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Published: Wednesday, 4/13/2005

Sylvania Township: Fire advisory group will include city

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Sylvania Township trustees have approved an advisory committee for the township fire department that will include Sylvania city officials as members.

Sylvania officials had wanted a joint fire district with city representation that would run the township fire department.

Although that idea was rejected by township trustees, it was agreed that a group including city representatives would be formed to oversee operations of fire and medical emergency runs.

The township owns the fire department, but it services city residents. Both support it with taxes and vote on department levy requests.

Trustees are asking for a 2.95-mill levy for operations and a 1.1-mill measure for capital improvements on the May 3 ballot.

Some City Council members have been critical of the handling of those two requests, saying the township did not include city officials early enough in the process of deciding to ask the public for the levies.

A general plan for an oversight committee was put together by Sylvania City Council president Barbara Sears and by Carol Contrada, a township trustee.

Ms. Sears acknowledged that the oversight committee will not have the authority that a joint fire district would have, but that it does give the city a closer and ongoing involvement with fire and emergency operations. Although trustees had not been willing to relinquish any control of the department, Ms. Contrada said the committee will provide a means of sharing information between the city and township that could lead to greater efficiency.

Ms. Contrada will represent the trustees on the committee and is working with Ms. Sears to determine who will be the first appointees to the body.

The city and township will each appoint three members and the Sylvania Board of Education will be asked to have a representative.

Ms. Contrada said it is planned that the initial seven members will meet to determine a specific structure for the organization and to name five to seven members from the community to the committee.

She said the additional members will be named primarily for their areas of expertise.



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