SYLVANIA TOWNSHIP NEWS

 
Fire Safety
They stood side by side, constructions which resembled small family rooms, with one wall missing. The missing wall allowed the crowd to see the drapery, couch, overstuffed chair and a television on a stand.

They were the sets behind the Sylvania Township Fire Department's No. 4 station on Sylvania Avenue which hosted the third annual Fire Safety Fair recently.

A firefighter used a flare to start a flame at the rear of one of the structures, which quickly caught the drapery. For a time, the wind caused flames to disperse and it seemed like they might die, but one tongue of flame began to lick at the chair.

Once the chair became involved, the entire room was quickly engulfed in flame and rolling dark smoke. A firefighter stationed in front of the set, sent a powerful stream of water into the room and the blaze was extinguished.

A crowd of many of the 900 people who attended this event oohed and aahed at the exhibition, which Fire Chief Jeffrey Kowalski said was meant to demonstrate how quickly a fire, even one which looks small, can erupt into and uncontrollable blaze.

The other structure was also set on fire, but it had a sprinkler system which quickly doused the flames before they could cause much damage.

The demonstration was the centerpiece of an event which brought a record number of people to the Sylvania Township fire station for a hands-on opportunity to learn about the department and for safety lessons.

Youngsters, with the help of firefighters, were allowed to hold fire hoses and aim the stream to push down "flame" cutouts. They were also allowed to scramble through fire engines--sitting in the driver’s seat or just wondering about the myriad pieces of technical equipment in each cab.

Mats were placed on the floor of the station where youngsters were encouraged to demonstrate their understanding of "stop, drop and roll."  

The fair was the final day of events the department was involved in during Fire Prevention Week. Other events included: Crews visiting schools and presenting fire prevention tips to 1,228 children and 146 adults. About 660 school children also turned in diagrams of the rooms in their homes with the best possible escape routes diagrammed in case of a fire.

During the Fire Safety Fair, the Sylvania Township Fire Department handed out 105 smoke detectors and 75 children were fingerprinted.

Chief Kowalski said he was gratified that so many citizens came to the fair and that attendance has increased each of the three years the event has been held at the fire station.
 
Posted: 10/20/2014 
 
 
 
 
Rezoning
Rezoning has been recommended for a development of 23 houses on King Road south of Central Avenue after a hearing before the Sylvania Township Zoning Commission.

The site, at 2707 King Rd., currently has an unoccupied home sitting on seven acres.

George Oravecz, consulting engineer on the proposed development, told members of the commission preliminary plans call for single-story houses of about 2,000 sq.ft.

He said the developers will be responsible for cleaning Smith Ditch along the property, and placing material along the banks of the ditch to retard erosion.

A resident from across the street from the project said additional traffic on King Road will cause difficulties. He said traffic sometimes causes him to make a right turn out of his driveway, when he would prefer to turn left.

Mr. Oravecz said developers intend to conduct a traffic study of the area and if it shows a need, a left turn stacking lane into the development could be included in the plan to ease traffic flow.

The commission voted to recommend approval of the re-zoning request by a vote of 4-1. Tom Creque voted against approval. During the discussion he said that he would prefer that the site be developed at a lower density.

The Lucas County Plan Commission had voted unanimously to recommend approval of the rezoning.
 
Posted: 10/20/2014 
 
 
Mercy
Two King Road properties formerly zoned residential have been approved for commercial zoning and a third has been recommended for commercial by the Sylvania Township Zoning Commission.
   
All three are just north of the site of the former Central Elementary School now being redeveloped for the construction of a Mercy Hospital emergency room and diagnostic center.
   
Sylvania Township trustees approved the two-parcel rezoning in the final step of that process and the commission recently recommended approval for the third.
   
That site will next go to the trustees for a decision on the rezoning request.
   
They are three residential properties of five which are directly north of the future emergency and diagnostic site at King and Central Avenue.
   
Sam Zyndorf, who has been representing the hospital in real estate issues involved in the development, said there are no specific plans for developing the residential sites.
   
The hospital would like for the area to have consistent zoning, but Mr. Zyndorf said the hospital has all the property and zoning it needs to develop the health care facility.
 
Posted: 10/20/2014 
 
 
 
Salt
Salt Management, will be the recurrent theme this year whenever the Sylvania Township road department heads out this winter to treat the streets due to a big jump in the price of road salt.
 
John Zeitler, township administrator, told trustees that the department would of course use the amount necessary to keep the roads safe, but would also be cautious when spreading the now-pricey commodity.
 
Trustees were told at the meeting by Gregory Huffman, public works manager, that the price of salt as negotiated by the state would be $105.25 per ton this year, compared to slightly more than $30 per ton for the salt which was purchased last year.
 
Although Sylvania Township had sufficient salt for our last brutal winter a number of communities either ran out of salt or were close to that point.
 
Mr. Huffman said the bill for township salt purchased this year will likely be about $158,000 and be included in the 2015 budget.
 
Posted: 10/20/2014
 
 
Arrest Within Hours 
Sylvania Township police are kept busy with many types of crime, but it's not often that crimes are committed in the township which merit headlines.
 
But when the result of felonies is brought to the attention of the local department, they are more than up to the job.
 
Deputy Police Chief Ray Carroll, a long-time investigator with the Township Police Division, said he was "so proud of our men and women. Everybody did an excellent job, including our civilian employees."
 
Chief Carroll was one of those early on the scene when a motorist called at about 7:30 a.m. recently to tell police a woman in distress was at Corey and Penridge roads.
 
He said the motorist, a nurse, was able to give the woman a blanket and keep the scene untouched until police arrived. The victim was taken to a hospital where she was interviewed by a female detective.
 
The victim had apparently agreed to accept a ride home with a female co-worker from their place of employment in Michigan. It is alleged that she took a drink of water from the other woman and became ill.
 
 
She was taken to a South Toledo location after a man had been picked up. It is alleged that she was attacked there and robbed.
 
She was later dumped at the Corey Road location.
 
The chief said that some evidence in the case has to remain confidential, but that officers were able to use their knowledge of the area, technology, and old-fashioned diligence to be in place to make the arrest.
 
In addition to solid police work, Chief Carroll said civilian employees came in to handle the paperwork required to make sure search warrants were properly obtained and that evidence gathered in the case was correctly documented.
 
Officers were waiting at a motel when the two suspects returned that evening.
 
Township officers arrested Kalyn Brinkey, 20 of White Lake, Mich., and James Bryant, 34, of 240 East Weber St.
 
They have both been indicted by the Lucas County grand jury on charges of attempted murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping. 
 
"Everybody worked hard and kept at it. I've seen police work hard before, and sometimes it just doesn't come together. But in this case, it was just nice to see that they were able to put things together and they made the arrests about 14 hours after the first call," Chief Carroll said.
  
Posted: 9/26/2014 
 
 
 
 
Health Screening
A total of 75 Sylvania Township employees in September took advantage of a program which provided a number of medical screening tests for free. While the three-day screenings were available, employees were also able to receive a free flu shot.
 
Employees who took advantage of the screening received $50 for taking part in the program and are eligible for an additional $50 if they take the screening results to their doctor, according to Susan Wood, assistant administrator and human resources director for the township.
 
The screenings are another of several activities offered to employees by the township's wellness committee each year. Some involve friendly competitions which encourage physical activity and others are instructional talks on a variety of health issues.
 
The screenings this year were September 16, 17 and 18 at the township hall. They include blood pressure readings and reading for such things as glucose, lipids and cholesterol.
 
Township administrators stress that the results of individual tests are confidential and not shared with the administration.
 
They are meant for employees to "know your numbers," and to take the results to their own doctors for any medical follow-up which may be called for.
 
Mrs. Wood said this year's turnout was well above the slightly less than 50 employees who took part last year.
 
The township embarked some years ago on efforts to improve the overall health of the workforce to combat rising health-care costs, because a health workforce is a better workforce and to simply encourage good health habits for each employees' own benefit.  
 
Posted: 9/26/2014 
 
 
 
 
Leaves
Leaves are just in Act One their annual show, but after the last curtain the clean-up will have to get underway.
 
Sylvania Township trustees have approved a contract with BatanianTree Service to work alongside township crews for the annual collection of leaves.
 
In a community so abundant in large trees, the task is daunting especially when you consider that crews have a total 173 miles of roadway to cover.
 
As usual, the road department asks that leaves be piled near the roadway, but not in it. The piles should not include grass clippings or any brush.
 
The township uses primarily large vacuums which trail behind trucks where the leaves are collected and any foreign matter can create problems in the process.
 
The department also asks that property owners not pile leave near objects such as mailboxes, fire hydrants or similar obstructions.
 
A potential problem which no one can control is the weather. Rain or early snow turns leaf piles into soggy clumps which make collection difficult.
 
A practice some homeowners have begun to employ certainly reduces the workload of the crews. Some landscape professionals suggest that mowing over a covering of leaves allows the clippings to decompose over the winter and add nutrients to the soil.
 
A garden columnist in a newspaper once wrote about collecting leaves from the front of neighboring homes to add to those from his own yard to add to the amount of clippings he had each autumn.  
 
As in each recent year, the collection will begin on the third Monday in October and will continue with the last cycle beginning on the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
 
Crews will begin in the northwest corner of the township, work their way south and then west and then resume in the northeast. Each cycle takes an average of 17 days to complete.
 
Batanian, which will work in tandem with township crews, will be paid a total of $413.50 per hour.
 
Greg Huffman, public works manager, said the bid from Batanian was about $200 per hour less than other companies which had bid on the job.
 
Posted: 9/22/2014 
 
 
 
Halloween
Trick or Treat will be the day before Halloween this year for youngsters in Sylvania Township.
 
Township trustees voted recently to follow the date and times set earlier by the City of Sylvania so as to reduce possible confusion over the annual event.
 
Sylvania City Council voted to change the date from the traditional Halloween because of the Southview vs. Northview football game which is scheduled for that night.
 
The city administration sought the change citing, in part, the amount of traffic the event is likely to generate in the game is scheduled to be played at Northview.
 
Trick or treating this this year will be October 30 from 6 to 7:30 pm.
 
Posted: 9/22/2014 
 
 
 
 
Campaign
A group of Sylvania Township and Sylvania City residents have formed Sylvania Citizens for Fire Services and have kicked off their campaign in support of a levy for the township department on the ballot in November.
 
The 1.5 mill-levy is needed for operations for the department which faces a deficit of about $1.3 million in the projected 2016 budget.
 
At a rally in front of the new No. 1 fire station in downtown Sylvania, David Simko, Township fiscal officer, noted that the last department levy was passed in 2008, with a promise then that it would be sufficient for five years.
 
He said resources have been carefully used and that the funds from that levy have lasted for seven years.
 
He added that the cautions use of the funds was all the more impressive because the economic downturn resulted in less money being collected on real estate taxes than had been anticipated.
 
Revenue from that levy was used, among other things, to construct three new fire stations and to do a major renovation of a fourth.
 
John Crandall, a township trustee, told those attending the event that in the last 10 years the fire district's population has increased 9.6 percent and calls for service to the fire department have increased nearly 50 percent.
 
During that time, Mr. Crandall said, personnel at the fire department have been reduced by 8 percent.
 
Fire Chief Jeffrey Kowalski said he was at the meeting to "urge the community to get behind us."
 
He said the bottom line is that the population is growing and the calls for service are increasing, and that additional funds are needed to maintain the high quality of service the department provides to the community.
 
Funds from the levy, if passed, will make sustainable the increase from 3 to 10 part-time firefighters, restore up to 3 full-time firefighters (which would still be below the top number once employed), replace two aging engines and a medic truck, replace four support vehicles, and a set aside funding for the eventual replacement of a 1997 aerial platform truck.
 
The results of a six-month study of the department's current and projected operations are available on the "Hot Topics" page of the Sylvania Township website.
 
Retired local television personality Chrys Peterson also appeared at the rally, urging support for the levy.
 
Some years ago, she noted, she had needed medical help and members of the fire department had quickly provided what was needed for her then and that she is proud to support them now.
 
Posted: 9/15/2014
 
 
 
YARK
The Sylvania Township board of zoning appeals has approved variances to the township's zoning code to allow for an expansion of Yark BMW, 6055 West Central Ave.
 
The dealership needed primarily a variance from the required setback of 35 ft. along Fairbanks, which runs along the western boarder of the property.
 
Although Fairbanks is considered frontage for zoning purposes, it is more a side street, according to Jerry Parker, an attorney representing the dealership.
 
Mr. Parker noted that Fairbanks is used primarily as a roadway to either the Yark dealership or the White Toyota dealership on the other side of Fairbanks. The Toyota dealership, he noted, had once gotten a variance for its building along Fairbanks.
 
The remodeling and expansion of the building is based on directives from BMW, Mr. Parker told the board.
 
No one spoke in opposition to the request and the board's approval was unanimous.
 
The dealership intends to begin construction in the Spring of 2015 and likely by finished by early 2016.
 
The dealership needed primarily a variance from the required setback of 35 ft. along Fairbanks, which runs along the western boarder of the property.
 
Although Fairbanks is considered frontage for zoning purposes, it is more a side street, according to Jerry Parker, an attorney representing the dealership.
 
Mr. Parker noted that Fairbanks is used primarily as a roadway to either the Yark dealership or the White Toyota dealership on the other side of Fairbanks. The Toyota dealership, he noted, had once gotten a variance for its building along Fairbanks.
 
The remodeling and expansion of the building is based on directives from BMW, Mr. Parker told the board.
 
No one spoke in opposition to the request and the board's approval was unanimous.
 
The dealership intends to begin construction in the Spring of 2015 and likely by finished by early 2016.
 
Posted: 9/10/2014  
 
 
Alert 
Sylvania Township has launched an alert system which will allow for a message to be sent to a resident's phone and/or email address when Lucas County or the township issue notice of an emergency, such as a tornado warning.
 
Those who choose to can add features such as reminders of township public meetings, planned road closures and other things of significance to local residents.
 
Sylvania Township is offering the service for free, although some message fees may apply.
To obtain the service, a resident should go to www.sylvaniatownship.com. On the home page there is a link which will take you to the form to sign up for the service. Then just fill out the application and click "sign up now" at the bottom of the page.
 
When police and fire departments are faced with emergency situations one of their problems is dealing with members of the public who have unexpectedly arrived at the scene. Just trying to manage traffic and control crowds becomes a job in itself.  With the alert system, people on their way to a destination can be warned that there is a problem at a given site and will be able to drive around the area. They won't have as much inconvenience and safety forces will be able to concentrate on the issue to which they responded.
 
Of a more benign nature, a resident may be following an issue in the township and can receive a reminder of the next public meeting dealing with the issue.
 
By signing up for Sylvania Alerts you will automatically get emergency alerts issued by the Lucas County and can choose from a number of options for alerts offered by the township.
The service was earlier approved by Sylvania Township  trustees and has been purchased by the Lucas County Emergency Management Agency. To participate, the township has agreed to pay no more than $2,500 annually.  That cost could be reduced if enough other jurisdictions join the service.
 
Township officials said none of those who sign up will receive unsolicited calls nor will contact numbers be sold to other parties.
 
Township residents who sign up for the program may also choose to be notified of such things as the annual leaf and brush pick up and other events of general interest.
 
Posted: 9/8/2014 


 
Fire Levy
Sylvania Township trustees, by a 2-1 vote have decided to put a 1.5 mill levy request for fire department operations on the November ballot.
 
The levy is meant to raise about $1.81 million annually. It is needed in part to allow the department to make up for a deficit of $1.6 million projected for department operations in 2016.
 
The vote againt putting the measure before the voters was from John Jennewine.
 
Mr. Jennewine praised the department generally and its leadership in particular, but said he questioned a contractually-required hiring of two firefighters if the department should expand its role in transporting patients.
 
John Crandall, trustee, said that if the levy doesn't pass, the trustees won't be talking about hiring two more firefighters, but according to a report detailing the need for a levy, they would be discussing laying off three from the current department.
 
Trustee Neal Mahoney said the department needs additional funding and that the November ballot is a time to find out the community's view of the department.
 
He said that in an election which will include a vote for governor, all political stripes will be out.
 
Prior to the trustees' discussion, Richard Bitter, recounted an incident in December in which police broke into his car and they "found me clinically dead."
 
He credits the Sylvania Township fire department's quick response and their medical attention with saving his life. He added that he was told by his cardiologist that it is rare for someone who had been in his condition to survive without a lasting disability.
 
He urged trustees to put the issue to the public. "Let the people of the township decide," he said.
 
Posted: 7/23/2014  
  
 
 
 
Fire Funding
Sylvania Township will forward details of a potential 1.5 mill levy for the fire department to the Lucas County Auditor's office in a step necessary before voting to place it on the November ballot.
 
The measure passed 2-1 with John Jennewine, trustee chairman, voting against the issue.
 
He said during the trustees' meeting which resulted in the vote, that he had nothing negative to say about the service provided by the department, but he still had questions about staffing and finances and that he wasn't comfortable with the potential levy request.
 
Dave Simko, chief fiscal officer of the township, said the amount of the levy was determined after several possible situations were considered.
 
The amount, he said, was determined by the future needs of the department, the possibility of instituting a partial program of patient transport, and the need for consistent reliable funding.
 
If the department begins patient transport if will only be when a life squad or a private ambulance service isn't available to take the run in a reasonable amount of time.
 
The township's contract with the firefighters' union calls for hiring two additional personnel if patient transport is instituted.
 
Neal Mahoney, trustee, said it is important for voters to recognize that the levy request isn't for "bells and whistles," but for core business of the department.
 
He said the levy is based on need brought through the growth of the township and its calls for service both now and in the future.
 
The current projected budget for the Sylvania Township Fire Department shows a deficit of $1.2 million in 2016.
 
Although the issue will now go to the county auditor's office for certification, John Zeitler, township administrator, said that if passed the levy would cost the owner of a home valued at $150,000 home about $78 or $79 annually.
 
Posted: 7/11/2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
Possible Levy Request
Sylvania Township trustees will likely vote at their next regular meeting July 1 on whether or not to ask residents for a levy to support the fire department in the November election.
 
Budget projections show that if there are no changes, the fire department will have a $1.2 million deficit in 2016.
 
At the most recent trustee meeting, there were discussions on issues such as manpower needs for commercial building fire inspections and the possibility of the fire department transporting patients to a hospital in non-emergency situations if the wait for a private ambulance is deemed too long.
 
John Zeitler, township administrator, told the trustees that he would have a recommendation concerning a possible levy for the July 1 meeting.
 
If trustees decide to seek a levy, the request to get on the ballot must be made to the Lucas County Board of Elections by Aug. 6.
 
Posted: 6/23/2014
 
 
 
 
Fire Department Report
The draft report of the Fire Department Review will be discussed at the meeting of the Sylvania Township trustees June 17th at 6:00 p.m.
 
Trustees have asked that any comments from township residents or entities be submitted by they for consideration in the discussion.
 
The draft is a report on the current status and activites of the department and a look at options for its future. Budget projections show a need for additional revenue in 2016 and beyond.
 
Trustees hope to get a clear picture of what the community wants the department to be in the future and then determine the economics necessary to achieve that.
 
A number of organizations have been sent a copy of the report and it is available HERE.
 
If a levy is sought, details must be submitted to the Lucas County Board of Elections by August 6.
 
Posted: 6/5/2014
 
 
 

 
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