–by Mike Jones

Sylvania Township Offices: 4927 Holland-Sylvania Road
Sylvania, OH 43560
(419) 882-0031









New Township Trustee Chairman Elected
John Jennewine has been elected as chairman of the Sylvania Township Trustees. He replaces John Crandall. Neal Mahoney was elected vice-chairman at the body’s organizational meeting. Both terms run through the first meeting of 2018.

Trustees also voted to continue meeting on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m. They added that if there is a zoning matter, which is expected to draw a high attendance, they may set that issue on a separate agenda scheduled for 6 p.m.  If that should occur, interested parties will be notified and the change will be announced on the township website:

New Officers Named
The two public bodies dealing with zoning issues in Sylvania Township have chosen officers for this year and established a meeting schedule. The Sylvania Township Board of Zoning Appeals has chosen Al Hayes to serve as chairman and Tim Schlachter as vice-chairman. The terms are up at next year’s organizational meeting.

The BZA will continue to meet the first Monday of each month at 5 p.m. Mary Himmelein will continue to serve as chairman of the Sylvania Township Zoning Commission.  John King was elected vice chairman. As with the BZA, the terms will last until the first meeting of 2018.

The commission will keep its meeting schedule of the second Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m.

New Fire Engine in Service
Sylvania Township’s fire department has taken delivery of a new fire engine and is currently taking it for practice runs. The engine will go into service around the middle of February at the fire station located on­­­­­­­ Main and Monroe streets in downtown Sylvania. Chief Jeffrey Kowalski said the trial runs are taken not only to check out different aspects of the vehicle, but also to familiarize firefighters who will soon be operating the 44,000-pound vehicle in emergency situations.

“We want to be sure everything is right with the truck and our guys,” he said, adding that up to now there don’t appear to be any problems.

An engine, he said, is ordered as a basic unit, with all sorts of choices to be made about individual items down to what type of door pulls are favored. He said he designated officers and firefighters to form a committee and make those kinds of decisions.

“I didn’t always agree with their choices, but I’m not going to drive it … I’m not going to have to work from it, so I kept my mouth shut.”

The chief said his only purpose in attending the meetings was to be sure the committee did not go for options that might exceed budget limits, but he added that never became an issue.

The basic vehicle, purchased from Sutphen Corp., near Columbus, cost $505,000.

After the committee’s requests for compartment size, areas for medical equipment, where to load hoses and tools, the final tab was $517,000, well below the cap of $545,000 they had to work with. The engine is designated as a 2015 model, but is brand new, the chief said. He also noted that the department has had Sutphen engines in the past and currently has one on stand-by status, which is a 1995 model and meets all the standards required for service. He anticipates 10-12 years of front-line service from the new truck and then about eight-ten years on reserve status.

The truck carries 30 gallons of fire-fighting foam and a water tank holding 750 gallons.  He said that is enough to put out a lot of fires if used efficiently. For a large fire, it allows firefighters to begin immediately dousing flames while others attach hoses to a fire hydrant. Using water from a hydrant, the truck can pump 1,500 gallons per minute. The only design element the chief said he insisted on was the lettering on the side of the truck. “Honor, Courage, Dedication”

Christmas Tree Drop-Off
Sylvania Township residents are reminded that the township is again offering a place to drop off their Christmas trees.

Trees may be placed in a fenced-in area at the southwest corner of the parking lot of the township administration building, 4927 Holland-Sylvania Rd. Trees should be left in the area with temporary fencing and should have all lights, decorations and tinsel removed.

There is no street side tree collection.

Zoning Variance
A request for a variance on the size of a lot needed for a pond was recommended for approval recently, in part because officials are currently considering changing the requirement. Sylvania Township and most other zoning departments require a lot of at least five acres for a pond to be on the property. Daryl Graus, manager of the township’s planning and zoning office, told members of the board of zoning appeals that after looking into the question, the requirement seemed based more on tradition than anything else.

The issue arose from the request of Gregory and Debbie Harsh, of 4720 Mitchaw Rd. for the 3.3-acre lot south of their house. The Harshs said the primary reason for the variance was to dig a hole, which would result in a pond, but would be done primarily to take the dirt to the front of the property where the couple plan to build a house.

Because of a water problem due to low elevation, the applicants were granted an identical variance in 2010 for their current home, next door to the lot in question.

The request for a variance to the five-acre requirement, Graus said, is the most recent in a number of requests for pond-related variances.

He told members of the board that he is likely to submit a proposed amendment to the zoning code recommending a three-acre requirement. That will first go to the Lucas County Plan Commission for a recommendation.

The board granted the variance to the Mr. and Mrs. Harsh.