Friday, Jul 29, 2016
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Sylvania, Sylvania Township: City to spend $10K to study consolidation of services

Sylvania city council has agreed to spend $10,000 on a study to determine if consolidating services with Sylvania Township would save money. Township trustees are more tentative in support, saying they want a more defined scope of the study before committing to its cost.

Trustee Carol Contrada said she was troubled by a phrase in the proposal from Public Financial Management of Cleveland stating, among other things, it would consider consolidation of the two governmental units.

The study has been promoted by Sylvania Area Community Improvement Corp. Tom Grubs, CIC president, told trustees there is no hidden agenda to seek a specific outcome. He said the CIC was approached by residents concerned that tax money is spent on services both the city and the township provide. He said that as a neutral party, the CIC is leading the effort to hire a consultant to study services. It may be that the current system may be the most efficient method of service delivery, he said, "but the truth is the truth."

Ms. Contrada said she wants the study to be undertaken but said the sense of some language in the proposal concerns her.

Mr. Grubs noted that the proposal from the consultants is preliminary and that it is planned that once there is an agreement to hire them, the parties to the study will meet and define a specific scope of work.

It was agreed that Mr. Grubs will discuss issues with the township administrator and that a proposal likely will be considered at the next trustee meeting.

The CIC has agreed to fund half of the $45,000 study. The township is being asked to pay $12,500. The shares are based on the population of each entity.

Mayor Craig Stough told city council the study is important to determine what savings might be found for operations and as a reference in discussions involving a study proposed by Toledo Mayor Jack Ford for county-wide cooperative governmental services.

The area is served by one fire department, one recreation district, and one school district. The township and city built a senior center together and they buy road salt together to save money.

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