various locations throughout the community.” TSEP’s Tiffin Community Development Committee plans on working with the new group to support public art as part of the community’s overall community development strategy.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership 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.tiffinseneca.org.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz receives “20 Under 40” Leadership Recognition Award

Montz, Aaron-photo.jpgPress release provided by 20 Under 40 program

Toledo, Ohio, September 25, 2018 – Aaron Montz, Mayor of the City of Tiffin, received a 2018 20 Under 40 Leadership Recognition Award on Monday, September 24 at the 23nd annual 20 Under 40 ceremony.  He was selected from a record number of 255 candidates.

Montz was elected to Tiffin City Council in 2007 at age 22. In 2011 at age 26, he was elected Mayor, becoming the youngest Mayor in Tiffin’s history. He was re-elected in 2015 with slightly over 85% of the vote, the highest percentage of any challenged campaign in Tiffin’s history. During his tenure, the unemployment rate has dropped from 9.9% to 3.9, and Tiffin has ranked in the top 10% of nearly 600 micropolitans nationwide each year by site selection magazine.

He founded and served as president of the Seneca County Young Professionals, an organization that has grown from 3 to 130.  He formed a “Student Advisory Council” comprised of students from both Tiffin University and Heidelberg University to provide feedback and lend assistance to make Tiffin more of a college town.

In 2017, Montz received the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation’s President’s Award. In 2013, he was appointed by Governor Kasich to the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission, and serves as president of Northwest Ohio Mayors and Mangers Association.

He serves on the board of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services, Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation, Seneca Regional Planning commission, Seneca County Young  Professionals, Tiffin downtown Development, and is the Seneca County Director on the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council.

Montz earned a Bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Political Science from Heidelberg University.

The 20 Under 40 program focuses on individuals in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves in their career and/or in the community. An independent panel of judges selects the 20 candidates for recognition.  It is intended that the program will further motivate young leaders in our area. Since 1996, 460 young, community leaders have been recognized through the 20 Under 40 program.

Program sponsors include Eastman & Smith; Fifth Third Bank; Plante Moran; The Andersons, Inc.; University of Toledo Alumni Association and Sauder Woodworking Co.  The Toledo Business Journal serves as the media partner, Leadership Toledo serves as the community partner and The Creative Block is the website partner.  Community support is provided by EPIC Toledo, The Toledo Symphony, Toledo Lucas County Public Library, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Opera, Toledo Zoo, Ulrich Pinciotti and the Valentine Theatre.

Potential riverfront development recommended to Tiffin City Council

Transformational residential and hotel project eyed for downtown Tiffin

Riverfront Development (2).jpg

Ed Hernando addresses Tiffin City Council.

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 16, 2018 – Tiffin City Council’s Committee of the Whole approved sending to the next full Council meeting a purchase agreement for two of the City’s downtown parking lots along the Sandusky River. The sites would be acquired by Tiffin River Front Development LLC in order to build both a creative loft living complex and a full-service hotel/condominium facility. If the sale is approved, the development company plans to enter the full due diligence and design phase, aiming to finalize the project details by sometime in 2019.

Florida-based developer and entrepreneur Ed Hernando is a Heidelberg University graduate, former captain of the football team, and current member of Heidelberg’s business school advisory board. He has been working with the city and economic development officials on the project concept since early 2017. He cited the city’s prudent planning in the purchase of the Stalsworth and Livery property in 2013 and the 2016 Downtown Strategic Growth & Development Plan among several reasons to invest in Tiffin. “It is evident that Tiffin is a community investing in itself and its future, and I want to support its growth and development with this large-scale project,” he said.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said that Tiffin is open and prepared for this kind of development. “The Tiffin Riverfront Development will be a transformational project in the heart of downtown Tiffin building upon the already strong momentum the community has experienced over the past several years,” he stated. “It will provide unique housing and lodging for new and current residents while serving as a catalyst for additional investment in the future. This further builds on other major transformational projects in the downtown like the Frost-Kalnow Amphitheater on the East Green, future splash pad, and newly renovated lofts and storefronts.”

Moving the project forward is contingent upon significant further due diligence and market validation, but the current plan, based on research to date, contains the “Creative Lofts” and “Downtown Residences and Hotel” projects.

The Creative Lofts will be located on City Lot 6 across the river from Kiwanis Manor and will offer affordable lofts geared toward young professionals and graduates from the local communities, encouraging young people to stay in Tiffin post-graduation to live, work, launch businesses, and make Tiffin their home. It is estimated that the Creative Lofts will have 85 units, which is subject to change based on entitlement, building restrictions, and market conditions.

The Downtown Residences & Hotel will be located on City Lot 4 on the site of the former Stalsworth Hotel and Livery and provide the ultimate in elegance and spa living for condominium owners and a boutique hotel experience for guests. The project includes a restaurant lobby and bar, conference space for events, banquets and weddings, as well as a rooftop bar and restaurant. It is estimated that the Downtown Residences & Hotel will have 50 full-service hotel rooms, 45 condominium residences, and four to five penthouse units. This is also subject to change, based on the previously mentioned factors.

The purchase agreement will be put forth in a city ordinance, to be presented at the first of three readings by Tiffin City Council in a regular meeting Monday, Aug. 20.

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.


Plans for downtown Tiffin brewery announced


Venture to occupy space in historic Laird Arcade


The intended location of the brewery – the former Iron Gate Cafe space inside the Laird Arcade.

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 11, 2017 – Plans have been made public for a downtown brewery and taproom to be located in the historic Laird Arcade building. Local entrepreneurs Eric Kuebler and Rob Weaver announced their intentions at yesterday’s Tiffin Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.

“Breweries are being added to a lot of communities, and contribute to the livelihood and revitalization of downtown areas,” Weaver said. “Downtown revitalization is already going on in Tiffin and we’d really like to be a part of it.”

The brewery zoning classification was granted by the Zoning Board, pending approval by the Planning Commission and Tiffin City Council. The next major steps will be filing a federal brewer’s notice, a process that takes six to eight months, and obtaining a state liquor license.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was delighted by the news. “Tiffin has a long and interesting history of breweries like this run by local entrepreneurs. This is an exciting venture, and we’ll give them all the support we can.”

Kuebler and Weaver, both avid homebrewers, will brew beer on-site. The taproom will offer ten varieties of beer, including six flagship brews to be served year-round as well as rotating seasonal specialties. Half-gallon growlers will be sold and filled, and there are plans to make kegs available to select Seneca County bars and restaurants.

“We are both from Tiffin and looking to give back to our community, by providing quality products with thirty years of combined experience,” Kuebler said.

Along with beer, they plan to offer locally produced snacks but leave heavier fare to local restaurants. “This is a cooperative venture with our neighbors, at the Laird and in the surrounding community,” Kuebler said. “This will benefit them as much as it benefits us.”

According to The Brewers Association, Ohio is one of the leading states for craft beer, ranking fourth in barrels produced annually (1.4 million) made by 143 craft breweries statewide. The annual economic impact is in excess of $2.1 million and growing.


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 the community at www.senecasuccess.com.


New Downtown Development Plan unveiled

Urban Framework PlanThe final draft of the new Downtown Strategic Growth & Development Plan is to be unveiled at the second annual Downtown Summit today. The publicly-funded plan builds the 2010 Downtown Strategic plan by (1) identifying and evaluating current strategic opportunities, (2) updating the downtown area framework plan (master plan), and then (3) by identifying 22 specific catalytic projects that will directly or indirectly attract private capital into the downtown. 19 of those are in one of five specific “development areas” or zones (Riverfront, Civic Core, South Washington Street, Five Points, and Fort Ball), and three of them are demonstration projects with financial pro formas and designs provided to show how they could be done. Part of the work of the plan also involved speaking with developers about the feasibility of the projects and gauging interest.

Tiffin City Council approved funding for the study in October of 2014, and a Steering Committee met beginning in October. Larger stakeholder sessions were held throughout 2015. SIEDC managed the study and worked with a consultant team led by the Gossman Group (Columbus) and involving EDGE Landscape Architects and Planners (Columbus), and LSL Planning (Royal Oak, MI) to create the plan. Participants at the summit will be asked for feedback to help establish project priorities for 2016 and moving into 2017. The intention is to finalize the plan by the end of May and present to City Council in June. Comments and feedback are welcome (David Zak, zak@senecacounty.org).

Façade Grant approved, new changes take effect

20160505_153824Tuesday, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved a Façade Enhancement Grant for Reino’s Pizza and Pasta, located at 73 E. Market St. in downtown Tiffin. The $5,200 painting project received a $2,600 grant, the seventh awarded in 2016.

The approval came just one day after Tiffin City Council approved an amendment to the Façade Enhancement Grant to accommodate “façade returns.” A façade return is considered to be any architectural elements carried continuously from the front to the side of a building.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz advocated the change: “There are several buildings with this unique condition where part of the side of the building really is part of the façade. Having this clarification added to the legislation opens the door for more improvement projects downtown.”

This week’s grant approval leaves a little more than $37,000 of the $100,000 set aside by the city for Facade Enhancement Grants for 2016. So far this year, $62,500 invested by the city has resulted in just under $224,000 of investment into the buildings in downtown Tiffin. Since its inception in 2014, 33 projects have generated about $1.1 million in improvements with $212,000 invested by the city.

“Our return on investment with the Facade Enhancement Grant program is phenomenal,” Montz said. “It is encouraging to see the community support behind it.”

Downtown building to get Façade Enhancement

33 S Washington33 South Washington Street to receive funds for external improvements

TIFFIN, OHIO – November 4, 2015 – Yesterday, the Architectural Board of Review approved a Façade Enhancement Grant for the building at 33 South Washington Street.

Owner Ned Behm plans to invest about $15,700 in the exterior of his building. Improvements include second and third floor window replacement, tuck pointing and brick repair, awning mechanism repair and cover replacement, repainting non-masonry materials and a storefront window replacement. The grant will reimburse Behm about $7,800 for the project.

“A lot of work needs to be done to the building, so it is great that this grant is out there to help offset some of the costs of renovating the building,” Behm said.

In the early 1900’s the building was home to Edward S. Pultz Pawn Broker’s. It has also served as a jewelry store and a thrift shop.

Behm’s building is the 15th façade enhancement project approved in 2015 and the 26th since the program was founded in September 2014. Of the $100,000 set aside by the city at the beginning of the year, a little more than $13,000 remains in the Façade Enhancement Grant fund.

On Monday night, Tiffin City Council voted to expand the Façade Enhancement Program to include buildings whose main entrances face an alley, with no entrance facing a major road. The changes will take effect January 1, 2016.


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 at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

Representatives focused on downtown revitalization

Main Street pic

Left to Right: Tyler Shuff, Jessica Williams, Bryce Riggs, Amy Reinhart and State Representative Bill Reineke at the Ohio Statehouse

Earlier this month elected officials, business owners, and members of SIEDC gathered in Columbus for the 2015 Heritage Ohio / Main Street Annual Conference. In attendance were Tyler Shuff, Jessica Williams, Bryce Riggs, Amy Reinhart, and John Kerschner. The Main Street Program, a brand of Heritage Ohio which was developed from the National Historic Trust Organization, is focused on preservation and revitalization of Ohio’s downtowns. Main Street is a comprehensive program that focuses on multiple aspects of the revitalization of the downtown at one time. It is called the four point approach: The four points of focus are Operations, Design, Marketing, and Business Enhancement. These four committees were formed in 2014 and immediately began assessing the 2010 Downtown Strategic Plan for direction. The plan is set up with the four point approach in mind and contains 124 different action items for revitalization. Some of the topics covered at the 2015 conference were:

  • Building Departments
  • Site Selection
  • Small Deal Financing
  • Incentives at the Local Level
  • Vacant Property Programs
  • Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits
  • Alternative Building Code
  • ADA Compliance
  • First Floor Retail Vibrancy

There were many other seminars and tours that took place during the conference along with the award ceremony for buildings and communities around Ohio.  It is important to see how other communities are successfully revitalizing their downtowns so we can utilize that information for the betterment of Tiffin.  The Main Street network is the key to sharing and creating successful programs that are tried and true. On November 2nd Tiffin City Council will be voting on Resolution 15-25 which approves an application for Tiffin to become a member of the Main Street Program. If this measure passes is will put Tiffin in the running to join an organization of other elite and thriving downtown communities across the state of Ohio.

Taiho moving forward with $8M expansion in Tiffin

TaihoProject expected to create 50 jobs; receives local tax credit

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 17, 2015 – Following approval of a local job creation tax credit by Tiffin City Council this evening, the Taiho Corporation of America is announcing its decision to move forward with an $8 million, 50-job expansion at its North American headquarters and manufacturing operation in Tiffin. The project is expected to be completed three years and brings the company’s total investment to more than $21 million since 2012.

The Japanese automotive supplier currently employs 180 and manufactures more than 120 million parts a year at its Tiffin location, including engine bearings, bushings, and other specialty bearings – parts that go into such popular models as the Toyota Camry, Chevy Malibu, Cadillac CTS, and Honda Accord. The new project will allow Taiho to supply polymer-coated bearings and produce a completely new vacuum pump product line.

“Any Taiho facility worldwide could have supported this expansion; we are very pleased that the Tiffin location was chosen for both projects,” Taiho President and COO Nick Isogai said. The Ohio location was competing with other Taiho locations in Japan, Thailand, and Tennessee for the project.

The five-year, fifty percent municipal income tax credit — also known as the New Jobs Program — approved today is expected to be worth up to $37,000 over the term. In addition, the company’s existing Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit from its $13 million expansion in 2012 will capture the new activity and provide additional benefit to the company.

“Tiffin’s economy is surging. The resources available for projects like this are one of many reasons why Tiffin’s industries are expanding, and I am happy that Taiho was able to qualify for the credit,” Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said. Seneca County Commissioner Holly Stacy was also thrilled at the news, “We’re excited about the number of Seneca County residents that are Taiho employees, and that the number will be growing.”

Financial support for the project was also provided by JobsOhio and the Toledo-based Regional Growth Partnership in the form of a $35,000 state Economic Development Grant. Dean Monske, President & CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership, was pleased with the announcement. “Tiffin and Seneca County continue to be a strong economic development engine in northwest Ohio, and we were happy to support the project.”

About Taiho Corporation of America

Taiho is a global Japanese automotive supplier of bearings and bushings that has its headquarters in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Founded in 1944, it currently has more than 1700 employees and over $1 billion in global sales is a $50M+ company in sales. It established its North American presence in 1980 and its first overseas manufacturing operations in Tiffin in 1996 as their first overseas base of operations. It currently employs 180 and operates out of a two facility complex in Tiffin’s Northstar Industrial Park with more than 180,000 square feet of space under roof. Learn more at http://www.taihousa.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 at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

About Regional Growth Partnership

Based in Toledo, Ohio, the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP) is private, nonprofit corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in northwest Ohio through business attraction, retention and expansion efforts. The RGP also serves as the JobsOhio Northwest network partner, serving as the JobsOhio point of contact and customer service for state incentives for a 17-county region. Learn more at www.rgp.org.