By Gary Budzak
Last May, voters approved a renewal levy for the Tri-Township Fire District. This May, the Fire District has another levy on the ballot.
Fire Chief Troy Morris said last year’s levy was for equipment, and next week’s is an operating levy.
“We’re not asking for anything extra, we’re just trying to maintain,” Morris said. “Everything has become more expensive, and we’re feeling it in the fire service. We’ll see if the voters want us to maintain or if we need to restructure.”
The 5.5-mill levy is for five years. According to County Auditor George Kaitsa, the annual cost to a homeowner per $100,000 of market valuation is $192.50; the annual amount to be collected by the levy is $973,743; the amount to be collected over the five-year life of the levy is $4,868,715.
If voters in the district’s five precincts approve the 5.5-mill levy, the Board of the Fire District plans to declare the current 4.5-mill levy to be unnecessary, Kaitsa said.
Morris said the current operating was passed in 2006, and helped the district to build a second station. The additional station benefits residents of Brown, Delaware and Troy townships who live outside the Delaware city limits not only in terms of safety, but it also lowers insurance rates, he said.
The downturn in the housing market affected the value of homes, leading to the additional levy, Morris said.
Morris said the fire department has four full-time salaried employees, and the rest are volunteers. He said at any given time there are five firefighters in the stations at Coover and Sunbury roads.
Tri-Township often responds to the same calls as the City of Delaware’s Fire Department, Morris said.
“The way the 9-1-1 center works is they can tell if it’s annexed or not, and they can send the responsible agency to it. But we all go, work together and deal with it. We deal with the paperwork after the problem has been resolved.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-363-1161 ext. 340 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.