Jim Rettig a veteran of more than 20 years with the Sylvania Townshp police department has been named a deputy chief of the department.
His duties in the newly-created position will be supervision of the detective's bureau and day-to-day activities of the department.
Deputy Chief Ray Carroll will continue in his role as head of communications and community affairs.
During his tenure with the township police department, Chief Rettig has served in the detective bureau for 16 years.
Prior to joining the Sylvania Township department, he worked as a member of the Cedar Point police department, as a Sandusky County deputy, and at the University of Toledo police department.
Chief Rettig was one of three who interviewed with the three township trustees.
His selection was announced by Chief Robert Boehme.
There are 60 employees in the Sylvania Township police department, 40 of whom are sworn police officers.
Sylvania Township trustees have authorized John Zeitler, township administrator, to enter into a contract with InfoStream solutions to develop a new website for the township.
The contract calls for a payment of $12,425.
Mr. Zeitler said that one of the factors favoring the company is their use of a system which will allow for maintaining the site by township employees. He said that alone will create an annual savings of $6,000.
He added that the new site will include many forms which will be available online so citizens won't have to come to the township administration building to complete them.
"The site will be much more interactive," he said.
The administration will meet soon with the company to develop specific items to be included in the site and develop a time-line for it implementation.
Alleged violations of the plans submitted to develop the Muna Market, 5464 Monroe St., have led to the issue being forwarded to the Lucas County prosecutor's office.
Sylvania Townshp trustees approved filing a lawsuit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court against the business in in order to force compliance with the project development plans.
Daryl Graus, manager of the township zoning office, said the issues came to light, and in part were caused by, the market beginning to take deliveries off a residential street at the rear of the store.
He said landscape enhancements were either removed or were never installed at the rear of the business. He added that the dumpster which is used by the store is not on its designated pad nor is it enclosed.
A letter was sent to the business, he told trustees, but he has received no response. He said it is his understanding that the prosecutor's office had also written and also received no response.
Sylvania Township will contribute $5,000 toward the construction of a sidewalk along Sylvania Avenue meant to make it easier and safer for Southview High School students to reach the new branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, under construction on King Road.
The issue had reached a certain level of notoriety because of first a report that the township would take part in the construction and then a report that the township had decided against it.
All before the matter had ever been considered by the trustees.
At a recent meeting, primarily citing enhanced safety for the children as well as potential use by Sylvania Township residents, the trustees agreed to contribute to the construction of the sidewalk meant to run from the high school to near the King Road intersection.
Citizens Attend First Coffee With A Cop
First in what is hoped will be a series brought residents with general and specific questions as well as thanks.
As hoped, the first "Coffee With A Cop" program by the Sylvania Township police department brought out residents who had comments in general about the department as well as some who had specific issues.
Deputy Chief Ray Carroll added that he and other officers were grateful for those who showed up just to thank the department for the job they do.
One person had an issue with traffic on his street, another had a relative who was the victim of a crime and wanted to know more about the status of the case, Chief Carroll said.
"But a lot of it, was just having a coffee with a cop, getting to know each other," he added.
About 15 residents showed up to discuss issues with the 5 officers, including Chief Robert Boehme, Chief Carroll said. He would have liked to see more residents, but noted that it wasn't bad for the first event of this kind.
It was held at Charlie's Restaurant, 6945 West Central Ave.
Chief Carroll said no date has been established for the next session of "Coffee With a Cop," but the intention is to continue it as a periodic series.
Fire Chief Jerry Kowalski mentioned to Sylvania Township trustees that the runs for July by the EMT transport unit were 37, a number pretty consistent with the level the vehicle has seen since January of this year, In the first 190 days, the unit tended to and transported 187 patients.
To the chief, those numbers aren't the most significant improvement in service.
He has long been unhappy with waiting 20 minutes or more for transport of a patient after a private ambulance had been called.
Through June of last year, that circumstance had occurred 49 times. This year, with the availability of the department's own transport unit, it has happened only 12 times.
"We've cut those long waits by 75 percent," he emphasized.
Chief Kowalski said the department contacts private ambulance services for all potential transport situations, but now if they are informed there will be a significant wait, the department has a unit fitted for the purpose.
Not only is the patient more quickly taken to a hospital, "but our people are back in service, rather than waiting for an ambulance to get there," he added.
The private companies, he said, are often busy taking patients from one hospital to another or to a nursing or rehabilitation facility.
"Our purpose is to get the people of our community to the hospital quickly, not to take away business from the ambulance companies."
Putting the unit in service fulfills a promise made in the campaign for a fire levy which passed in 2014.
Sylvania Township Police Department Volunteer Program
Sylvania Township police department, in partnership with the Lucas County Office on Aging, is taking preliminary steps to establish a program meant to result in periodic, informal home visits to older residents in our community.
Deputy Chief Ray Carroll said he is seeking volunteers to join what will be know as Sylvania Township Senior Volunteers.
The volunteers, in groups of two, will visit those residents who seek the service.
The chief said the primary purpose is just to create a pleasant visit and hopefully brighten everyone's day.
In addition, the chief said, volunteers will be encouraged to be alert for circumstances where some help might be needed.
"They might notice that a step to the porch is lose. The county office on aging has connections with a lot of resources and we might be able to offer some help," Chief Carroll said.
He stressed, though, that an informal visit is the primary purpose of the program.
If the volunteers notice something or if the individual asks for help with some issue, the program is designed to find assistance.
The chief said he is seeking volunteers, aged 55 and above and said the anyone interested in the program can call him at 419-720-3012.
Actions taken at the most recent meeting of the Sylvania Township Board of Zoning Appeals have apparently cleared the way for the construction of a Chick-fil-A restaurant on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and McCord Road.
The building will replace the vacant former Walgreen's Pharmacy, which will be razed.
The company sought three separate variances from the township's zoning code. One request was to eliminate a required 15 ft. landscape strip along Zone Avenue,which borders the property on the east. The board denied that variance, but reduced the requirement to 5 ft. The board approved a request for the current front setback of 22.5 ft. to be 20 ft,
The board approved a setback of 102 ft. from Central from the requirement of 120 ft. The company had sought a reduction to 95 ft.
The township zoning office had recommended against granting the variances. The report noted that the site had held a retail pharmacy which was 14,466 sq. ft., and that the restaurant is planned to be 4,730 sq. ft. The 2.3 acre site already had variances which had been sought by Walgreen's.
Gary Rouse, of GBC Design, Akron, acknowledged that the size of the site made it seem easy to fit a restaurant in. He told the board that he was at first pleased when he heard its size, but then realized it was an L shape and that the three northernmost parcels on Zone would not be used. He said the variances requested were needed for general parking, ADA parking spaces and a double-drive thru lane.
Sidewalk Regulation Eased
Sylvania Township trustees have passed a resolution relaxing a requirement of a 1996 resolution which demanded sidewalks be included in any development or redevelopment in Sylvania Township.
The newly-passed resolution allows for exceptions if properties adjacent to the one seeking the exception do not have sidewalks, if the property is not to be used for residential, public, or quasi-public uses, and if public access will be limited to sides which do have sidewalks. The property must also adjoin two or more highways, streets or roads.
The issue was raised recently at a trustees' meeting when a representative of Yark objected to the requirement which would have forced the dealership to put in a sidewalk on Trotter, behind a building, for a BMW dealership at 7600 West Central Ave.
Jerry Parker, an attorney representing Yark, told trustees that the business objected to being forced to put a sidewalk on Trotter which he said would be a "sidewalk to nowhere."
Mr. Parker noted the business would be directed toward Central and would not generate pedestrian traffic to Trotter. He also noted there are no adjoining sidewalks to connect to.
Under the new resolution, if an adjacent property later installs a sidewalk the exception is revoked and a sidewalk must be constructed within 180 days.