Sylvania Township News
Sylvania Township News, July 2, 2021
by Mike Jones
(read the last Township News Update)

New Policies July 1, 2021

Sylvania Township trustees have approved three newly revised policies meant to deter anyone involved with the township from creating an unpleasant work environment.

The three seek to establish a workplace environment, “free of all forms of discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment.”

The three policies approved at the most recent meeting of the trustees, replace two written policies that addressed “Violence/bullying in the Workplace,” and “Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment.”

The behaviors addressed are essentially the same, but the anti-bullying policy is now separated from the violence prevention policy.

Oliver Turner, township administrator said the written policies were once meant primarily to apply to Sylvania Township employees, but now specifically include township officials, those in elective office, or others where practicable.

Trustees directed that policies be revised after reviewing a report from an independent attorney concerning a confrontation between Fire Chief Mike Ramm and Trustee John Jennewine in the chief’s office.

Her findings included witness reports of loud voices and the use of vulgar words,  Nevertheless, she found that Mr. Jennewine did not violate township policy.  She did recommend he be provided training in dealing with difficult employment situations.

Each policy outlines steps to take in order to submit a complaint and the steps the township will take in order to investigate the complaint and make a determination.

Violation of the policies by employees could result in discharge.  A violation of the policies by a non-employee or an elected official could result in an action, “practicable and available at law”. 

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July Meeting Date Changed  July 1, 2021

The first meeting of July of the Sylvania Township Trustees has been postponed one week due to the Fourth of July holiday.

The meeting which had been scheduled for July 6, will be held July 13 at 5 p.m. at the township administration building, 4927 North Holland-Sylvania Rd.

For those who want to attend remotely, they can go to the township’s homepage on the Friday prior to the meeting, click on the “meetings” section and they will be directed to the means to attend.

July 3 Fireworks Traffic    June 30, 2021

Sylvania Township police have developed a traffic pattern for those leaving the fireworks on July 3 to most efficiently get everyone home from the display.

Police Chief Paul Long said officers know that in some individual cases the established route might take slightly longer, but overall following the established procedure is the best way to clear the area.

He added that motorists should pay attention to barricades and the directions signaled by police officers.  Police from Sylvania Township and the city of Sylvania will be on duty to help with traffic

Sylvania-Metamora Road will remain a two-way street after the fireworks. Mitchaw Road will be one-way south from Sylvania-Metamora to Sylvania Avenue. Those who head east on Sylvania must turn south onto Herr Road until they reach the two-way traffic of Central Avenue.

There will be no traffic allowed on Sylvania Avenue between Centennial and Herr, except for vehicles between Mitchaw and Herr.

Brint Road will also be closed from Centennial to Mitchaw.

For those who park north of Holland-Sylvania/Erie Street,  Centennial will be northbound only, from there to the Michigan state line. Anyone driving north on Centennial from Brint Road will have to turn east when they reach Little Road. 

For those parking south of Sylvania-Metamora/Erie Street, Centennial will be southbound from that roadway to Little Road where two-way traffic will resume.  

Zoning Permit Numbers  June 30, 2021

Permits for the construction of single-family homes in Sylvania Township reached a total of 61 at the end of May, an increase of more than 50 percent over the total of 40 by the end of May last year.

Daryl Graus, manager of the township planning and zoning office, noted that comparisons between the years aren’t as valid as usual, due to what then was an uncertain environment because of Covid-19 at this time last year.

Nevertheless, the total through May 2019 was 49.

The total value of the homes, as reflected by the permits is $17.8 million this year, compared to $12. 9 million in 2020.

JEDD Update  June 24, 2021

The Joint Economic Development District formed by Sylvania Township and the City of Sylvania has received its first payment from an income tax collected in the district.

Although there was some confusion at the outset,  William Sanford, a member of the board of directors of the JEDD, told a board meeting that it appears that a system for collections and disbursements has been established.

Mr. Sanford, Sylvania’s director of economic development, said tax receipts were $10,108.15 for the first quarter, with another quarterly payment due Aug. 2.

Under the JEDD agreement, the City of Sylvania is responsible for tax issues.  The agreement imposes a 1.5 percent income tax for workers in the district, which in this case is Oakleaf Village, 4220 North Holland-Sylvania Rd.

The board is responsible for overseeing collections and using some of those funds for the maintenance of the district.  After maintenance costs and administrative charges, Sylvania Township and the City of Sylvania will split any remaining amount.

Live Fire Training  June 24, 2021

Although fires at two houses on King Road recently were attention-grabbing, they were only the most recent use of the structures by the Sylvania Township Fire Department.

The two houses, owned by Mercy Health, have been available and been used by the fire department for training for about two years. Mercy Health acquired the properties in conjunction with assembling the property necessary for the Mercy Emergency Room at Central and King.

Fire Chief Mike Ramm said he is very thankful to Mercy Health for the availability of the houses for training purposes.

“We recently used them to practice roof entries, and we’ve used them to practice a lot of different skills,” the chief said.

He noted that the houses have been filled with a smoke-like haze for firefighters to practice search and rescue techniques and scenarios have been created which can pose danger to a firefighter. 

Matt Sapara,  Mercy Health vice president for development and operations, said allowing the Sylvania Township Fire Department to use the houses was seen as part of the system’s goal of EMS education.

Mr. Sapara said the health system regularly works with area fire departments specifically with their EMS and paramedic units on issues concerning patient treatment on the way to the hospital. “Whenever we see an opportunity to help an area fire department,” we’ll do what we can, he said.

Mr. Sapara noted that when they were purchased, the two houses were judged to be beyond rehabilitation.

“They’d seen better days,” and were slated to be torn down, he said.

That was before the agreement was reached with the Sylvania Township fire department.

“Originally, it was only supposed to be for one year, “Chief Ramm said, “but like a lot of things, Covid got in the way of the timeline.” 

The chief noted that firefighters gained invaluable experience in the live-fire exercises at the houses. “We were able to use several interior attack scenarios during the fire,” he said.

Chief Ramm also noted that although they understood it was a drill, they were reminded to keep their safety in mind, because the fire doesn’t know that.

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