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Published: Wednesday, 9/28/2005

Sylvania: Officials move to acquire township property

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Sylvania officials are moving closer toward acquiring 260 acres of Sylvania Township property which has been the focus of an annexation fight since 2000.

City council is expected to act next month on accepting the land centered at King Road and Sylvania Avenue, and it will continue a course that should result in its becoming city property on Nov. 16.

The city's claim rests on its requirement that property owners annex if they receive city water and sewer service, which the area does receive.

Sylvania Law Director Jim Moan said it is unlikely that residents of the 130 houses in the area or those who own or work in the businesses will see much change.

One difference, he said, will be garbage pick-up at homes that will be done by city crews rather than through individual contracts between homeowners and private hauling firms.

Rather than try to make an arrangement separately with each homeowner, Mr. Moan said the city intends to pick up refuse left at the curb of those homes.

Sylvania has a charge of $111 for garbage collection but it can be reduced to individual homes based on income taxes collected by people at that residence or income level. In the instance of the new homes being brought into the city, Sylvania administrators have decided to waive any fee until the end of the year.

It will give the city a chance to determine the proper billing and for the homeowners to cancel contracts with the private companies.

Mr. Moan said that even for those who pay the full amount, it should be less than private services charge annually.

John Plock, city finance director, said he's sure they'll see an increase in income tax revenue from the change, but no projections have been made.

The city is taking Southview High School, the shopping area anchored by Kroger at the southwest corner of King and Sylvania, the medical-offices complex on the northwest corner of that intersection, and the Kingston Residence to the north of that.

The city will receive income tax revenue from people employed in the area, but how much it will total is unclear, Mr. Ploch said.

Because the township provides fire and emergency medical service to both jurisdictions, there will be no change. There will be a need to increase the area of Sylvania's police patrol, but not significantly.

Mr. Moan said Sylvania police will assign a school resource officer to Southview after the change is official.

He added that the city is preparing a packet of information that will be mailed to homeowners to make them aware of any changes they might notice and of services offered by the city.

The annexation was first denied by Lucas County commissioners, and that decision was appealed to Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

That court decision supported the commissioners, but earlier this year, the 6th District Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 that the city's annexation request should be granted.



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