Sylvania Twp. lieutenant promoted to deputy fire chief

Trustees decline to OK vote on TARTA

Mike Froelich, who began his career at Station 3, completed fire-inspector training at Station 3.
Mike Froelich, who began his career at Station 3, completed fire-inspector training at Station 3.

The Sylvania Township trustees hired a new deputy fire chief last week.

He's Mike Froelich, who was promoted from lieutenant and will be paid $72,000 annually as deputy chief.

Mr. Froelich joined the department in 1988 and began his career at Station 3. He later moved to Station 2, where he completed his training as a fire inspector.

He then was reassigned to Station 1 as part of the team of fire safety inspectors who completed inspections during the day and returned to an engine company at night.

He was promoted to lieutenant in 2001 and became a shift commander at Station 4.

His true love is fire prevention.

"I feel Mike's qualifications in the fire prevention field and his desire to make this community a safe place to work and live will truly be an asset to our department," Fire Chief Jeff Kowalski told the trustees.

In other action, the board declined to authorize an issue on the November ballot asking voters if the township should opt out of TARTA after hearing from the township's legal counsel.

Lucas County Assistant Prosecutor John Borell told the trustees that state legislation permitting member communities to leave TARTA on their own wouldn't go into effect until Sept. 29 and any action they took before then would be void.

Under a provision in Ohio's biennial budget bill this year, TARTA member communities will have until Nov. 5, 2013, to hold votes on their transit authority memberships. The provision was inserted by State Rep. Randy Gardner (R., Bowling Green) at the behest of Perrysburg, which for years has said its service was a poor value for the taxes paid to TARTA. The transit authority's other members are Toledo, Sylvania, Ottawa Hills, Maumee, Spencer Township, Waterville, and Rossford.

Current law requires members who want to exit to obtain the unanimous consent of the other member communities, a virtual impossibility.

If a community, under the new law, decided to opt out, the transit authority would continue to provide service for six months. Afterward, such service could continue under contract.

Trustee Kevin Haddad has said he has a service proposal from TLC Transportation, of Toledo, that would cost the township an estimated $733,750 a year to operate, slightly more than one-third of what township property owners pay TARTA in taxes.

Mr. Haddad said the service would consist of five buses operating 12 hours a day, six days a week.

The trustees are inclined to vote for the opt out measure. Before they tabled the matter, city of Sylvania resident Cindy Shunk, who is blind, spoke in favor of the bus service.

"I depend on TARTA for everything," she said and asked how the township's new service could be used by city residents.

In other action, the applicant for a zoning change at 3619 Holland-Sylvania Rd. agreed to resubmit his request under a planned unit development when it became clear the trustees would not approve the change from A-4 rural residential to C-4 professional business office.

Geoge Oravecz said his clients were a married couple who are physicians and wanted to build a 12,000-square-foot medical office building on the site, which has two single-family homes on 1.38 acres.

Township zoning officials believed a medical office would be too intense a use for the area and recommended turning down the request as submitted. A planned unit development would give the township more control over the project.