Trustees' Chairman Praises Effective Work by the Road Department
Sylvania Township's fire and police services are often recognized for their public service, but this winter has shown a light on another essential department, our road department. This department is responsible to make our streets passable in thr brutal winter. Crews have been working shifts of 12-hours-on and 12-hours-off for most of the last six to seven weeks. As pointed out by Greg Huffman, public works manager, when those shifts end most of the operators go home and have to shovel their own driveways and sidewalks, they eat, unwind, sleep and then come back in to take another 12-hour shift. This becomes very difficult, very quickly. It is a testament to the entire department that through this difficult period there has been perfect attendance, even with the high numbers of cold and flu cases reported in our area.
The township's snow-removal equipment has also been put to a rigorous test this season and it too has come through admirably. Although the township's fleet over the past few years has been downsized, the equipment generally has been upgraded and is newer. Between storms, the garage has been busy maintaining the equipment and replacing parts as needed. Mr. Huffman pointed out that in addition to the public attention to reduced levels of road salt in the area, plow parts are also becoming scarce.
The township currently has about 300 tons of salt on hand and is waiting for an additional 700 tons from a few different sources. Although that's a lot of salt, township crews have so far spread 2,500 tons of salt on the 130 miles of township streets. Last snow season the township only purchased 1,300 tons of salt and the year prior, only 800 tons of road salt was purchased.

One of the most difficult areas in the township this year has been the Sylvania-Metamora Road corridor. The high winds and massive drifting in this area has been a consistent concern over the past weeks. In addition to the plows working diligently, the township has sent in front-end loaders to remove snow from some of the cul de sacs along that route. Cul de sacs are very difficult to maintain and require extra time for plow drivers.

Mr. Huffman has been public works manager for Sylvania Township since 1989 and has experience with the city of Sylvania and the Ohio Department of Transportation. In all those years he said this is "absolutely" the most trying snow season in his experience. He added that it is eased somewhat by the work ethic of his crews as well as coordinated efforts with Lucas County and ODOT, which are responsible for snow removal on their routes as they go through the township. Our drivers are trained with a special course in the handling of snow removal equipment presented by ODOT. It is reflected in the safe operation of these vehicles in very difficult conditions. There have been fewer than 10 complaints about damaged mailboxes and that is a testament to skill of the operators.
In this stubbornly difficult season, Sylvania Township has tried to keep up with Mother Nature, only to know we are at her mercy. It takes everyone’s cooperation and understanding during these trying days. As snow amounts continue to pile up, there is less and less space to put the snow. This can easily create a hazard to our residents. One of the concerns is private snow plow operators pushing snow from private drives and commercial parking lots into the public streets. The township has already sent 12 to 14 letters to private owners warning them that such a practice is illegal and hazardous to others. The township isn't looking to make things difficult, but our first responsibility is the safety of our residents and maintaining a clear public right-of-way.
The forecast does not seem to indicate a change in weather patterns anytime soon and the clock continues to tick and so do the expenses. There has been almost $40,000 in overtime pay since the snow began in December, and other expenses will likely have to be met based on the unusual stress of this snow season. Trustees will reassess the budget of the road department in the future. For now it is appropriate to acknowledge with thanks the diligence and ability of the road department in what may be a snow season for the record books. We all need to take a little extra time in getting where we are going and keep on thinking about Spring!!

 By John Jennewine
 Chairman, Sylvania                                       
 Township Trustees
Posted: 2/13/2014


Apartment Complex
The Lucas County Plan Commission has recommended approval for a zoning change on Central Avenue between Centennial and Crissey roads for the construction of a 214-unit apartment development.
The development, to be known as The Lakes at Central Reserve, will be "a luxury apartment community," according to George Oravecz, of Oravecz Consulting and Engineering Services, the engineer for the project.
The applicant for the zoning change is Redwood Development Co., of Beachwood, OH. Mr. Oravecz told commissioners that the firm has similar developments in Monclova and Perrysburg Township, Perrysburg, and Oregon.
He said it is projected that the Sylvania Township development will have about 70 percent of residents aged 55 and older and that the rest will be young professionals.
Entry to the apartments will be without steps and all doorways will be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, he said.
Mr. Oravecz noted that each unit will have a two-car garage so there is no issue of a massive parking lot. He added that he has two meetings with area residents prior to the plan commission hearing.
One nearby resident asked the commission to consider traffic to the adjoining neighborhood to the east, based on the extension of Manci Drive into the project.
Mr. Oravecz said that for the development to be approved by the Sylvania Township Fire Department, a second means of egress and ingress is necessary in addition to Central Avenue as the primary entrance to the apartments.
He said a sign will be posted at Manci telling drivers that the roadway is to be used by emergency vehicles.
Another person questioned the viability of the project due to flooding conditions which have occurred in the immediate area.
Keith Earley, Lucas County Engineer and a member of the commission, noted that a plan had been forwarded to the Sylvania Township trustees which should mitigate future flooding.
It was also noted that the plan commission staff recommended approval, but with 43 conditions. A number of those conditions concern the issue of storm water detention and drainage.
One area resident spoke in favor of the project.
Current zoning of the approximately 39 acres is agricultural and along the Central Avenue frontage, general commercial. The change sought is for a residential planning unit development, and along Central, to be a general commercial planned  unit development.
The issue will come before the Sylvania Township Zoning Commission for a recommendation at its meeting this month and will likely be heard by the Sylvania Township trustees in May for a final decision on the zoning change.
Posted: 3/31/2014  
Monument Signs
The Sylvania Township Zoning Commission may begin a discussion of possible changes in some of its regulations governing monument signs of the township.
The issue was raised by Daryl Graus, planning and zoning manager for the township, who told the panel recently that he had noticed an increase in filings with the board of zoning appeals seeking variances for height and/or setback requirements for monument signs.
Mr. Graus said he didn't have any specific recommendations for changes, nor was he suggesting any might be needed, but thought it was a good idea to mention the issue for the board to determine if some changes might be needed.
He added that when he looked at surrounding communities, it appeared that in many instances the Sylvania Township regulations were more restrictive than others.
Sylvania Township allows such signs to be a maximum of 5 ft. high and they must be set back from the right-of-way a minimum of 15 ft.
He noted that in nearby Monclova Township, such signs are allowed to be as much as 15 ft. high, although the set back requirement is further at 20 ft. Springfield Township, he said, has no setback requirement but allows for the height to gradually increase based on the distance from the right-of-way.
The City of Sylvania allows for heights of 6 to 10ft., based on the zoning of the location. Monument signs in the city must be no closer than 10 ft. from the right-of-way.
Posted: 4/11/2014
Log Jam
The Sylvania Township road department was recently able to squeeze in some work off snow-and-ice-covered streets and into Ten Mile Creek to ease a potentially bad situation where several large logs had formed a jam just north of Sylvania Avenue and west of Mitchaw Road.
Sylvania Township trustees were shown a brief video clip of a large excavator with water nearly over its treads breaking through the ice and lifting what appeared to be full trees from the site.
Greg Huffman, public works manager for the township, told trustees that crews had to be cautious to not cause ice jams forming while pulling logs from the waterway.
Mr. Huffman said the township was fortunate that the jam had developed near a farm field and access was granted to the area. He said it could have been different if there were a number of home sites at that point.
He added that the excavator was leased for the job and the cost of the project was $1,662. He said he will see reimbursement for the expense from the county storm water utility district.
Posted: 4/8/2014
Locker Donation
Sylvania Township trustees have approved the donation of 16 lockers for personal protective equipment to the Spencer Township Fire Department.
Chief Jeff Kowalski told the trustees at a recent meeting that the Spencer department is bringing on more people and intending to man their station at all times.
With the remodeling of one station and construction of three others the department earlier sold many lockers which weren't usable in the the facilities.

He said the department still had some. The 16 to be donated to Spencer Township are at least 10 years old and have a total value of under $2,500 according to the resolution approved by trustees.
Posted: 2/25/2014
New Construction
A project plan review for a new building at the Shops at Franklin Place has been completed by the Sylvania Township zoning and planning department.
Daryl Graus, manager of the department, said the township has no objections to the plan to construct the building that will house in a 45,500 sq. ft. portion for both a Marshalls department store and a Home Goods store.
Both are national chains which currently have no presence in the immediate area.
The other part of the building is about 35,500 sq. ft., and an architectural drawing designates the location as being for a future tenant.
The new construction will be partially on land cleared when the former and long-empty Franklin Park Cinemas building was razed last year. The theater faced Monroe Street, but the new construction will be situated toward the western boundary of the property with store entrances facing east.
It is the first new construction on the site since it was purchased by Devonshire REIT last September from National Amusements Inc.
The 50,000 sq. ft. former home of Media Play is now occupied by Gabe's a discount fashion clothier, which opened late last year.
The drawing shows the northern most entrance of the new construction, as the entrance to the Marshalls store, and the entrance to the south as being for Home Goods.
Mr. Graus said the plans include some changes to parking and traffic patterns at the site, 5235 Monroe Street.
Posted: 2/28/2014
Zoning Board
Mary Himmelein has been elected to a new term as chaiman of the Sylvania Township Zoning Commission. She was elected at a recent organizational meeting of the commission. John King was elected vice-chairman and Tom Creque was chosen as secretary.
The board also decided to continue holding its meetings at the township hall on the second Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m.
Posted: 2/21/2014
Police Cars
Sylvania Township trustees have approved the purchase of four new vehicles for the township police department, two 2014 Ford Fusions and two 2014 Ford Utility Police Interceptors. Police Chief Rob Boehme told trustees the total cost for the SUV Interceptors is $51,804. And the total for the Fusions is $37,558. He added that the Interceptors will be used as command vehicles and Fusions will be used as detective cars and for administrative purposes.

John Zeitler, township administrator, said the township policy of not enlarging its fleet of vehicles will be adhered to. The department will get rid of four current vehicles. Generally they are disposed of through an Internet government auction.
Posted: 2/21/2014 
Cardiac Care
The Life Squad with Sylvania Township Fire Department paramedics was the first to use a new system by which some cardiac patients bypass the hospital emergency room and go to what is known as a cath lab where treatment can begin immediately.
Deputy Fire Chief Mike Ramm told trustees at a recent meeting that our department was called to a scene where a woman was in distress. The squad members, because of their education, experience and equipment, were able to determine the extent of the problem, notify Toledo Hospital, and take her straight to the cath lab.

At the call of the squad, with a review of the case by a cardiologist at the hospital, a team was already assembled in the cath lab to care for the patient.

Hospital records show that the woman arrived at 1:42 p.m. and was "quickly registered" and arrived at the cath lab at 1:47 p.m.
Chief Ramm stressed that when someone is undergoing a heart attack, time is always the most important factor in survival and recovery.
Before this procedure was instituted, time was spent for diagnosis in an emergency room. Relying on the diagnostic ability of life squad members with a review of test results transmitted to the hospital, allows the procedure to bypass some traditional steps and deliver the patient immediately to where the person can receive the specific treatment necessary.
The chief told trustees that this is the "up and coming" method of care for heart attack patients and is "really good for our community."

He also told trustees that his most recent information was that the patient is recovering.
In a more-recent incident, Sylvania Township paramedics were asked to be in the cath lab to assist a team of cardiologists during procedures on a patient the township crew had brought to the hospital.
The patient has since been discharged.
Posted: 2/21/2014




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