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Published: 8/29/2007

Sylvania approves $1M for upgrades

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Sylvania City Council has agreed to spend more than $1 million on infrastructure improvements.

Big-ticket items include street upgrades, the purchase of a new telephone system, and traffic signal improvements.

Of several expenditures approved last week by council, the costliest was $860,345 to improve Monroe Street from U.S. 23 to Talmadge Road.

The project calls for upgrading 2.54 miles of State Rt. 51 (Monroe) by resurfacing, repairing pavement, repairing curbs, retrofitting curb ramps, and installing video loop detectors within the city.

In February, council authorized the mayor and finance director to enter into a contract with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the project.

At that time, council appropriated $596,680, but the cost to the city now is estimated at $860,345. That figure could be adjusted when actual costs are determined.

ODOT bid the project earlier this year, but bids came in over budget, and then the project was reworked, Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough said.

Plans call for the project to be bid in September, he said, and work will begin this year.

Jeffrey Ballmer, Sylvania's director of public service, said road work will be done from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m. and one lane at a time.

In other action, council accepted a proposal from Executone Communications of Sylvania for a new telephone system for the city administration, the municipal and court buildings, parks and forestry, and Harroun Park maintenance at a cost of $169,588.

In addition, the city's present data network infrastructure will reach its projected expiration this year, and other parts of the city's network components are incompatible with the new telephone system.

In response, council accepted the proposal of DMC Consulting, Inc., of Toledo to provide new network infrastructure for the city of Sylvania at a cost of $191,943.

The improvements will ensure the city has a "dependable, secure, high-speed wired and wireless network that will support computers, servers, and the new telephone system, among other things."

Mike Tansey, Sylvania's information technology manager, said purchases will result in a savings of $60,000 a year.

Mr. Tansey has customized what is needed for the city of Sylvania, said Mayor Stough, who noted that because the city has its own IT division, Sylvania is far ahead of other communities when it comes to technology.

Council also approved the purchase of a new call-recording system for the police division at a cost of $29,490 from Sound Communications, Inc., of Grove City, Ohio. The current call-recording system is out of date and not compatible with the new telephone system.

In other action, council accepted the bid of $143,883 and awarded a contract to Perram Electric, Inc., of Wadsworth, Ohio, for signal improvements along Sylvania Avenue.

The project upgrades six intersections - King/Sylvan Towne, Sylvania/Sylvan Lakes, Sylvania/King, Sylvania/Vicksburg, Sylvania/McCord, and Sylvania/Stonehenge - by providing LED lights, video detection cameras, controllers, and radios devised to interconnect the signals.

Some traffic signals will be retrofitted to add the brighter, energy-efficient LED lights and some new signal heads will be installed, Mr. Ballmer said.

Video detection cameras can detect the presence of vehicles in a turn lane, for instance, and then the traffic signal adjusts to the amount of traffic. The cameras will not be used to enforce traffic laws.

The city received some state funds to assist with the project, Mr. Stough said.

The mayor said he hopes the improvements will help traffic move better along Sylvania Avenue.

Traffic signals will be coordinated so motorists, going the proper speed, should progress through all of the intersections without having to stop for a red light, Mr. Ballmer said.

The proper speed along Sylvania Avenue from Holland-Sylvania Road to near Sylvan Lakes Drive is now 40 mph.

In conjunction with the Lucas County engineer's office, the city recently lowered the speed from 45 to 40 mph.

Crews finished posting new speed limit signs last week.

Contact Janet Romaker at: jromaker@theblade.com or 419-724-6006.



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