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MAYOR’S MESSAGE – 04.18.17

Shred Day and Arbor Day
by Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough
PUBLICATION DATE: 04.18.17

Mayor Craig Stough

Mayor Craig Stough

 

 

 

 

 

 

A line up of cars greets workers at the city of Sylvania shred day.

The city of Sylvania has two green programs scheduled for later this month: Shred Day and Arbor Day. Everyone is invited to attend and participate in these programs for improving the environment.

The city of Sylvania will be hosting its 11th annual “Shred Day” on Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine. AccuShred LLC will again bring its document destruction equipment to the Sylvania Municipal Court parking lot at 6730 Monroe Street and offer on-site shredding of documents. Enter off Monroe Street at the west driveway. AccuShred is a certified information document destruction company, and for the fourth year will also be accepting electronic items for recycling.

Residents can bring up to 50 lbs. of personal paper documents in boxes or bags for free shredding, courtesy of AccuShred without cost to the city. That is about three medium bags or banker’s boxes full of documents. Additional documents beyond 50 lbs. will also be shredded, but at a cost of $3 per container. Staples do not need to be removed, but paper cannot be in binders or have binder clips. At last year’s Sylvania Shred Day, 20,910 pounds of paper, the most ever, was dropped off for shredding.

Shredding offers a practical way to recycle paper rather than bury it in a landfill and is a natural extension to the city of Sylvania’s curbside materials recycling and green yard waste recycling programs. Shredding is also a safe way to dispose of personal documents that contain the identity and financial information such as account numbers, social security numbers, names and addresses. Identity theft has become a bigger problem in recent years and shredding is one way to reduce your exposure to this problem.

In addition, electronic items including computers, printers, copiers, fax machines, small appliances, telephones, cell phones and DVD/VCR/CD players will again be accepted for recycling during this year’s Shred Day. Computer monitors will cost $5.00 each and televisions will not be accepted. Visit cityofsylvania.com, for a complete list of electronic items that will be accepted for recycling. Last year, 2,980 pounds of electronic items were recycled.

The city of Sylvania will have its annual Arbor Day Celebration on Friday, April 28, this year at Sylvan Elementary School starting at 1:00 p.m. The city of Sylvania has been named a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation for the 35th consecutive year.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. To become a Tree City USA, a community must meet four standards: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance. Sylvania has met these standards for 35 years, leading to a better quality of life for all of our residents.

Sylvania Rotary Club is again donating this year’s Arbor Day Celebration tree, as they have for many years. Since 1975, over 7,700 street trees have been planted by the city of Sylvania Parks and Forestry Division. City forestry programs not only plant new trees, but also prune and take care of trees in our parks, public lands and street right-of-ways.

MAYOR’S MESSAGE – 03.21.17

2017 Capital Improvement Fund Expenditures
by Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough
PUBLICATION DATE: 03.21.17

Mayor Craig Stough

Mayor Craig Stough

 

 

 

 

 

Microsurfacing paver in operation.

The days are getting longer and the temperatures will soon be getting warmer. That means the 2017 construction season is upon us. The city of Sylvania has several capital improvement projects planned for 2017. Some are being financed in part by State of Ohio grant funds. All will be publicly bid or utilize State of Ohio prebid term prices to take advantage of the competitive prices available. No tax increases or property owner assessments will be made. All of these projects will improve Sylvania and help keep our community one of the best places to live and work in northwest Ohio.

Residential Street Microsurfacing-Sylvania will continue its microsurfacing improvements utilizing the Ohio Department of Transportation Cooperative Program to provide pavement rehabilitation on approximately 3.97 miles of residential streets with a budget of $197,640.39. Microsurfacing consists of applying a polymer-modified asphalt emulsion based resurfacing material to the existing pavement surface. This application will provide a hard wearing surface on structurally sound pavements with the primary goal of extending pavement life by covering cracks, stopping unraveling, reducing water infiltration and oxidation deterioration. The following roadways have been field reviewed and found to be suitable for this application in 2017: Abbey Run, Addington Lane, Brookline Road, Callaway Green, Charlesgate Road, Coppersmith Road, Cornwall Court, Denbridge Drive, Fifth Avenue, Framingham Drive, Kingsbridge Drive, Longfellow Road, Margate Boulevard, McCord Road, Newcastle Drive, Rodeo Drive, Stonehenge Drive, Victoria Court, Wedgewood Drive, Wickford Drive (East & West), Woodhall Drive, Worth Avenue.

Another $127,000.00 in street improvements are budgeted around the city, together with $100,000.00 in Monroe Street corridor improvements.

The largest capital improvement project for 2017 is the River Trail Phase II construction. Under planning and design for several years, the project is now ready to proceed with bidding and construction later this year and finishing up in 2018. The River Trail will be extended east from Harroun Road, through the Flower Hospital Campus, under US 23 using the existing highway bridges, and up to Monroe Street adjacent to the recently reopened Burger King restaurant. Cost is estimated at $2,300,000.00, with more than 70% funded with grant money, including $400,000.00 from Flower Hospital.

The city is also participating in completing the Sylvania-Metamora Multi-Use Trail in conjunction with Lucas county and The Olander Park System in the amount of $35,000.00.

Two major studies are being funded this year. First a Monroe Street/US 23 Feasibility Study for future improvements at a cost of $300,000.00. Also, an inspection and study of large sanitary sewer pipe serving the city, some 50 years old, at a cost of $197,750.00.

Capital funds are also being used to update or replace city equipment and facilities. Among them is a new dump truck, a one-ton truck, a salt conveyor, fuel dispensers and two police vehicles. A traffic signal inventory is being conducted this year. Also this year, HVAC systems are being updated at city hall and the parks building.

 

MAYOR’S MESSAGE – 02.21.17

Regional Water Discussion
by Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough
PUBLICATION DATE: 02.17.17

Mayor Craig Stough

Mayor Craig Stough

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may have been reading or hearing about the regional water system discussions underway. Let me give you an update from the city of Sylvania’s perspective.

Fresh water is and should continue to be a great asset for northwest Ohio. While other regions of the country are parched and short of water, our region has access to vast amounts of fresh water at comparatively low cost. This water should be a great asset for economic development, but unfortunately, it is muddled in politics, monopolies and distorted pricing contracts. Add in the 2014 water crisis when 500,000 residents were forced onto bottled water and businesses had to close due to algae contamination, and water is not the regional asset it should be.

To address the safety issue, Toledo has started a $500 million safety, redundancy and modernization program at its Collins Park water plant as mandated by the Ohio EPA. The 10 suburban contract customers will end up paying for about half of those improvements if they remain customers of the Toledo water system.

The problem is that Toledo is not currently offering those 10 customers any real governance or ownership participation in their water plant in return for their large investment. As a result, most of the suburbs are reviewing other water delivery options when their customer contracts expire in the mid-2020s. Waterville is already leaving the Toledo system and joining with Bowling Green. Perrysburg and Maumee are looking at joining with northern Wood County. And as you know, Sylvania has been studying construction of a water plant for decades, on its own or possibly with Monroe County. Oregon already has its own water system and has for many years.

The most cost efficient option for all of the contract customers is to stay with and work with the Toledo system. Building new, separate systems will cost much more in the short term, but at least we will have something to show for our investment in 20 or 30 years. And yes, we would eventually have lower water prices in 20 or 30 years than staying with Toledo under the current Toledo water monopoly, just as we have had by participating in the Lucas County sanitary sewer system.

What I am hoping for is that Toledo will recognize the need to eventually share some governance and ownership of the Collins Park treatment plant in a fair manner so that all participants can benefit. This could be accomplished contractually or by establishing an ORC 6119 utility. Either way, the 10 suburban customers are asking for a return on their investment of millions of dollars in the Collins Park water plant improvements. Without that investment from the suburbs, water rates inside Toledo will at least triple.

Hopefully, regional water cooperation will be the outcome of the current discussions. Otherwise, the region could end up with several competing water plants and higher prices for everyone. Many challenges lie ahead, but at least all parties are at the table and participating in the talks. Although the outcome is still unsure, we are further along toward the real cooperation needed than ever before.

The Collins Park water plant opened in 1941 and cost $10,000,000 to construct, half paid by the city of Toledo and half by a federal grant.

The interior of the plant is being restored and modernized.

 

 

MAYOR’S MESSAGE – 01.17.17

City of Sylvania Update 
by Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough
PUBLICATION DATE: 01.17.17

Mayor Craig Stough

Mayor Craig Stough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mayor craig pix003 (1)

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at the Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce and give an update about the city of Sylvania, and I would like to share the same information with you.

Sylvania is a great place to be! We have excellent schools, great recreation programs and venues, desirable neighborhoods and housing stock, excellent healthcare services, an active senior center, solid infrastructure and efficient city services. Sylvania’s quality of life continues to be among the highest in the region, and quality of life is the main reason people and business come to Sylvania.

For Sylvania to remain competitive with other communities, however, we must continue improving all that the community has to offer.  The city of Sylvania is nearly built-out with little undeveloped land, and is no longer an outer ring community.  We are redeveloping old sites, updating our infrastructure and improving our city services while making them more efficient.

The city is also improving its “curb appeal” appearance to attract new residents and businesses with street improvements, better signage (and removing old signs), street light improvements, attractive street banners and more flowers on the streets and bridges. We also have a new library on King Road, and the library on Monroe Street is planned for expansion and remodeling.

City infrastructure was improved last year with the repaving of King Road south of Sylvania and Harroun Road north of the Ottawa River.  Expanded parking was added behind the courthouse to open up more parking for the downtown, and the existing courthouse parking lots were improved.

Phase II of the River Trail is ready to bid with more than two-thirds funded by state of Ohio grants, and will provide a walking/biking path connecting east and west Sylvania under US 23. We have recently been notified of OPWC grants to rebuild Main Street north of Ten Mile Creek and Sylvania Avenue between McCord and King in cooperation with Lucas County.

The downtown continues to welcome new businesses and is growing stronger and attracting more events and economic activity.  Vacant buildings have been sold to new owners for redevelopment.

ProMedica opened its new $37 million Health and Wellness Center that brought 350 employees to Sylvania. A new Heartland Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center is also open on the ProMedica Flower Hospital campus.

Land for new development created by clearing old buildings east of the downtown hotel has been marketed and city council is currently reviewing two offers for development of the site.  Underutilized sites around the city are being reviewed for reinvestment and redevelopment.  City council has approved updates and expansion of Community Reinvestment Areas to encourage redevelopment.

The 2017 city operating budget is balanced with no services cut, no employees laid off and no taxes raised. Operations have been made more efficient, overtime has been reduced and equipment life extended. Income tax receipts for 2016 were up due to increased employment in the city.

All in all, the future looks bright for Sylvania!
Sylvania is a great place for families and business!

MAYOR’S MESSAGE – Ready for winter

by Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough
PUBLICATION DATE: 11.15.16

Mayor Craig Stough

Mayor Craig Stough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready for winter:

The city of Sylvania readies for what is predicted to be a harsher winter.

The city of Sylvania readies for what is predicted to be a harsher winter.

 

With leaf collection winding down, city of Sylvania street division crews are now focusing on roadway snow and ice removal.  They are removing the leaf boxes from the trucks and installing snowplows, salt spreaders, brine tanks and spreaders for the coming winter season.

Snow and ice removal is a big job in the city of Sylvania with over 73 miles of roadway to keep clear. During last winter, city of Sylvania workers spent 598 hours, spread 743 tons of road salt and used 31,237 gallons of brine to remove snow and ice from the roads.

Brine is being used much more frequently as a more efficient way to keep the roads clear before snow and ice have a chance to build up. A new brine mixer is being purchased this year to help speed with brine spreading prior to approaching storms.

The city of Sylvania has seven trucks equipped with 10’ wide snow plows and salt spreaders. Two of these trucks are also equipped with liquid brine spreaders to pretreat roads prior to predicted winter storms.

Last year, City Council voted to have snow emergencies declared whenever four or more inches of snow is forecast or accumulates on the streets. During these snow emergencies, there will be no parking permitted on city streets to allow the snow plows to efficiently clear the streets, and also keep the streets wide enough for emergency vehicles to respond to calls for service.

Any vehicles parked in the streets during snow emergencies will be subject to ticketing and towing. Residents will be notified of snow emergencies through the media and by the Sylvania Alerts System, which residents can subscribe to without cost by visiting lucascountyalerts.com.

Residents are also reminded of the requirement to clear sidewalks in front of their property by the next morning following a snowstorm. Though most residents clear their sidewalks, the city always receives complaints about those who don’t.

Snow and ice removal often keeps the trucks on the road 24 hours a day until the roads are clear. The heavier the storm, the longer the clearing process. The trucks will clear main roads first and then make one pass on all residential streets, following predetermined routes, then return for a second pass to widen residential streets out to full width.

Let’s hope we don’t have too many severe storms this winter. Long-range weather forecasts are calling for more wintery weather this year than last year’s milder winter. Let’s hope we don’t have too much severe winter weather, but when we do have storms, our city crews and equipment are ready.

 

MAYOR’S MESSAGE – River Trail Grant Announced

by Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough
PUBLICATION DATE: 11.15.16

Mayor Craig Stough

Mayor Craig Stough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


River Trail Grant Announced

The city of Sylvania has been notified of an $850,000.00 grant from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund to help pay for construction of Phase 2 of the River Trail. This large grant means the project is now funded and ready to proceed with bidding and construction in early 2017.

The total River Trail Phase 2 construction cost estimate is $2,330,000. Two other grants have previously been received:  $400,000 from Ohio Capital Improvements House Bill 497 with the help of Representative Barbara Sears, and $400,000 generously pledged from Flower Hospital. The remaining $680,000 will be paid with City of Sylvania Capital Improvement funds.

Phase 2 will extend the ADA accessible River Trail east from Harroun Road, along the south bank of the Ottawa River through the north end of the Flower Hospital campus, under the current US 23 bridges and up to Monroe Street adjacent to the northbound US 23 exit ramp, a total length of 0.65 mile.

The Trail will be asphalt pavement with passive lighting and security cameras. Some areas of the trail inside the Ottawa River floodway will be elevated on concrete bridge decking, providing beautiful views of natural areas not currently accessible much of the year.

Further, Phase 2 will provide a more scenic and quieter pedestrian route to cross US 23. Currently there are only two roadways inside Sylvania that cross US 23 – Monroe Street and Main Street. Neither are very comfortable pedestrian pathways due to the large amount of traffic and the narrow sidewalks. Once completed, Phase 2 of the River Trail will provide a far more pleasant pedestrian path, connecting sidewalks along Monroe Street to the Flower Hospital campus, Harroun Park and downtown Sylvania.

Phase 1 of the River Trail opened in June, 2012 at a cost of $1,362,000, with grant funds paying $688,000 of the cost. Phase 1 is 0.6 miles long and includes a 100-foot long bridge over Ten Mile Creek.

The River Trail provides a recreational opportunity for our residents, as well as helping attract new businesses to downtown Sylvania. It provides a direct pedestrian connection from the downtown to the Flower Hospital campus and soon to Monroe Street. Our riverfront areas are an asset to our community and the River Trail opens them up for more visibility, use and enjoyment.

 

 

 

MAYOR’S MESSAGE – Refinancing Existing Sylvania City Bonds

by Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough
PUBLICATION DATE: 10.18.19

Mayor Craig Stough

Mayor Craig Stough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City offices are housed within the municipal building.

City offices are housed within the municipal building.

Sylvania City Council has authorized the city finance department to pursue refinancing $14,940,000 of existing city of Sylvania bonds issued in 2011 and 2008 in order to take advantage of the current lower interest rates.  The refinancing is anticipated to reduce interest expenses by an estimated $1,447,580 over the remaining life of the 20 year bonds.

Two electronic sales of bond refinancing will be taking place.  Before the end of 2016, $9,755,000 of bonds issued in 2011 will be sold.  The original amount of the bond issue was $13,575,000 but has been reduced by the payments made to date.  The bonds were issued to finance the new elevated water tank and a number of street improvements around the city.  It is estimated the refinancing will save $1,018,453 in interest, or about $68,000 per year.

During the fourth quarter of 2017, a second bond sale to refinance $5,185,000 of bonds issued in 2008 will be pursued.  The bonds were issued primarily for street improvements.  It is estimated the refinancing will save $429,127 in interest, or about $40,000 per year.

The refinancing will not extend the original 20-year repayment schedule of the bonds, with maturity still to occur in 2031 and 2028.  Further, all savings will be used toward street and infrastructure improvements and will not be used for operations.  The exact savings will be determined by the interest rates bid at the time of the bond sales.

The city of Sylvania is not selling any new debt this year.  The amount of city bonded debt remains below the permitted legal limit and is about average for a city of Sylvania’s size.  The use of these long-term bonds has allowed the city to update and expand its infrastructure and to pay for those improvements over the course of their useful life.

MAYOR’S MESSAGE – Senior Center Congratulations

by Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough
PUBLICATION DATE: 10.04.16

Mayor Craig Stough

Mayor Craig Stough

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to the Sylvania Senior Center on again receiving National Accreditation from the National Institute of Senior Centers/National Council on Aging. Only 120 senior centers, or less than one percent of the 15,000 senior centers in America, have been so recognized.

Accreditation is based on excellence in nine areas: purpose and planning, community connections, governance, administration and human resources, program development and implementation, evaluation, fiscal and asset responsibility, records and reports, and facility/operations.

The Sylvania Senior Center has been in operation for 38 years – the first 24 years of which were in the basement of the old and now demolished Burnham Building. The last 14 years have been in their beautiful newer building on Sylvania Avenue next to Tam-O-Shanter.

pic for mayors message

The Sylvania Senior Center

In 2001, the city of Sylvania reached out for help and received financial support from the state of Ohio Capital Improvements Fund, the Lucas County Area Office on Aging and Sylvania Township to join in paying for the new center’s construction. Bonds were issued by the city and are being paid down by regular payments from the city and the Township.

Prior to authorizing construction, the city required a senior operating levy be approved by Sylvania city and township voters to support the ongoing operation of the center. The .32 mil operating levy was first passed 16 years ago, was renewed in 2005 and 2010 and increased to .42 mil last year. The center also receives about $90,000.00 of support annually from the Lucas County Area Office on Aging.

The Senior Center annually serves nearly 3,000 area seniors, and about 265 on a daily basis, with a staff of four full time and seven part-time staff and volunteers. The programs it offers help seniors remain independent in their homes, decreases isolation and provides transportation. Programming includes health and wellness, education opportunities, outreach, supportive services and recreation.

Our award winning Senior Center is an asset to the Sylvania community. Their slogan is “nationally accredited and locally committed.” The Center improves the quality of life for our senior citizens, while at the same time making our community more desirable and keeping our property values higher.

Congratulations to the Sylvania Senior Center!

MAYOR’S MESSAGE – Sisters of St. Francis Centennial

by Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough
PUBLICATION DATE: 09.13.16

Mayor Craig Stough

Mayor Craig Stough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Franciscan Village sign on the corner of Convent Blvd. and Main Street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sylvania-based Sisters of St. Francis are celebrating the 100 years of mission and ministry since their founding in 1916. Their presence in Sylvania is a great treasure and resource for our residents and our quality of life. To the Sisters of St. Francis: thank you for all you do and congratulations for 100 years of service and vision!

The nearly 200 Sisters of St. Francis work in a variety of ministries in 12 states and Haiti, including education, healthcare, pastoral work, social work, environmental stewardship, social justice and world peace.  Here in Sylvania, their campus is a beautiful and serene setting of unique buildings, greenspace, enlightenment and cultural treasures.

The Sisters sponsor Lourdes University, which offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs, and brings to Sylvania all the programming and resources of higher education. Most recently, they have partnered with Sylvania Schools to improve Northview Cat Stadium and are opening a new campus recreation center bringing collegiate-level athletic competition to Sylvania.

Also in the Sylvania area, the Sisters have founded and continue to sponsor Bethany House, Sophia Center, Rosary Care Center, Our Lady of Grace Hall assisted living, Convent Park senior apartments, the Franciscan Center and Appold Planetarium.  The Sisters and their programs in Sylvania have greatly impacted and enriched many of our lives.

The Sisters of St. Francis began on Dec. 8, 1916, when Mother Adelaide Sandusky, along with twenty-two other Sisters, responded to a call from Toledo Bishop Joseph Schrembs to come to Ohio from Rochester, Minn., and educate the children of Polish immigrants. Over the years, they taught in numerous Catholic grade schools in northwest Ohio and at Toledo Central Catholic High School. I am sure there are many here in Sylvania who had them once as teachers.

My own memories of the Sisters of St. Francis began while in high school. With views along Convent Blvd. and from Sylvania High School into their campus, which in the 1960s was private, it was mysterious to me and my fellow students. But over the years, starting with the Franciscan Center, the beauty, resources and treasures of their campus have been opened up and shared with us.

Like many of you, I would occasionally see Sisters dressed in their traditional habits around Sylvania. Sister Sheila Shea, as director of the Franciscan Center, was the first Sister I came to know and became a good friend as she joined to help with several Sylvania committees and commissions.  Today I am truly fortunate to know and count as friends many of these unique and talented women who constantly work for a better quality of life for all.

The Sisters are planning a Centennial Gala and Celebration on Saturday, Sept. 24.  They welcome any and all of us to attend and help celebrate and honor their diverse ministries.  Tickets are available at sistersosf.org for what will surely be a memorable evening.

On behalf of the citizens of Sylvania, thank you and congratulations to the Sisters of St. Francis for all you have brought and continue to bring to our community. You enrich our lives and broaden our horizons.  Best wishes always as you celebrate your centennial!

Tell Us Your GOOD NEWS!

E-mail: SylvaniaAdvantage@gmail.com
Phone: (419) 824-0100
Address: 5655 N. Main #1 Sylvania, OH 43560


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