Madison Township to seek fire levy

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

With emergency runs pushing past the 6,000 mark and the gift of free land, Madison Township is making plans to place a permanent fire levy on the May ballot.

On Jan. 21, the Madison Township trustees approved a resolution asking the Franklin County auditor to certify the amount of revenue generated by a 5.25-mill fire levy.

If approved by voters, the township plans to build a $3.6 million station housing a new medic on a Noe-Bixby Road parcel donated to Madison Township by the Franklin County Land Bank that is the former site of a razed apartment complex.

The levy would provide funds to build, equip, staff and run the facility projected for a late 2017 or early 2018 opening.

Madison Township Fire Chief Robert Bates estimates the levy’s cost for the owner of a $100,000 home valuation to be $15 a month.

“It’ll cost residents an average of 50 cents a day based on their property value,” said Bates, who said he was confident the department would not have to ask voters for more revenue for at least eight years if the levy is approved in May.

Bates said the 5.25-mill levy, if approved, would not generate revenue until 2016 and he did not expect to break ground on the station until 2017. The levy would also help restore a financial carryover for the department.

“Our run volumes are increasing. Our budget is decreasing,” said trustee Victor Paini. “There are a lot of moving parts, but the two main are to increase service—especially to Blacklick Estates—and re-establish the carryover without incurring new debt.”

Trustee Gary McDonald said the northern portion of the township last had a local fire station 30 years ago.

“I realize times are hard,” said McDonald, a supporter of the new station. “Residents have raised concerns over the number of levies passed recently (school, etc.), but this is something long overdue. People ask me why are they paying taxes to Madison Township when they see Columbus respond to an emergency run? It’s going to take education to explain this levy to our residents. It’s going to be their choice. I don’t want Blacklick Estates to fall by the wayside.”

The fire levy resolution was the first step in placing the issue on the ballot. A special trustees’ meeting is set for Jan. 29, 6 p.m. in the Madison Township community center, 4575 Madison Lane, Groveport, to approve a resolution of intent to go to the ballot, following the county auditor’s certification of the amount of revenue generated by the levy.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Tax, tax, tax! Is that all Groveport/Madison twp know how to do? School levy, Groveport water monumental increase, among other things. When is enough enough! Also, here come the fear tactics! “If you don’t vote yes then life, as we know it, is over!) Don’t fall for it!

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