Sylvania Township News
Sylvania Township News, April 2020
by Mike Jones
 
grab a bandanna april

Omin  April 8, 2020

OMNI Properties, Inc, has filed a notice of appeal in Lucas County Common Pleas Court for the denial of a conditional use permit to allow for the construction of a residential care facility at 4752 and 4828 Whiteford Rd.

The request for the permit was denied last month by the Sylvania Township Board of Zoning Appeals.

The 10-acre project has been a contentious issue with residents since the developer announced plans at a meeting with neighbors more than a year ago.

John McHugh, an attorney for OMNI, said specifics will be presented when his brief is filed with the court, but that broadly OMNI doesn’t think the board’s decision is in accordance with the law..

 

The board had held a lengthy meeting in February, primarily hearing from residents of the area who complained of the commercial aspects of the proposed facility as well as concerns about increased traffic on heavily-traveled Whiteford Road.

 

The board continued that meeting to seek legal advice and at the meeting last month presented the resulting “finding of fact and conclusions of law.”

The board noted that the current zoning for the site is “rural residential,” which provides for areas of relatively low-density residential development. Most of the existing use in the immediate area is low-density housing with Whiteford Elementary School at the south border of the property.

The two-story development by OMNI, of Beachwood, O., was planned to have 8 independent living units, 94 congregate care units, 41 assisted living units and 18 memory care units.

The paper, which was adopted by the board, said the project “is not harmonious with the existing and intended character of the general vicinity and will change the essential character of the area.”

It was noted that the area was considered to potentially allow for more intense land use during the preparation for the Sylvania Township Land Use Plan of 2018, but it was determined to keep the area as a low to medium density residential neighborhood.

It also noted that the project’s service road was within 30 ft. of at least one residence which faces Whiteford and that would be “significantly detrimental to nearby persons and property…”.

 

Appreciate  April 8, 2020

The Sylvania Township community’s gestures of appreciation to its safety forces, “have been absolutely phenomenal,” according to Fire Chief Mike Ramm. His thoughts were seconded with an “It’s getting
like Christmas around here,” from Lt. Sarah Toth, of the Sylvania Township police department.

Both were referring to the community’s support of firefighters and police officers safeguarding the the community when the normal risks of those duties are magnified by the potential exposure to
coronavirus.

The lieutenant was referring to items such as bottles of water, masks, thank-you notes, and sometimes meals delivered by local restaurants.

“We know that sometimes we’re not real popular with someone we’re dealing with, but we also know we have a very supportive community.”

She said the items received and just a gesture like, “when someone rolls down their window and says, ‘thank you officer,’ have meant a lot to us.”

“There’s a sense of community and it’s really, really helping us get through,” the days of contending with the coronavirus pandemic as well as the usual stresses of the job, the lieutenant said.

Chief Ramm and Police Chief Paul Long have both instituted internal changes to reduce the chance of personnel contracting the virus or passing it to another firefighter or police officer.

One of those changes, closing all fire stations except to on-duty firefighters, may have held up some people wanting to donate an item or two, but Chief Ramm said, “We are so grateful for the kind notes, the masks, food, everything.

“Our firefighters are under a lot of stress,” he said. “It’s something we all signed up for, but it’s wonderful to know ” it’s recognized and appreciated by the community.

Chief Ramm noted the department is cautious in accepting some items. He said he is aware of an instance elsewhere in which a department accepted some homemade sandwiches and the donor was later found to have coronavirus.

“We hope people understand that any gesture is appreciated.

“We have been graciously overwhelmed by the appreciation the community has shown,” the chief said.

 

Pickup  April 8, 2020

Sylvania Township trustees have approved a contract with Archbold Refuse Service Inc., for the township’s household item pickup service this year through 2022.

Archbold will be paid $375 per ton of items collected in each year of the three-year contract, according to Rob Nash, superintendent of the township road and service department, They will also be paid $550 each for what is known as a dumpster cycle.

Mr. Nash, said a 30-yard dumpster is placed at the township hall and residents are allowed to discard items there which for one reason or another weren’t collected during the sweep. Each time the full dumpster is filled and taken away is considered cycle.

Items will be collected this year beginning Sept. 14.

Last year the contract went to Archbold Refuse Service with low bid of $365 per ton.

This year, Mr. Nash said he asked for bids on a three-year contract hoping to attract more bidders. Although the package did not attract additional bidders, Mr. Nash said the attempt appeared to keep the price down.

The only other company bidding on the project this year was Stevens Disposal & Recycling Services.

Stevens won the contract in 2018 with a bid of $400 per ton.

Mr. Nash said the attempt to attract more bidders wasn’t meant to be critical of Stevens or Archbold Refuse, adding that they did a good job, but the bidding process was frustrating because of the lack of interest from companies which might be able to perform the work.

He said he had reached out to other firms, but most have regular customers and can’t alter their schedules or have sufficient equipment to add for the township household pickup.

Last year’s one-time sweep through the township resulted in a collection of 120 tons, Mr. Nash noted.

 

Notice of Sylvania Township Trustees Regular Meeting  April 2, 2020

 

The Sylvania Township Trustees will hold a Regular Meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

 

The public may attend the meeting electronically via telephone at (877) 568-4106 using the Access Code 677-255-877 or via their computer, tablet or smartphone at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/677255877.

If any citizen would like to test the technology in advance of the meeting they are encouraged to contact Township Administrator Oliver Turner at oturner@sylvaniatownship.com.

 

If any citizen is unable to access the technology while the meeting is occurring they are also welcome to send questions or comments to Township Administrator Oliver Turner at oturner@sylvaniatownship.com.

JEDD Documents  March 31, 2020

The proposed contract and exhibits, including all documentation required by law, for the creation of the Sylvania Township/City of Sylvania Joint Economic Development District (Sylvania JEDD I) are on file with the office of the Sylvania Township Fiscal Officer.

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the present closure of Township Hall lobby, the documents may be provided via fax, email, or mail service upon request.

 

Brush  March26, 2020

The annual spring pickup of brush and leaves will begin April 20, as opposed to the originally scheduled beginning of April 13, according to Rob Nash, Sylvania Township road superintendent.

He said the delay is primarily due to social distancing recommendations in response to the coronavirus, causing what he termed to be “personnel logistics” issues.

One issue has been that when each worker has to be a distance apart from a colleague it has added time to the task of removing plows and salt-spreaders from trucks and then equipping them for leaf and brush collection.

During the pickup, he said workers will arrive at sites in their own cars and work at least 6 ft. apart from one another.

“We won’t use the break-room for lunch. They’ll have to eat separately,” he said.

He added that he is likely to use temporary workers to help cut the time the pickup might take, given the constraints.

Mr. Nash added that the delay will give property owners an extra week to get items to the edge of the street and maybe a few days of better weather to do it in.

Residents can be surprised in the early spring to find how many limbs and branches have accumulated on lawns through the winter.

It can also be surprising to see how many leaves didn’t get raked up before snow set in.

That’s what the spring pickup is for, Mr Nash said. He reminded that it is not meant to take what remains from a tree removal or the clear cutting of a lot.

He said he doesn’t anticipate a further delay in the start of the pickup, but the uncertainty created by coronavirus, remains. Mr. Nash noted that residents can check the website www.sylvaniatownship.com. for information. On the site, they can also go to the road department’s brush and leaf pickup section and sign up for Sylvania Township Alerts which will also let them know if there may be a delay.

The collection is a one-time sweep through the roads in the township.

He urged all residents to have brush and leaves at the street, but not in it. Brush and leaves should also be separated, he said.

Brush should be no longer than six feet, nor should it exceed six inches in diameter.

Although the sweep will begin April 20, it is difficult to project a schedule for completion, Mr. Nash added.

It is difficult to give people an estimate of when crews may reach a specific neighborhood because weather often causes interruptions in the process.

If everything is at the edge of the street by April 20 it will be collected, he said.

Report  March 25, 2020

Have you ever wondered how many feet of storm sewers were improved by the Sylvania Township road department repaired last year?

How about the total number of calls for fire and emergency medical service or the total number of zoning permits issued by that office of the township?

Those answers and many others are available in the recently issued Sylvania Township 2019 Annual Report.

In most cases the head of each township department has written an overview of his/her department and its activities through the preceding year.

In addition, several statistics involving specific activities of each department are included in this year’s 17-page report.

John Crandall, chairman of the board of Sylvania Township trustees, said that he is aware of the work it takes to put out such a report, “but I think it’s important for us to let the taxpayers know what we’ve been doing.

“The department heads and everyone else involved have done a good job in providing a handy reference for our citizens,” Mr. Crandall said.

The report was coordinated and compiled by Samantha Didion, township administrative assistant and IT coordinator.

Oh, The road department improved 2,824 ft. of storm sewer, the total calls for service to fire/EMS was 6,603 and the zoning department issued a total of 537 permits.

The entire report is available at the news section at www.sylvaniatownship.com.

Safety  March 25, 2020

It may not be business quite as usual for the Sylvania Township safety forces, but service to the public remains the top priority and is basically unchanged.

Both Fire Chief Mike Ramm and Police Chief Paul Long said the steps they’ve taken are meant to reduce the possibility of contagion by the coronavirus currently upsetting all aspects of life across the country.

Chief Ramm early on prohibited public entry to the fire stations, in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. He said he regularly follows CDC updates and adheres to their recommendations.

He acknowledged that the work of the department, particularly in its delivery of emergency medical assistance, makes it impossible to avoid person-to-person contact, but all first responders are in personal protective equipment when they enter a site to provide aid.

He said the well-being of those they are sent to aid, is the highest priority, but the well-being of department members has to be kept in mind.

Three members of the Springfield Fire Department were recently placed in quarantine after transporting a man who later died of COVID-19, the disease carried by coronavirus.

Neither the hospital nor the Lucas County Health Department told the fire department the outcome for the patient they had transported.

Chief Ramm noted that the circumstance was relatively new at the time and that communications by all agencies in the local health system have been streamlined and are working well.

Although there have been internal steps taken to guard against the spread of the virus, Chief Ramm said,  there is no question that the fire department will respond when needed.

Chief Long repeated that thought while explaining that the department has increased its use of taking crime reports over the telephone.

If someone notices a missing credit card and they want a police report of it, something like that, the department will likely not dispatch a cruiser, but will take the report by phone, the chief said.

He stressed that in an instance of a crime in progress, police will respond rapidly.

“In a domestic violence situation or a burglar is breaking in, we’ll be there immediately. No change.

But a report that can be taken over the phone will probably be taken over the phone.

He said that internally some shifts have been altered to limit contact between officers and he is discussing with the police union the possibility of putting the community affairs officer and some
detectives into uniform if needed.

In small ways, like not allowing someone to sit and wait in a police car while officers question another person in a two-car accident, the department is trying to limit the spread of the virus, Chief
Long said.

Although both departments have made changes due to the threat of coronavirus, both Chief Ramm and Chief Long said that in an emergency situation there is no change in service to the public.

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