SYLVANIA TOWNSHIP NEWS

TARTA
Sylvania Township trustees are seeking applicants for appointment to the board of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority.
 
Susan Wood, assistant township administrator, said applications from those who would like to represent the township on the board should have applications submitted by August 31.
 
An application can be obtained on the township's website.
 
The appointment is for three years and it effective October 31.
 
Posted: 7/11/2014 
 
 
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, nothed 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
 
 
 
 
Screening
Sylvania Township employees for three days this month will be able to get a number of medical screening tests for free. Well, better than free, each will receive $50 for taking part in the benefit.
 
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 other are instructional talks on a variety of health issues.
 
The screenings this year will be Sept. 16, 17 and 18 at the Township Hall. They include blood pressure readings and readings for such things as glucose and lipids.
 
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.
 
The township embarked some years ago on efforts to improve the overall health of the workforce to combat rising health-care costs, because a healthy workforce is a better workforce and to simply encourage good health habits for each employees' own benefit.
 
Posted: 9/12/2014 
 
 
 
 
 
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.
 
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.comOn 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 
 
 
 
 
Police
Police usually make the news with either big arrests or big mistakes, but they are kept busy through the day on issues with are important to everyone they come in contact with, through perhaps not something considered "news".
 
On The Line
 
Sylvania Township Police Chief Robert Boehme looked through some recent reports and saw a few which he thought merited mention.
 
Shortly after morning roll call, a man arrived at the Sylvania Township Police Station to report his auto had been struck by a hit-and-run driver at Alexis and Flanders Roads. He called Toledo police and also had determined the location of the driver who left the scene.
 
He said he was eventually told by Toledo police that the accident had happened in Sylvania Township and that he should make the report to that agency.
 
 There had been a recent death in the motorist's family and he had a funeral to go to the next day.
 
Chief Boehme said Officer Derek Borstleman returned to the station to take the report and that he he determined that the location of the accident was in Toledo's jurisdiction. Rather than cause the man to have to recontact Toledo police, decided to take the report so the motorist could put an end to the incident.
 
Chief Rob Boehme said township officers have the authority to issue citations outside their jurisdiction, particularly at an intersection where jurisdictions abut.
 
The chief said citations were issued to the other driver.  
 
Underage Drinking
 
Officer Borstleman was also on the scene a day earlier when he and Officer Kevin Steinam arrived at a scene off of Whiteford Road between Alexis Road and Monroe Street.
 
Chief Boehme said the officers witnessed youngsters drinking alcohol at a party. The scene became chaotic, but Officer Steinman was credited with calming the situation and beginning a process which ended with 11 arrests.
 
Two young adults and nine juveniles were cited, primarily with underage consumption of alcohol.
 
Although police are then required to prepare reports not only for the court system, but also for the schools. They also must document specific offenses and then notify parents 
 
He noted that Sylvania Schools has a "zero tolerance."policy for alcohol consumption which could result in some of the youngsters being barred from extracurricular activities this coming school year.
 
There are real consequences for the youths, he said, but far less than the tragic result which can happen if they are planning to drive away from an event after drinking.
 
Picture? Sure you Can Take My Picture
 
About a half-hour after roll-call where some photos were shown to officers of individuals likely involved in vandalism at Wildwood Metropark, Officer Randy Mull noticed a man near Blossman and Holland-Sylvania roads who had a resemblance to one of the suspected vandals.
 
He approached the man, asked some questions and then asked if he could take a picture of him. The man agreed and Officer Mull took the photo, went to the metropark and showed it to one of the park ranger  who identified him.
Officer Mull and the ranger found the man at a friend's home and that friend was also identified as another of those who had vandalized a fence which the park system had installed to stop people from entering the park from behind Stranahan School.
 
The offenders were cited into court.
 
The above examples, the chief noted again, aren't stunning news, but each shows Sylvania Township officers working diligently, being considerate of those with a problem, being alert, handling situations which could become a larger problem with calm and professionalism.        
 
Posted: 8/14/2014 
 
 
 
Fire Department 
Although they weren't in the bright lights of television, members of the Sylvania Township Fire Department showed a high level of concern for local residents and for the larger community during the recent water crisis.
 
Neal Mahoney, acting as chairman of the township trustees, complimented the work of the departments after listening to a brief report on department activities during that time.
 
Chief Jeffrey Kowalski said that one of the first things he did after the water warning was issued, was to visit nursing homes in the area to be assured by them that there were adequate supplies of water for the next 12 to 24 hours.
 
He said he also was warned about the possibility of low water pressure should it be needed for fire fighting. The chief told trustees during their most recent meeting that he secured the use of a tanker truck from Richfield Township and one from Ottawa Lake, Michigan, had they been needed for aid in a fire.
 
In addition to staying on top of needs or potential threats in the township and the city of Sylvania the fire department made a major contribution to efforts to secure and distribute water to the community.
 
The chief said the department took a spare engine to Olander Park and began to take water from the lake.
 
He said the the spare engine, "is old and tired, but purred like a kitten," as it pulled water from the lake for about 12 hours on Sunday.
 
It collected a total of 37,000 gallons of water which was then loaded into fire trucks supplied by many surrounding communities. Those trucks then took the water to national guard stations where the water was purified and distributed to those who needed it during the weekend Toledo had issued an advisory that its water was not fit for consumption.
 
Chief Kowalski said the department was back at Olander Park Sunday where they spent 8 hours pulling about 32,000 gallons from the spring-fed lake. A number of other communities had supplied fire department tank trucks to haul the water to the places where it could be purified and then distributed.
 
During much of the activity Deputy Fire Chief Michael Ramm had been dispatched to the emergency center near downtown Toledo where he spent many hours both Saturday and Sunday.
 
He said he was pleased as he listened to Chief Ramm, his deputy, taking over duties at the center, issuing directions and making sure all assets were where they needed to be as the situation moved through the weekend.
 
Chief Kowalski noted that two nursing homes eventually did need water and that the department made the deliveries. Water was also delivered to some individuals who had no other means of obtaining it.
 
He also added that the department had established a water distribution center at Southview High School and was prepared to open it at 11:00 a.m. Monday about an hour after Toledo announced the emergency advisory had been lifted.
 
Mr. Mahoney, who chaired the trustees' meeting because John Jennewine, chairman of the trustees was on vacation, said it is gratifying to see that other communities look to the Sylvania Township Fire Department for leadership and support.
 
He praised the department for not only responding to calls for help, but also tending to so many other matters in the township which may not have seemed as large as others, but were of vital importance to those in need locally.
 
"They did just a great job. Not only responding to calls for help but, as always, going on their own initiative to take care of community needs," Mr. Mahoney said after the meeting.
 
Posted: 8/6/2014 
 
 
 
 
 
Fire
The Sylvania Township Fire Department was recently credited with making a difference in the outcome of a man who was suffering a heart attack at his desk at work.
 
Chief Jeffrey Kowalski told Sylvania Township trustees at a recent meeting that from the time the department was first notified to the time the man was receiving hospital care was "phenomenal."
 
Part of the reason for the speed of treatment is that hospitals will allow the department's personnel to essentially diagnose a heart attack and have the hospital resources available as soon as the patient arrives.
 
In the past, patients were first taken to the emergency room for a diagnosis and admission. Even though that process could be expedited, it still could create a delay in treatment.
 
In this instance, as well as others, the man was taken directly to the "cath lab" at Toledo Hospital where work began.
 
Notes from the hospital state that the seriousness of his condition created a difficult course of treatment ending with emergency open-heart surgery.
 
Nevertheless, Chief Kowalski said, the man has since been discharged and is doing well.
 
An official from the ProMedica Heart and Vascular Institute wrote a follow-up note to the department.
 
Much of the note is written in medical terms, but concludes with, "You definitely made a difference in this man's outcome."
 
Posted: 8/4/2014 
 
 
 
 
BZA
The Sylvania Township trustees have appointed Don Miller to the township Board of Zoning Appeals.
 
Mr. Miller will fill a vacancy created when John Amos resigned his position on the board because he was moving out of the township.
 
The appointment is for five years.
 
Mr. Miller is the owner of GroundSpeed a software development firm.
 
The board of zoning appeals has the right to grant waivers from zoning restrictions to property owners in limited circumstances.
 
Scheduled board meetings are held on the first Monday of each month at 4:00 p.m. at the township administration building, 4927 Holland-Sylvania Road.  
 
Posted: 8/4/2014 
 
 
 
 
Mercy
Mercy Health System has chosen Sylvania Township as the location for its first facility in the western portion of Lucas County.
 
It will build a free-standing emergency and diagnostic facility at King Road and Central Avenue, the site of the former Central Elementary School. That building will be replaced by a single-story brick and glass structure which will be in operation 24-hours a day, every day.
 
Dr. Imran Andrabi, chief operating officer of Mercy, standing at the site noted what he called the "bustle," of the area and mentioned its activity and growth.
 
He said Mercy determined generally that they wanted a site for emergency care to the west to serve not only the immediate area, but also those from Springfield Township, Swanton, Metamora, or Fayette who might need emergency care.
 
He also motioned toward the now-vacant former school building and said the move was very special for him, because three of his children had graduated from the old Central.
 
The property was purchased for $2.25 million from Sylvania Schools late last year, although the identity of the buyer was kept a secret until it was officially announced recently.
 
The total cost of the new 18,000-sq.-ft. facility is expected to be about $14.3 million. It will have 12 examination rooms, a laboratory and an imaging center.
 
Dr. Chris Goliver, medical director at a similar Mercy facility which opened in Perrysburg 8 months ago, will also be the medical director at the Sylvania facility.
 
He said four physicians will be hired soon to prepare to work in the township building and critical care nurses, technicians and others will be hired closer to the actual opening.
 
It is anticipated that the school building will be razed and construction will begin by the fall. The facility could be in full operation about one year later.
 
Daryl Graus, manager of the office of planning and zoning for Sylvania Township, said a drawing of the outline of the building on the site has already been approved.
 
He said that although the name of the entity had not been revealed, the diagram was approved because it met or exceeded township requirements for a building on the site.
 
Dennis Sherry, regional vice president for strategic planning for the health system, acknowledged that geography was an overall driving factor in the location, but that it was specifically in Sylvania Township was "absolutely," a plus.
 
He praised the cooperation by the planning and zoning office and the overall reputation of the township for working well with beginning ventures.
 
He also noted the high regard in which the fire department is held, in that the emergency facility will be working often with the department's emergency medical technicians.
 
The new facility will handle medical issues just as they would be dealt with in the emergency area of a full-service hospital. In the event that surgery or a hospital admission is necessary, patients will be treated, stabilized and transported, officials said.
 
Posted: 7/23/2014
 
 
 
 
 
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  
  
 
 
 
Housing Permits
The number of permits issued for single-family houses continues to increase in Sylvania Township, according to Daryl Graus,manager of planning and zoning department.
 
Mr. Graus reported at a recent meeting of the trustees that the number of permits issued in June was 11. That brought the total to 52 through the first six months of the year.
 
At the same time last year, the township had issued 42 permits for the construction of single-family homes and the total for the entire year of 2013 reached 81.
 
That handily beat the total of 50 for all of 2012, and that had been the most issued since 2007.
 
So far,"it's been a pretty good year," Mr. Graus told trustees.
 
Posted: 7/17/2014
 
 
 
 
Round
Constuction of a new roundabout at King and Brint roads is now complete, another is beginning construction in the western part of the township.
 
The intersection of Mitchaw and Sylvania-Metamora roads will be closed as the new traffic system is installed. Construction is expected to take about 45 days.
 
The traffic-control systems are said to be safer and more efficient, in most cases, than the more usual stop-and-go systems controlled by lights or signs, according to the Lucas County engineer's office.
 
Posted: 7/11/2014 
 
 
 
 
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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