Fire and rescue runs by the Sylvania Township Fire Department have resumed from Fire Station No. 1 on Monroe Street in downtown Sylvania.
The only difference is that Fire Station No. 1 is a new, airy state-of-the-art structure which has replaced an old, crowded and outmoded building.
The two-story red brick building compliments much of the nearby architecture and has been called a "gem" of downtown by Fire Chief Jeffrey Kowalski.
The day before the station became operational Deputy Fire Chief Michael Froelich was directing movers where to put some new furniture when he looked up and swept an arm around to indicate how spacious the three-bay garage is. The previous building had been built in an era long before the large fire rigs which are in operation now and made for very tight quarters.
With the fire station in operation township trustees have now completed a project begun with the passage of a 1.25-mill fire levy. Funds from that have new been used to replace three fire stations and remodel another.
Although all of the numbers aren't in, trustees recently approved a change order which totaled an overall cost of about $46,000 above the initial estimate of $2,210,000. That's an increase of about 3.7 percent.
Some of the increase was due to changes mandated by the Lucas County building department and some from changes made by the township in seeking higher quality, more durable material in some places.
Living quarters in the new fire station are on the second floor. The other two newly-constructed fire stations are each on single floor, but the space available for the construction of station No. 1, wasn't sufficient for a single-floor design.
John Zeitler, township administrator, praised the overall job and quality of the construction by Mosser Construction.
Firefighters moved in after having operated out of a house at Brint and McCord. Use of the house was allowed by its owner, Lourdes University.
The station will be open to the public from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 17.
Sylvania Township police have spent extra time recently stopping motorists from cutting through the parking lot at Timberstone Junior High School.
Some motorists have been using the lot as a way to avoid the intersection of Sylvania and Mitchaw which is closed as workers install a roundabout at the site for the office of the Lucas County Engineer.
Sylvania Township Police Chief Rob Boehme said there is no law against going through the parking lot, but that it sets up a dangerous situation because of its use by young students.
He said, however, that the county engineer's office has placed barricades at the site which close the lot to through traffic because of the intersection construction.
He said violating those signs is a traffic violation and his officers have begun writing tickets.
"We were issuing warnings and turning drivers around, but my officers tell me some of the people they have warned have been coming back and they are issuing tickets," he said.
The signs will stay up beyond the time school is in session, because use of the grounds and the building doesn't end with the school day.
"We don't want to issue the tickets," the chief said, but the safety of children on the junior high school's grounds has to be of greatest importance.
He said officers are generally at the site at the beginning and ending of classes each day and make frequent stops while patrolling in the area.
Motorists can use Kilburn or Centennial roads as north-south alternates to Mitchaw and Brint or Central as alternate east-weat roads to Sylvania Avenue.
Construction should be completed by about mid-November.
The annual leaf collection by crews for Sylvania Township began Oct. 21 and will continue on its last sweep on the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
A specific advance schedule of when your neighborhood will be visited by the crew can't be given. The rate of completing the task is often driven by weather conditions.
Heavy rains or even an early snow make the leaves heavy and slows the process. The goal of the road department crews is to complete three cycles through the township.
For those who have tired of the annual task or raking leaves to the street's edge, a number of people suggest simply mowing over them once or twice to provide nutrients to your lawn.
Erica Buri, a naturalist and interim head of The Olander Park System, said she regularly mows over the leaves on the ground at her home. She added that it is good for any soil, but particularly for the sandy soil in many parts of the township.
She said some raking is done at her home, but only to collect leaves to put on the compost pile or for use as insulation and nutrition of her plant beds.
Numerous websites also address the benefits of mowing leaves into the soil rather than raking them for collection.
Gregory Huffman, public works manager, cautions against mixing leaves with brush or other garden waste. Leaves should not be placed in the street nor should they be in plastic bags.