Township Topics – FIRST FEB 2019

–by Mike Jones

Housing permits
Permits for construction of single-family homes in Sylvania Township have hovered just under–and once at–100 annually over the last few years. Year-end figures for 2018 show a dramatic increase, ending the year at 123. Karlene Henderson, manager of the zoning and planning office, said the increase is not due to any single subdivision or development but is an across-the-board interest in home building in the township. The total value of the homes to be built is about $30 million.
In 2017, 93 permits were issued with a total valuation of about $22 million. The most recent year the township exceeded 100 permits was 2006 when 134 were issued. The lowest number recently was 28 issued in 2009.

New Hires
The Sylvania Township trustees have approved the hiring of two utility workers for the road department. One of those hires will fill a space left by the retirement of a longtime employee and the other will represent an increase of one. Utility workers are the ones we see plowing snow, vacuuming leaves and paving roads.
When hired, the new utility workers will mark the first time since 2012 that the department has had more than seven such employees.
Rob Nash, superintendent of the road department, said that in 2007 it was determined that the number of utility workers should be reduced from 12 to 7. At one time, the 12 were responsible for 112.4 miles of roadway. There are now just under 133 miles. He said he wasn’t going to argue about the earlier reduction in manpower, but this increase was needed.

Township Police have a New Look
You may have noticed the difference.
Or are you trying to put your finger on the difference?
The difference I’m talking about is the color of the uniforms worn by Sylvania Township police officers. Instead of the township’s traditional tan/brown uniforms, they are now clad in the more nationally traditional dark blue.
Deputy Chief Jim Rettig said he was among officers who weren’t originally pleased by the plan to change, but when the color green came into the mix, the decision was clear, even if reluctant.
Uniform supply companies all have stacks and stacks of shirts, pants, jackets and other items in blue, but not in the tan color a Sylvania Township officer might need. The simple answer is blue is cheaper and readily available.
Chief Rettig said officers are responsible for their uniforms and are given a $700 annual stipend to replace worn or damaged items.
Because uniform supply companies keep a large number of blue uniform components on hand, but not as many in tan, the ability to quickly replace any item is enhanced and less expensive.
It doesn’t happen often he said, but an officer could be down to less than the number of items he should have and that night both his shirt and pants are torn chasing some guy over fences.
“It’s not just the cost, but he needs them replaced right away, and that can’t be guaranteed,” Chief Rettig said. That shouldn’t be a problem in the future.
Police officers have agreed to give up this year’s clothing stipend so the funds can go toward the changeover.
Police Chief Paul Long said he will also use money from the Furtherance of Justice Fund for the initial purchase.

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