Marshal February 20, 2020
A new position of Fire Marshal has been established in the Sylvania Township Fire Department with duties similar to those performed by recently-retired Deputy Chief Mike Froelich.
Fire Chief Mike Ramm also has been approved by the Sylvania Township trustees to hire two part-time civilian fire inspectors.
Chief Ramm said the marshal will have overall responsibility for fire prevention in the community, investigation of fires which occur and public education. The position will be filled by a current member of the department and not a new hire, he said.
As a large part of fire prevention, the fire marshal will review site and construction plans for new buildings, as well as on-site inspections to insure that safety features are being properly installed.
The marshal will also oversee the civilian fire inspectors, in what will be known as the Community Risk Reduction office of the department.
Chief Ramm said it is likely that those positions will be filled by retired firefighters.
He said the inspectors will spend much of their time visiting buildings in the fire district looking at the general safety of a building, particularly the function of sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers and other aspects of a safe structure.
Chief Ramm said the restructuring of that unit is accounted for under the current fire department budget. The vacant deputy chief position won’t be filled, he said.
Pickup February 12, 2020
Sylvania Township trustees have approved seeking proposals for the township’s household item pickup service this year and through 2022.
Rob Nash, superintendent of the township road department, said he hoped that by making the contract for a longer term than the usual single event, it will attract more bidders.
Last year the contract went to Archbold Refuse Service which submitted the low bid $365 per ton of household items collected.
The only other bidder was Stevens Disposal & Recycling Services, which submitted a bid of $450 per ton.
Stevens won the contract the prior year with a bid of $400 per ton They had been the only company to submit bids on the job since winning the contract with a bid of $300 in 2016.
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.
Mr. Nash told trustees that it is his hope that by offering a potential contract with three pickup opportunities, other companies might be prompted to bid on the proposal.
Last year’s one-time sweep through the township resulted in a collection of 120 tons, Mr. Nash noted.
The service for Sylvania Township residents is scheduled this year to begin Sept. 9. In order to not be missed, it is recommended that all items should be placed at the curb or edge of the road the evening of Sept. 8.
Simko January 30, 2020
David Simko, Sylvania Township fiscal officer, praised department leaders and employees for “sensitivity to public money” in watching spending and bringing in each department under the amount budgeted for expenses last year.
Mr. Simko pointed out that the township’s revenues are generally set each year, but it is in curtailing expenses that the township can operate within its budget.
Over recent years, Mr. Simko said there has been a shared understanding and sense of cooperation between management and employees and that being open and candid when department budgets are set and through the year has led to good results.
He added that the administration doesn’t use an earlier amount of spending to influence budget limits.
“In some places, administrations will say something like, ‘well, you didn’t need that much last year,’ and they’ll resist any attempt at setting a higher budget for the next year. That makes department heads almost scramble to spend to their budget limit for a given year.
“We don’t do that. When budgets are set, we consider department requests based on that year’s needs only,” he added.
Through the end of last year, general fund expenditures were $1.65 million, or 83 percent of the budgeted amount.
The road and bridge fund spent $2.7 million, or 81 percent; the police fund spent $7.4 million, or 94 percent and the fire fund spent $8.6 million, or 95 percent.
“All of the major funds have been trying to watch how we spend money” Mr. Simko said, “and I think it looks good.”
Leaves January 30, 2020
Sylvania Township road crews and contractors collected a record 23,554 cubic yards of leaves from the area’s streets this past season.
Rob Nash, roads superintendent, told township trustees that the township road crews were able
to make five complete sweeps of streets in the township collecting leaves, Crews usually have a goal of at least three collections, but a year where there was only one significant snow and ice event allowed for more time than usual to collect leaves.
Mr. Nash noted that the amount of leaves collected were enough to fill more than 1,500 dump trucks.
The prior record for leaves picked up was 20,296 cubic yards set in 2016.
A reason for the increase, he said, is development in the township.
“Some of the streets we collect on weren’t streets,” before development.
Annex January 30, 2020
Lucas County commissioners have postponed a hearing on two petitions filed by the City of Sylvania to force the annexation of Sylvania Township land.
The new date for the hearing will be Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. in the commissioners hearing room on the first floor of Government Center, Jackson Street between Huron and Erie.
One petition is the city’s attempt to force the annexation of 31 residential properties in the Country Walk area.
That move by the city was the subject of a public hearing in November, where commissioners heard from property owners, nearby residents and township officials who were unanimous in their objection to approving the annexation.
Those effected primarily object to becoming liable for city income tax. Residents also testified as to the superior quality of township services and that they will gain nothing from annexation to the city.
The only voice in favor was from Leslie Brinning, Sylvania law director, when she introduced the issue.
The city contends that property owners signed a document promising to sign a petition for annexation
when they signed up for city water service.
The City of Sylvania, about 90 minutes before a vote was scheduled by commissioners to decide the issue, abruptly withdrew the petition.
It was refiled later the same day, but disrupting the process caused a second public hearing to be necessary. The original date for the postponed hearing had been Feb. 18.
Jody Balogh, clerk of the commissioners, said the rescheduling of the hearing was due to Ms. Brinning saying that she had not received notification of that date by regular mail.
Since the first hearing, the city of Sylvania filed another annexation petition. In this, they seek to annex the site of the former Village Inn, at Brint and Holland-Sylvania, according to Ms. Balogh.
She said that although the annexation petitions involve different properties it was decided that the issues involved are similar enough that they will both be heard on the meeting now scheduled for Feb. 25.
The commissioners could decide the issue then or take up to 30 days to render a decision, she added.
Plan January 29, 2020
The Lucas County Plan Commission has recommended approval of a conditional use permit for the construction of a residential care facility at 4752 and 4828 Whiteford Rd.
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.
People have complained primarily about added traffic on Whiteford and have questioned the wisdom of siting such a facility where it will be adjacent to Whiteford Elementary School.
Those complaints, among others, were voiced to the county plan commissioners as well as the thought that the facility will introduce a commercial aspect to the residential neighborhood.
Although the project is considered residential for planning purposes, neighbors spoke of vendors coming into the area, trash haulers and suppliers disrupting the quality of life they’ve enjoyed.
Carol Contrada, a former Sylvania Township trustee and a former Lucas County commissioner, spoke about losing some of the rural residential feel of an area which is near the commercial enterprises
along Monroe at Whiteford and to an extend south on Whiteford.
George Oravecz. a consultant for the developer, OMNI, of Beachwood, OH., said the plans have been scaled down after earlier hearing complaints from neighbors. The project, which includes memory care, assisted living and congregate living, had originally been planned to be three stories, but has been reduced to two stories, turn lanes will be added to Whiteford Road and the company intends to plant evergreen trees around the borders to allow for sufficient screening along with the existing trees which can be retained.
Plans call for 20 patients in the memory care unit and 44 in assisted living. There will be room for 88 people in congregate living.
Those spaces are designed for people who need little or no assistance with daily living, although they may elect to use some services such as 24-hour dining, housekeeping or other amenities.
The commission voted 6-4 to recommend approval.
The Sylvania Township Board of Zoning Appeals is scheduled to hear the matter at 5p.m. Feb 3, at the Sylvania Township Administration Building. 4927 Holland-Sylvania Rd.
Board Applicants Needed January 24, 2020
Sylvania Township trustees are seeking volunteers for two vacancies which have recently occurred on two boards.
Trustees need to replace Greg Feller who has resigned from the board of the Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District.
Mr. Feller was elected to the Sylvania Schools board of education and has been appointed as a schools representative to the SAJRD. Due to that he has resigned his township appointment to that board.
The person appointed will serve out Mr. Feller’s term which expires at the end of 2021.
Al Hayes has resigned from the Sylvania Township Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Hayes will be replaced by Jason Levine, who has served as an alternate member. A volunteer is sought to serve as an alternate. The term will expire at the end of the year.
Applications are available under the “meetings” section of the township website at http://www.sylvaniatownship.com/community-application/.
The deadline for applications is Feb. 25.
ROAD CLOSURE NOTICE
Due to the installation of a new water service and fire line on Holland-Sylvania Road between Harroun Road and Brint Road in Sylvania Township, Holland-Sylvania Road will be closed between Harroun Road and Brint Road starting on Monday, February 3, 2020 for a four (4) day period.
During the closure period the detour route will be:
-SYLVANIA AVENUE from Holland-Sylvania Road to McCord Road
-MCCORD ROAD from Sylvania Avenue to Brint Road
-BRINT ROAD from McCord Road to Holland-Sylvania Road
Questions in regard to the project may be directed to the Lucas County Engineer’s Office at (419) 213-2860.
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