–by Mike Jones
PUBLICATION DATE: June 08, 2019
Bike trail loop
Construction of the westward extension of the University Parks Trail through a portion of Sylvania Township has begun. The trail will now cross King Road, where it currently terminates, and continue for a distance of about 0.6 mile to Silica Road.
The change will create a path totaling about 7 miles from its other end near the Dorr Street entrance to the eastern end of the University of Toledo campus. The construction is along the northern end of the long-closed King Road Dump, which was fenced-off years ago after it was deemed unsafe due to hazardous materials discarded there over the years.
Testing has shown improvement to the soil quality over the years and using the northern border is considered safe. The existing fencing will be removed, and new fencing will be erected along the path. There are plans for the trail to eventually be extended further west, generally along Ten Mile Creek and then to the north to connect to Sylvan Prairie Park, part of The Olander Park System. Once that happens, users of the trail can connect to existing multipurpose trails to Sylvania-Metamora Road.
The extension currently underway is scheduled to be completed by the end of the month.
The Sylvania Township trustees have hired Ralph Cairl II as service manager, replacing the retiring Gary Cruthers. Cairl currently is the service manager at Springfield Township where he has worked since December, 2012. Cairl will be a working supervisor along with three other certified mechanics who are responsible for the maintenance and repairs of township equipment, ranging from large fire trucks to lawn mowers.
Rob Nash, road superintendent, said Cairl is certified as a master technician for autos, medium and heavy trucks. He also is certified as an emergency vehicle technician.
Most Buckeye Broadband customers have probably never noted it, but a notice on page two of each invoice says, “Your Local Franchise Authority is: Sylvania Township Trustees,” followed by an address and telephone number. On occasion, people who have an issue with their cable service or just a question will notice that and call. They are politely told that the township has no authority over and no connection with Buckeye Broadband.
Samantha Babkiewicz. administrative assistant and IT coordinator for the township, said “I always know when Buckeye bills have arrived. The problem is in convincing them that we have nothing to do with Buckeye. There is no authority.”
There was a time when local governments granted individual franchises to companies seeking to provide cable television in their jurisdictions. In 2007, a state law was enacted that took that authority from municipalities and townships and gave in to the Ohio Department of Commerce. All local contracts across the state were nullified and the department now issues what are known as video service authorizations.
John Borell, assistant Lucas County Prosecutor and an attorney for Sylvania Township, said he has fielded questions from people who have either a complaint or just a general question about the franchise. “I tell them we don’t have anything to do with it. They don’t believe me, but we don’t.”
When officials of Buckeye Broadband were recently contacted concerning the issue, the company quickly acknowledged the problem and said that future bills will reference the state commerce department and not Sylvania Township. A company official said they urge customers with an issue to please call them first.
Matthew Beredo, vice president for business and legal affairs, noted there was a time recently where the company received a communication from the state department of commerce concerning an issue a customer had. It was the first time the issue had been brought to Buckeye’s attention, he said, and it was dealt with quickly, but there had been unnecessary delay by first going to the state.