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Today, Madison; Tiffin Tomorrow?
March 27, 2012 - Rob Weaver
As I write this early Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Aaron Montz and representatives of Tiffin Tomorrow should be checking in at the Riverboat Hotel in Madison, Ind.
The delegation planned to spend the afternoon meeting with the mayor of Madison, taking a trolley car tour of the city and visiting downtown shops on foot. Wednesday morning, the group is to learn about historical preservation efforts and downtown development programs, followed by a visit to a local winery, mansion and visitors’ bureau before hitting the road for the 5-hour drive home.
Madison may become a sister city to Tiffin, although some hope our town could become its twin. The cities already have similarities: both are situated on a river, and each has a pair of colleges. While Tiffin is less than 30 minutes from a competitive shopping area in Findlay, about an hour from Toledo and 90 minutes from Columbus, Madison is a 45 minute drive from Louisville, Ky., and 70 minutes from Cincinnati.
But Madison has a thriving downtown, and local leaders hope to figure out how to emulate that success back home. That, essentially, is what Tiffin Tomorrow is about.
While similarities exist, there are differences.
Madison’s website describes the city this way: Located on the Ohio River Scenic Byway in Southern Indiana, Madison is truly a quaint "river town" even offering a marina for those visitors traveling by boat.
Obviously, the Ohio and Sandusky rivers differ slightly in scale.
Also, Clifty Falls State Park near Madison boasts more than 1,300 acres with scenic overlooks, 70-foot rock gorges, seven waterfalls, a nature center and campground. That acreage is nearly double that of Seneca County parks, including Howard Collier State Nature Preserve and Tiffin’s parks.
But nearby Hanover College has an enrollment of about 1,000 students. The city also hosts a branch of Ivy Tech Community College. Tiffin University and Heidelberg University each have more students.
Plus, Madison has about 12,000 residents, while Tiffin has a population of about 17,000.
Online sources provided financial details.
Median income for a household in Madison was $35,092, and the median income for a family was $46,241. Males had a median income of $32,800 versus $22,039 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,923. About 10.2 percent of families and 12.3 percent of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.3 percent of those under age 18 and 8.6 percent of those age 65 or over.
Median income for a household in Tiffin was $33,261, and the median income for a family was $41,329. Males had a median income of $31,207 versus $22,259 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,580. About 5.7 percent of families and about 11.1 percent of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.4 percent of those under age 18 and 8.9 percent of those age 65 or over.
I hope the entourage from Tiffin can discover specific ways Madison’s success can be replicated here. A gorge and waterfalls might not be feasible, but perhaps a winery is possible. ....
On the Web: http://visitmadison.org/
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