Township begins making plans following passage of fire levy


By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Voters in Madison Township approved a 5.25 mill permanent levy on May 5 by a count of 1,096 to 945, a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent.

The levy will finance the construction of a new $3.6 million fire station (to be located at 3232 Noe-Bixby Road, a site once  occupied by a vacant apartment complex); provide a new medic, equipment and staff; provide operating costs; and update equipment elsewhere in the department.

The levy will not generate funds until 2016 and will cost the owner of home with a $100,000 valuation approximately $15 a month or $180 a year.

Donation of the land for the fire station to the township by the Franklin County Land Bank saved the township approximately $140,700, according to the parcel’s estimated market value.

Madison Township Fire Chief Robert Bates said the township will start the process of designing specifications for replacement equipment, such as a new engine, and possibly placing an order for a new medic unit before the end of the year.

“We will also begin working on proposals for architectural services so we can hire an architect to design the station,” said Bates. “It is important to remember we will not receive the funds until 2016 and we cannot proceed with portions of the work, such as hiring the architect, until we have the funds.”

Bates said the actual timeline for the construction of the station is groundbreaking most likely in early 2017 and opening sometime in the second quarter of 2018.

“There are any number of things, such as weather and availability of materials that can change this, so right now these are just projections,” said Bates.

Fire and medical emergency run volume increased more than 50 percent since voters last approved a new fire levy nearly 13 years ago. Madison Township Trustee Gary McDonald said the last time the northern section of the township had a local fire station was more than 30 years ago.

According to Bates, annual calls for service in 2002 were approximately 3,600. In 2014 there were 6,295 calls and Bates does not see the number dropping with commercial and residential development on the rise.

“The addition of a third station will result in reduced response times throughout the township because we will have a station located in all three of the population centers in the township,” said Bates. “This reduces the number of times the current two have to respond to one of the other population centers because there is not a unit located there or the unit assigned to that area is already assigned to an incident.”

Bates said the department thanks the community and those who came out and supported the levy.

“We look forward to continuing to serve the residents of Madison Township, Canal Winchester and Groveport and providing them with quality service,” said Bates.

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