Sylvania Township News
Sylvania Township News, August 2020
by Mike Jones
(click to see the last news update)

HERR ROAD ZONE CHANGE  August 14, 2020

The Sylvania Township Zoning Commission has recommended approval for a request to change the zoning of a property on Herr Road and Resource Park Drive from agricultural to light industrial.

The current uses in the area are light industrial to the north, across Resource Park, residential to the west, agricultural to the east, and a church which is under construction to the south.

Although the township’s land use plan calls for residential development south of Resource Park, Daryl Graus, manager of the township’s planning and zoning department, noted that the construction of the church makes it unlikely that the 4.35-acre parcel will be developed as residential.

He added that the church in the future will act as a buffer between the light industrial and any residential development to the south. 

John Healy, agent for the applicant, responding to a question, said final plans in terms of the building design and landscaping said the plans aren’t finalized, but assured the board that the development will be in keeping with the surrounding area.

Mr. Graus noted that those concerns will be considered when the development is submitted for a project plan review.   

A final decision is scheduled for the Sept. 1 meeting of the Sylvania Township trustees.

JEDD Appointments  August 14, 2020

Sylvania Township trustees have named three people to be directors of the Joint Economic Development District recently approved for the area known generally as Oakleaf Village, 4220 Holland-Sylvania Rd.

Named to a two-year term is Kim Wood, program director of an under-construction unit known as Crescent on the Oakleaf campus. Oliver Turner, the administrator of Sylvania Township, has been named to a three-year term,and Loren Sengstock, a township resident and retired as a long-time government fiscal officer was appointed to a four-year term.

The JEDD is the first such agreement between the township and the City of Sylvania. The city has yet to name their board member.  Once the board has its four members they will name a chairman.

The board of directors will be responsible for necessary maintenance within the JEDD and for tax matters.

When issues are finalized, those within the JEDD will become subject to a municipal income tax of 1.5 percent, which is the rate of the City of Sylvania.

An official of Wallick Communities, the owner of Oakleaf, said the company intends for their employees to not see a reduction in their net income.

After deductions for a maintenance fund and some administrative charges, the township and city will share the tax revenue equally. Mr. Turner said the township share should be between $15,000 and $19,000. 

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FALL COLLECTIONS  August 12, 2020

Get ready for the big clean up.

Monday, September 14 will be the first day of a one-time sweep of Sylvania Township streets to pick up brush and leaves which may have accumulated through the summer.  It also will be the first day for the collection of unwanted household items.

Rob Nash, superintendent of the roads department, said to be on the safe side, it is a good idea to have all items at curbside the night before.

Leaves and branches should be separated and not left in the street, but at the curb, he said, adding that the process is not meant for the results of lot clearing or tree removal. Accumulated limbs and branches should be no more than 6 ft. in length or 6 in. in diameter.

Sylvania Township has contracted with Archbold Refuse Service Inc for the household item pickup. Those items, too, should be left at the curb, not in the street.

Items that will be collected are bicycles, bundled books, and papers, rolled carpeting (no longer than five feet), empty containers and drums.

Also collected will be furniture (any item with legs more than 12 in. should be separated from the item), appliances without refrigerants, mattresses and box springs, miscellaneous (non-hazardous) loose material placed in disposable containers and toys.

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RESURFACING  August 11, 2020

Sylvania Township trustees have approved a contract with Gerken Paving for the third group of roadways to be resurfaced this season.

The contract of $360,432.42 is for the resurfacing of Artwell, Hyssop, a portion of Janet, Calvin, Estess, and River Hills. Resurfacing those roads will total 1.49 miles.

An ongoing township project is an Ohio Public Works Commission project for the resurfacing of Gilhouse, Dogwood, Standing Timbers Court, and Standing Timbers Lane,  Cavendish, Freidly, Holt, Fredlia, Larkhaven, Rega, and Herman Place. The resurfacing of those roads will cover 2.64 miles.

The other grouping of streets, which was completed earlier this year, is portions of Goodhue, Zone, Millicent, Cason, Stonybrook, Sycamore, Poplar, Timber View, Hollow Creek, Kings Hollow, Castle Ridge, and Lost Creek.  The total amount of resurfacing of those streets is 2.71 miles.

EAP  August 11, 2020

Sylvania Township employees and their family members will continue to have available counseling services through an agreement with Telehealth, a subsidiary of Harbor, Inc.

The agreement, recently passed by Sylvania Township trustees, is designed to meet the needs of those who are seeking assistance in dealing with general stress, substance abuse, bereavement, issues in the family, or any of a number of concerns which have a negative effect.

The counseling service keeps confidential the identity of anyone seeking help and will provide up to five sessions with the individual. If further counseling is called for, the person will be directed to an agency that can provide services for a longer-term.

The program is available to full and part-time employees of the township their spouse and a dependent in their household under the age of 26.

The township has about 160 employees and Oliver Turner, the township administrator, told township trustees that the cost for the program is about $2.15 per employee per month.

The agreement also calls for Telehealth to provide an orientation session for supervisors and a similar session for employees. Telehealth will also provide 10 hours concerning personal development and compliance training.

HERO  August 11, 2020

We all have the same picture in mind.  The alarm sounds and the next thing we see is a group of firefighters scrambling into appropriate gear and, with sirens wailing, apparatus roaring out of the fire station.

A pilot program by the Sylvania Township Fire Department in conjunction with the Springfield Township Fire Department is meant to reduce the need for that dynamic response.

Rather than reacting to an alarm in an emergency situation they are proactively going out to try to prevent that circumstance.

Every fire department knows addresses to which they are frequently called from someone in need of assistance.

Lt. Shawn Wittkop, of the Sylvania Township department, said Chief Mike Ramm last year began thinking of ways to reduce the number of repeat calls.

The result is a pilot program known as community paramedicine.  It is also known as HERO, which stands for Health, Education, Resources, and Outreach.

The program also involves Springfield Township’s department where Chief Barry Cousino has assigned Jodi Livecchi, a firefighter/paramedic, to team with Lieutenant Wittkop.

“Essentially what we do is call first and then go visit people in their homes to try to get a better sense of what the issues are,” the lieutenant said.

In a case where a person has fallen and needs assistance, the crew on an emergency run doesn’t always have time to thoroughly assess the overall situation after they’ve provided the emergency help that was needed.

“That’s where we get most of our referrals,” he said.  Firefighter/paramedics will suggest that there could be a way to reduce calls if some changes, sometimes relatively minor, could be made.

It can be as simple as a toilet designed with a higher seat, the installation of a couple of grab bars to add to the person’s stability, or in one case, taking up an area rug which kept catching on the legs of a walker.

Firefighter/paramedic Livecchi said there is a lot of satisfaction in making small changes that can give an older citizen a sense of security and independence.

She said that in most cases, the program is dealing with older residents who may not have children or children in the area.

As a pilot program, the pair get together one day a week to review cases and make visits.

Each has a background that can be an asset in the program. Ms. Livecchi earlier worked as a social worker and Lt. Wittkop was a nurse.

He said some situations involve medication management and others can be improved by referrals to area agencies, but a lot of them are based on design aspects of the home and better ways to navigate through the house.

In one case it meant making the shower accessible for a wheelchair.

In another, it meant installing a grab bar on the wall near the toilet and two grab bars, one on either side of the door leading from the garage into the home.

The couple who benefitted from the latter example wrote a letter to the editor of a community newspaper saying that, “angels do not always have wings, and sometimes they are dressed in dark blue uniforms.”

Both firefighter/paramedics said they see their task as similar to that of a fire prevention bureau. Those units go out and inspect structural design, recommend where smoke alarms should go and make other recommendations.

“That’s all to hopefully prevent fires. We’re doing the same thing, but hopefully preventing a medical emergency,” Lt. Wittkop said.

Although the program offers significant help to individuals, it presumably will also result in a benefit to each of the fire departments.

A reduction in the number of medical alarms will provide a savings and will result in more crews ready to respond more of the time.

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