BY DIANNE ROZAK, Danbury Township Trustee
The past year was exceptionally full with several projects underway and many more completed in Danbury Township 2022.
Road Superintendent Brett Waldron and his staff performed exemplary work in maintaining parks, roads and other township property. The department attended to 24 funeral services and mowed and trimmed Sackett Cemetery 40 times.
Residential “free mulch days” were held, brush and leaf drop-off was well-received and one professional brush grinding was completed. Two township residential clean-up weeks were highly successful and will be held again this year in June and September. Township employees will assist staff from Cyclone Services during these Tuesday through Saturday clean-ups.
Dike repair at Meadowbrook Marsh was completed and vegetation control applied to the phragmite. The department spent 478 hours mowing township properties exclusive of many hours of trimming. Dead or hazardous trees as well as brush in the township road rights of way and parks were removed and ditches were monitored and cleaned as needed.
Ebert Court, Parkview Court and Rockport Drive were paved. Reclamite was applied to Mistic Bay Point and Meter Road. Delivery was taken on a new salt hopper and new Holland backhoe.
Crack sealing was applied where needed and 300 tons of salt obtained through the ODOT state purchasing program and added to the 300 tons remaining from 2021. The new salt and material storage building at the rear of the police and maintenance facility on Bridge Road is now fully functional.
Two standby generators were installed for the police station and township hall. PMBA Architects were hired to conduct a feasibility study for the future maintenance facility and to design a new fuel depot at 419 Bridge Road. The township hall meeting room floor was repaired and included structural reconstruction along with floor refinishing. The dog park received upgrades including two shelter house and trees.
A new roundabout, the first in Ottawa County, was quickly and successfully constructed at the State Route 163 intersection of North Shore Blvd. and Englebeck Road.
The Police Department, managed by Chief Michael Meisler, consisted of eight full-time officers and one part-time officer providing protection 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with nine marked and two unmarked vehicles. The officers drove 160,320 miles patrolling during 2022. Total incidents were 3,840, up 144 incidents from last year.
The department handled one incident in Marblehead and 194 in Lakeside. The department has a regular presence at Danbury Schools where the DARE program is taught by Officer Brad LaMarca. The department at 419 S. Bridge Rd. offers secure document shredding and prescription disposal, house watch and senior watch. Call 419-732-2549 to make arrangements for these free services.
The Danbury Township Fire Department led by Chief Keith Kahler reported 1,093 incidents in 2022, up 113, with 947 EMS calls, 30 fire calls, 32 motor vehicle accidents, 76 fire alarm activations, 5 carbon monoxide activations and 3 mutual aid calls. The department roster hovers around 40.
The new fire station on East Harbor Road, just west of North Shore Blvd., was completed and a well-attended open house was held Oct. 15. The department is always in need of additional part-time staff. Township residency is preferred, but not required. Full training and all equipment is provided and no experience is necessary.
The Danbury Township Zoning Department, singularly overseen by Kathryn Dale, continues to be the center for residential and business growth and expansion with 301 permits issued, 13 more than 2021. Between 2018 – 2022, the average number of permits issued per year has been 277. Single family home permits totaled 32 which was two less than the prior year.
Commercial activity compared to 2021 was comparable in numbers but higher in square footage. Permit fees totaling $29,267 were up by $1,200 from 2021. Residential improvements continued in large numbers (155).The Board of Zoning Appeals heard 41 cases and the Zoning Commission heard 7 cases.
Dale responded to 7,735 calls, emails and in-person inquiries, went on 1,022 site visits and sent 58 violation letters.
Funds from the Ottawa County Parks District allowed improvements to Meadowbrook Marsh including an ADA concrete pathway to the Rainbow Ridge Memorial, a new information sign, park benches, asphalt repair and a soon-to-be installed shelter house.