TOWNSHIP TOPICS – 02.21.17

–by Mike Jones
PUBLICATION DATE: 02.21.17

Community Survey Planned
The Sylvania Township police department is working with a Lourdes University professor to develop a community survey to determine residents’ attitudes toward the department. Deputy Chief Ray Carroll told Sylvania Township trustees that there may be practices by police that the public doesn’t approve of or understand.

“There may be things the public would prefer we concentrate on or have suggestions of doing some things differently. It’s meant to elicit the public’s attitude toward our policing of the township,” he said.

Carroll is working with Dr. Terry Keller at Lourdes to develop the survey and it is likely that students there will help compile the results. The chief added that he hopes to then have a town hall meeting to discuss the issues with the community.

Chief Carroll told trustees that he has been in contact with a police chief in Connecticut who oversaw a similar project. He learned that the first survey did not get a lot of response, but on the second try, there was much more community input and that the process was helpful.

The chief also presented to trustees a preliminary design for a notice that officers can place on the doors of businesses or other places to let owners know that the officers were by overnight to check the property. Carroll said it is another way to reach out to the community and let them know that the police are out trying to keep the area safe.

John Jennewine, chairman of the trustees, reported that he had recently been in Dublin, Ohio, and when he left his motel in the morning, a similar tag from the police had been left there. He felt it was good to know that police were being vigilant overnight.

Another item Chief Carroll reported is that the department has instituted a program where volunteers are available to informally visit people in their homes. The program is designed primarily to provide a visit to older residents who may be living alone. He said there are nine volunteers who have been trained, but that no one had yet asked for the service.

Road Paving
A contract for a road paving project later this year has been awarded to Bowers Asphalt & Paving, of Walbridge, Ohio. The project, in conjunction with the Ohio Public Works Commission, will include streets in the St. James area.

Rob Nash, superintendent of the road department, said Bowers submitted the least expensive bid for the job at $293,315.50. He said that bid was below an engineer’s estimate of about $330,000 for paving 1.36 miles of roadway.

Streets slated for repaving are Chris Wood, Dunstans Lane, Jamesford Drive, Knights Wood, Parliament Square and Perivale Park.

Also to be repaved are Cheshire Woods, from Knotting Hill to St. James Boulevard, Stone Bridge Lane, from McCord Road to Parliament Square, and Wimbledon Park from Bancroft to St. Roberts.

New Street Sweeper Purchase
The purchase of a new street sweeper for the Sylvania Township road department has been approved by the trustees. Rob Nash, superintendent of the department, told trustees that the sweeper, which has been in use, has passed its time for efficient, dependable use. The new machine will be bought through the State of Ohio cooperative purchase program from the MTech Co., for about $250,000 with the trade in of the old sweeper.

Nash said that although one result of a street-sweeping program is to have better-looking roadways, the important task is to keep the township catch basins and storm sewers clean.

He noted that the township needs to maintain 82 miles of street curbs.

Funding
The Sylvania Township trustees have granted funding to four organizations, which have been determined to be of benefit to the community. Trustees annually receive requests and, in most cases, listen to presentations from the groups.

This year the trustees have granted $13,000 to Sylvania Area Family Services. The grant is a slight increase from the $12,500 awarded last year. The Sylvania Community Action Team will get $5,250, an increase from last year’s $4,250. The Sylvania Arts Commission will receive $2,750, an increase from $2,625. Lucas County Soil and Water has been granted $500. That organization was not granted any funding by the trustees last year.

Police Vehicle Purchase Approved
Sylvania Township Trustees have approved the purchase of four new cars for the township police department. Chief Robert Boehme told trustees that the cost of the vehicles will total $105,760 and they are being purchased through the state bid system. The chief said that four cars currently in use are nearing a total of 130,000 miles which has been determined to be a limit on the efficient use of a vehicle for police patrol use. He added that the limit was upped from the former standard of 120,000 miles. The chief told trustees that vehicles ordered now will likely not be received until about July. He said they will be rotated into use as the older cars are taken out of the fleet.

Conditional Use Permit Granted
A conditional use permit has been approved by the Sylvania Township board of zoning appeals clearing the way for construction of a new place of worship and community center for Congregation Chabad House House Lubovitch at 2728 King Rd. The congregation has used the site for about two years and the building has been a house of worship since it was built in 1974.

Although it operated under a non-conforming use to current zoning regulations, the group needed to conform to current zoning because of plans to demolish the building on the site and construct a new one on the 1.6-acre site.

Plans call for demolition of the 4,204-square foot building and construction of a 9,758-square foot structure.

Neighbors who attended meetings of the BZA complained that the building would be too large for the neighborhood and some who live nearby feared noise and light coming from the building could be disruptive.

The township zoning staff recommended approval of the conditional use permit. They pointed out that the use of the site would remain as it is now and that such things as building height, amount of parking and similar issues all fell within township regulations.

As one of the requirements of the permit, the congregation must erect a fence and plant a line of trees along the northern border to screen the houses which have back yards facing the new building.

Coffee With a Cop
The third “Coffee With A Cop”
by the Sylvania Township Police Department will be
March 1
at Panera Bread
7115 W. Central Ave.
from 8 to 10 a.m.

Deputy Police Chief Ray Carroll said the gatherings are completely informal and are meant to answer questions from the public, listen to any complaints and to learn of any areas of growing neighborhood or more personal areas of concern.

“We just want to meet residents for an informal conversation,” he said.