The community affairs office of the Sylvania Township police department has moved from Mayberry on Centennial Road to police headquarters on King Road.
Chief Robert Boehme told township trustees that the move went well and the officers have settled into their new location.
The chief said one of the reasons for bringing the unit into the headquarters building was to improve communication.
He said it appeared to him that goal is reached in part by what now is daily interaction between community affairs officers and other members of the department.
The move was also made because the sergeant in charge of the unit is based at the King Road site.
An additional advantage, the chief said, is that most members of the public come to the headquarters building for any police business. Now community affairs officers are there instead of a citizen having to make a trip out to Centennial Road. The move is being made primarily for better coordination with other units in the department.
The Sylvania Township Fire Department has received approval from the township trustees to take steps required before it can begin to transport patients when no private service is available.
Officials have made it clear that the department does not intend to supplant private ambulance service, but when none are available to transport a patient, the department will.
According to the resolution passed by the trustees, department personnel believe that having transportation available will "allow improved continuity of care for the fire department's patients and will allow a faster return to servicei time for the fire department's first responding units."
The resolution authorizes the fire chief to apply for any permits, licenses and equipment necessary to establish a transport unit.
He is also to begin the process of applying for Medicare/Medicade authorization "through ther billing copany he deems most appropriate."
All American Coach has received a variance from the Sylvania Township board of zoning appeals to allow for a 6-ft. fence topped with barbed wire to enclose two lots at the intersection of Argonne Place and Archer Drive directly east of the business.
James McGuire, president of the recreational vehicle dealership, said he intends to store excess inventory on the property and the fence is needed to deter thieves, vandals, or anyone else not authorized from entering the property.
He told members of the board that although there haven't been many problems in the last 18 months, there significant issues 4 to 5 years ago.
He said people would enter the business property and steal television sets from the vehicles. He said the damage caused was significantly greater than the cost of the television.
There was some discussion about the use of some material other than a chain-link fence, but Mr. McGuire said chain-link was the best product because it keeps the ground visible.
He said the Sylvania Township police "are constantly driving around looking" for intruders.
The township zoning ordinance restricts the height of a fence in the company's zoning area to 3.5'. Mr. McGuire's request for a variance was for a fence of 6', with barbed wire strung along the top.
Daryl Graus, township zoning and planning manager, said company had been granted a similar variance in 2013 for a portion of the company's property along Whiteford Road.
The board voted unanimously to grant the variance.
The Sylvania Township board of zoning appeals has approved a request which will allow for the expansion of Midwest Security Products, 3840 Herr Rd.
Daryl Graus, manager of the Sylvania Township zoning office, said that when the company came to inquire about what might be needed in order to expand, by constructing a new building, he found that its current operations appeared to be technically outside zoning requirements.
Although the company operates in an area zoned for "restricted industrial" use it needed a conditional use permit to continue its operations defined as "restricted manufacturing."
He said the situation, "brought forth an inconsistency in the zoning resolution," and came to light during a review of the expansion project. Although there were no problems with the company's expansion plans, Mr. Graus said there should be a review of the intent and terminology of that part of the resolution.
Nevertheless, the conditional use permit was granted and the company, which has operated at that location since 2000, will go ahead with its expansion plans.
The company advertises that it provides high security systems for customers and that its business has been steadily growing. A company official said the new building is necessary to keep up with work demands at the site.
Residents who have agreed to a transaction over the internet will be welcome to complete that transaction at the Sylvania Township Police Department if they want an an increased feeling of security.
Police Chief Robert Boehme said there have been instances elsewhere where people have arranged for the sale of an item, but at the meeting they have been "robbed or beaten or worse, the chief said.
If a resident will feel more secure, he said they can agree to meet in the police department parking lot on King Road.
If the transaction is going to take place during business hours, the resident should go into the police station and notify the records clerk on duty. If it will be after business hours, the resident can use the intercom system in the building to directly notify the dispatchers.
He said there are cameras always trained on the entire parking lot, but the best place would be near the front of the building.
He noted that the cameras are able to get close-up images and can record faces, auto license plates, or anything else that might be helpful if a problem occurs.
He said he does not see a need to pull officers in who are needed on patrol, because the vast majority of sales negotiated on the internet go off as expected and without a problem.
"Nevertheless," he said, "if we can provide an extra level of a feeling of security, I think it is a good service."
At the six-month point in the year, all Sylvania Township departments are operating within their budgets, according to a report make to the trustees at their most recent meeting by David Simko, township fiscal officer.
The midway point showed that most departments were doing somewhat better than expected in terms of revenue and all were below their budget allotment for expenses.
The one department short on the revenue side is the fire department, but Mr. Simko said that at the time of the report they had not yet received money due for the second quarter of the EMS contract.
He added that there is little departments can do about revenues since they are nearly all dictated by tax receipts, but that all employees should take credit for continuing to keep a close eye on expenses.
He noted that at the six month mark, departments could normally be at 50 percent of their budget limit for the year. He pointed out that the general fund is at 42.9 percent, the police fund is at 46.8 percent and the fire fund 46,3 percent. Mr. Simko also said the road and bridge fund is at 32.1 percent of expected annual expenses, but that that number is due to raise and the department gets more heavily into road projects now that the weather has improved.
Neal Mahoney, chairman of the trustees, agreed that township employees have done a good job controlling expenses but added that Mr. Simko deserves credit for keeping a close eye on the budget.
The fiscal officer added that he is pleased with what he views as a general attitude that it's up to everyone to see that expenses are kept down and that even small saving here and
there can add up to substantial savings over a year.
Sylvania Township officials are revising procedures for recruiting applicants for jobs as township firefighters.
John Zeitler, township administrator, told trustees, at their most recent meeting, that the goal of the changes is not to reduce standards needed for hiring, but to alter some of the requirements for applying for the position.
As an example, he noted that until now an applicant needed certification as both a firefighter and an emergency medical technician to apply for a position with the department. The township will change that so an applicant under the new policy can have a certification for only one or the other to qualify to take the exam. As past practice, applicants must pass a physical ability test to be placed on the Hiring Eligibility List.
At the point of hiring full time, however, the applicant must be certified in both specialties.
When an opening occurs in the fire department, a list of 15 qualified applicants will be compiled. If there is more than one opening, there will be a list of 20.
Individuals in that group will be interviewed by a panel of four, which will now include the human resource director of the township.
Those who are determined to be finalists will then have a background check.
The Lucas County Prosecutors office will evaluate the background of the applicants and report back to the township that the individual passed or failed. The Prosecutors office will retain all background records.
In answer to a question from Neal Mahoney, chairman of the trustees, John Borell, an assistant Lucas County Prosecutor, said the township is and has been in compliance with all laws related to nondiscrimination in hiring practices.
The township has hired a total of four new full-time firefighters in the last four years.
Mr. Zeitler noted that the township is not correcting anything which was wrong, but is making an effort to expand the pool of future hires.
He added that the township hopes to expand efforts through additional advertising and he noted that they will likely approach Owens Community College, which offers classes for emergency medical technicians.
Sylvania Township trustees, during an organizational session at their most recent meeting, decided to change the starting time of meetings to be held the first Tuesday of each month.
The first-Tuesday meeting will now have a starting time of 5 p.m., one hour later than that meeting was held last year.
John Jennewine, trustee, said some people had suggested to him that more citizens might be able to attend if the starting time was moved back from 4 p.m.
The other regularly scheduled meeting of the trustees will continue to be held at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month.
Sylvania Township has launched an alert system which will allow for a message to be sent to a residents 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 will not 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.
Use the form on the Home Page to sign up.