Township Fire District on ballot

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The Central Townships Joint Fire District, a new entity formed earlier this year, has placed a 4.75-mill, five-year levy on the Nov. 6 ballot.

If passed, the levy will generate $501,855 per year for fire protection for Deercreek, Monroe, Oak Run, Paint and Union townships, all of which are members of the new fire district.

Currently, funds for the fire department come from townships’ individual revenue sources, most of which are levies. If the 4.75-mill levy passes, the townships’ individual levies for fire protection would no longer be collected after Jan. 1, 2008.

The current burden on taxpayers in each township averages 1 mill or approximately $30 per year per $100,000 of property valuation. If passed, the fire district’s proposed 4.75-mill levy would cost taxpayers $145 per year per $100,000 of property valuation.

With the new levy, the fire district could solve its staffing problems. Like other all-volunteer depart-ments around the country, Central Township is having trouble finding enough volunteer fire fighters to cover the daytime hours, said Rob Turvy, a Deercreek Township trustee and member of the fire district board.

The levy would allow the fire district to hire part-time fire fighters to cover both stations, Newport and Lafayette, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, when 65 percent of Central Townships’ emergency calls come in. Volunteers would cover the evening and weekend hours.

The fire district also would hire a full-time chief to oversee the part-time employees. The administrator’s role would include scheduling, making sure state and federal mandates are met, and managing reporting systems.

For more information about the Central Townships Joint Fire District and the proposed levy, contact a fire district board member—Gary Bogenrife, Phil Eades, Dave Gallimore, Ivan Miller or Rob Turvy. Robert Dunkle is the fiscal officer.

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