By DIANNE ROZAK
Danbury Township Trustee
The diverse nature of Danbury Township is highly attractive to a well-rounded mix of people. Although our permanent population is just over 4,000, that number increases multiple times with seasonal residents, weekend visitors and so many others coming to spend a day on the lake, visit our parks and historical sites and enjoy our many locally owned businesses.
We became a township on March 6, 1840, and our name originated from settlers who arrived here from Danbury, Conn.. We are part of a larger area once known as The Firelands. Our township shares many of the same humble beginnings as Ottawa County. Fishing, farming, quarrying and fruit-growing were the major components that formed our strong and vibrant community. Even today, each of these industries are prevalent here as well as throughout the County.
Danbury encompasses an area of just under 18 square miles but we amazingly have nearly 33 miles of lake, bay and harbor shoreline. Regardless of where you live or visit in Danbury Township, you are never more than a few minutes away from a body of water.
Our Police Department, headed up by Chief Michael Meisler, employs a total of eight officers including the township’s first female officer. Our K-9 is named Joe-Joe. The police are on duty 24 hours a day with an excellent response time to situations. The police also assist Fire Chief Keith Kahler along with his 40-plus employees and volunteers of the Danbury Township Fire Department. The fire department is most grateful to residents for recently approving a levy to continue their lifesaving services. We have been fortunate to secure state-of-the-art equipment for both police and fire personnel. As with any critical service operation, both of these department heads continue to provide regular training for their staff. It’s easy to take for granted how well our township properties, roads and parks always look, regardless of the season. The leadership of Road Superintendent Brett Waldron and his three employees ensure everything within our means is done to keep the many public areas, properties and our cemetery well-maintained and safe. The responsibilities of our Zoning Department, headed by Zoning and Planning Administrator Kathryn Dale, are numerous and highly detailed. Danbury continues to be the fastest growing township in Ottawa County. Dale oversees violations, complaints and all levels of zoning issues including updating our resolution and the land use plan. She is also heavily involved with research for Board of Zoning Appeals hearings as well as Zoning Commission amendments and rezoning requests. We are fortunate to have a team of strong and responsible department heads who supervise a well-trained staff. They greatly assist me and my fellow trustees, David Hirt and John Paul Dress, and our fiscal officer Carolyn Adams as we work toward meeting the responsibilities we have to our residents. Careful budget management is a top priority for the trustees. We are not alone in seeing our general fund revenue lessen each year due to significantly reduced funding. Because of this we are no longer able to sustain certain services and operations our residents have enjoyed in the past. A small operating levy will be placed on the November ballot. Passage of this will enable the trustees to resume services to residents and be well-prepared for needed improvements that fall under the umbrella of the general fund. As we move further into this year and beyond we look forward to serving residents and visitors to our utmost ability. We are proud to live and work in a very special township abundant with history, natural resources and year-round beauty that has made us a very popular destination on the shores of Lake Erie.