–by Mike Jones
PUBLICATION DATE: 06.06.17
The Sylvania Township road department is finishing its first large road resurfacing project of the season and will soon begin another. Crews have been in the St. James area primarily south of Regents Boulevard between McCord Road and Wimbledon. That job included resurfacing Parliament Square. The project covered 1.3 miles.
The next resurfacing project to be tackled this season will be in Westchester Meadows. The streets to be resurfaced are Wood Lake, Wood Brook, Wood Meadow, Meadow Lake, between Central and Fantasy, San Luis Rey and Forest Brook. Total mileage for that project will also be 1.3 miles.
The Sylvania Township trustees have approved a contract with Teamster, Local 20, covering 11 employees in the township road department. The contract calls for two percent raises in each of three years beginning this year and running through 2019. The settlement concludes a round of contract bargaining with the larger labor groups representing township workers.
Rob Nash, manager of the road department, said employees there will also be allowed to accumulate compensatory time. Under those terms, employees can opt against being paid for overtime but “bank” those hours with the ability to use them as time off in the future. He added there is a limit of 40 hours in each calendar year. He noted that has been a feature of the police and fire department contracts.
The total number of permits issued this year by the Sylvania Township planning office has increased somewhat this year but the value represented by those permits has nearly doubled. Through the month of April, the department had issued a total of 126 permits last year, compared to a total of 13 in 2017.
Last year that number represented slightly more than $10 million in value. This year the permits represent construction of things valued at nearly $30 million. Permits are issued by the office for everything from construction of new commercial buildings to fences and signs.
Daryl Graus, manager of the office of planning and zoning, said there is no single large project in the township, which is responsible for the increase in valuation, rather increases across the board. He gathered some information through mid-May. Just in the construction of decks, the number of permits had increased from four in 2016 to seven this year. The estimated value of the total went from over $33,000 last year to more than $86,000 this year.
Through mid-May last year, the total number of permits issued for signs was 43, at an estimated value of $107,000. There have been fewer permits issued so far this year, at 27, but the value had jumped to $167,000. In his report to the most recent meeting of the Sylvania Township trustees, Graus noted that permits for construction of single-family homes had risen from 28 last year to 34 this year.
The number of those permits has been rising slowly, but steadily for several years now, but this year has shown a spike in valuation. Through April of last year, the estimated value was about $6.5 million, generally in line with the totals of recent years. This year, through April, that valuation jumped to $12.25 million.
Graus noted that in that time period last year, one permit had been issued for a house valued at $500,000 or more. In the same time period this year, there have been seven, with two of them valued at a million dollars or more. Those prices resulted in a jump in the average value of a new, single-family home in Sylvania Township from $232,142 last year to $360,294 in estimated value this year.
Although there may be no specific reason which can be pointed to explain the increases, it’s clear that there are a lot of people looking to move to Sylvania Township or in one way or another expand and increase their stake here.