Mike Jones

Year to date budget
With three-fourths of Sylvania Township’s budget year in the books, David Simko, the township’s chief financial officer, told trustees he was pleased with the financial situation.
Simko said that the income portion of the budget is determined by the township’s share of taxes and other predictable sources, but it is up to the staff and managers of township departments to keep an eye on spending to keep the books in balance. At the most recent meeting of the township trustees, Simko said that each of the township’s four departments had expenditures of 70 percent or less at a point where 75 percent could be expected.
“The spending is staying under control and that’s a real good thing,” he told trustees.
In recent years, he said, budget negotiations always start out with a clean slate. The township administration doesn’t penalize a department that has come in well under budget for the preceding year. He said some places will take the attitude that if you didn’t need it last year, you won’t need it this year. That attitude often leads departments to overspend some years so they aren’t penalized.
The Sylvania Township budgeting process also isn’t puffed up so that coming in under budget is easy. He said he thinks the benefits of an honest, collaborative budgeting process are clear.
At the end of September the general fund had spent about $1.2 million or 63.9 percent of its annual budget. The road department had spent a little under $1.4 million, only 41.5 percent of its budget. He noted that that percentage is likely to rise when bills are paid for late road work and leaf collection. The fire department had spend about $6.4 million, or 70 percent of its budget, and police had expenditures of almost $5.4 million, or 69 percent of its budget.
Housing Permits
The surge last year in single-family housing permits in Sylvania Township has abated, but the value per dwelling has shot up substantially over the preceding year. Through September of this year, the township has issued 74 permits for the construction of single-family homes, compared to 97 permits issued through the same period last year.
Daryl Graus, manager of the township planning and zoning office, told township trustees that last year’s boom in permits for single-family houses appears to have been an anomaly with this year’s numbers more in line with other recent years.
In 2015 there were 73 such permits issued by the end of September, 75 were issued in that time frame in 2016, and 69 such permits in 2017. Last year there had been 97 permits issued by the end of September. The year ended with a total of 123 permits for single-family houses issued. The value of each dwelling this year is an average of $326,215, well above the average value last year, which through September was $253,511.
Zoning Change
The Lucas County Plan Commission has recommended approval of a request for a change in zoning from residential to commercial for a lot on Knoll Avenue. The change is sought by Taylor Family Properties, which owns the property. The application notes that the Taylor Auto dealership intends to use the property to extend the used car lot abutting 3137 Knoll.
The land currently has residential property to the north, but the dealership, 6256 Central Ave., operates on the south, west and east of the site. The change is sought to make zoning consistent for all of the properties, according to the request for the change.
Video service authorization sought
Buckeye Broadband is seeking authorization from the Ohio Department of Commerce Video Services Authorization Division to continue providing service in Sylvania Township and other local areas and to include them in its state-issued video-service authorization. In a letter to the township, the cable company said the law prohibits the extension or renewal of current franchise agreements, so further authorization from the State of Ohio is required. Other entities are the cities of Maumee, Rossford, and Oregon, the village of Harbor View, and the townships of Springfield, Washington, and Spencer.
There was a time when each local government granted individual franchises to those seeking to provide cable television service in those jurisdictions. In 2007, Ohio enacted a law taking that authority away, and granting to the Ohio Department of Commerce.
Oliver Turner, Sylvania Township administrator, pointed out that even when the original franchise was granted by trustees it wasn’t granted as being exclusive to Buckeye. Some local misconceptions about Sylvania Township’s relationship with the cable company may have been bolstered by a notice printed on each bill. It read: Your Local Franchise Authority is: Sylvania Township Trustees. When it was pointed out to Buckeye Broadband officials a few months ago, it was quickly discontinued.
John Borell, assistant Lucas County prosecutor and an attorney for the township, said at the time that he would sometimes get questions or complaints from people concerning Buckeye and he would tell them the township had nothing to do with the company. “They don’t believe me, but we don’t,” he said.
Under the current agreement, Sylvania Township collects five percent of Buckeye proceeds generated from the township. State law provides local governments with the authority to collect such revenues.
Halloween in Sylvania Township
Ghosts and goblins will be free to roam the streets of Sylvania Township Oct. 31 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., according to action taken by township trustees. The trick-or-treat time for Halloween was coordinated with and will be the same as in the city of Sylvania, according to Oliver Turner, township administrator.
In addition to the witches and warlocks wandering residential areas, there will also be an increased police presence in an effort to curb any reckless driving which might endanger costumed youngsters.
Deputy Police Chief Jim Rettig noted that officers will also try to add a little to the enjoyment for the trick-or-treaters. Chief Rettig said that, in what has become something of a tradition, officers on their way out for patrol on Halloween, will grab a bag of candy and pass out pieces when they can during the trick-or-treat time.