Tiffin City Council approves Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area


New law to take effect in July

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TIFFIN, OHIO – JUNE 22, 2020 – Tonight during a special meeting, Tiffin City Council voted unanimously to approve a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) in downtown Tiffin. The ordinance allowing patrons of liquor permitted establishments within the DORA boundary to possess a specially marked open container within the designated area will take effect in July. Tiffin joins 27 other communities in the state of Ohio to implement a DORA.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz introduced DORA legislation in May as a way of helping business to reopen after social distancing measures were put in place reducing the number of people allowed to dine in at restaurants. “I’m happy to see council take a proactive step for our community and allow those Downtown Tiffin businesses that previously were unable to offer outdoor dining an opportunity to do so during these challenging times.”

DORA beverages must be purchased from a participating liquor licensed establishment within the designated district; maps are to be distributed to participating vendors and signage is to be posted at the boundaries of the DORA area. Businesses owners may post signage to exclude their property from DORA participation. The only open container allowed will be the designated, specially marked DORA cup purchased from a participating establishment, and a DORA cup cannot be brought into another liquor licensed establishment. The hours during which beverages will be allowed within the area are 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. The Tiffin City Council reserves the right to suspend the DORA at any time, for any reason, and the Ordinance will sunset on Dec. 31,2020, prior to which time council may vote to make it permanent in the City of Tiffin.

The concept was presented to council by a recommendation from the Downtown Development Committee of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership in October 2018 as a way ease or make more accessible outdoor dining and allow patrons to enjoy a beverage within the district’s boundaries. The proposal submitted to council laid out the hours of operation, boundaries, and establishments to be included in the district, as well as safety and sanitation plans, which were the result of a full year of due diligence and research into communities of a similar size with DORAs in place.

Amy Reinhart, Downtown Main Street Manger for Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, said: “This not only will help our businesses following the COVID-19 pandemic, but will continue to make Tiffin a destination in our region and enhances the experience of those patrons visiting Downtown Tiffin.”

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.com.

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