Franklin Twp. placing fire levy on November ballot

11:24 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017 Warren County
Franklin Twp. voters will decide on a new 4.31-mill fire levy this November that will enable paid part-time firefighters to be on duty during daytime hours on weekdays and to cover other operating costs. ED RICHTER/STAFF

Voters in the unincorporated portions of Franklin Twp. will see a fire levy on the ballot in November.

Township trustees voted 2-1 during a special meeting Monday to place an additional, continuing 4.31-mill fire levy on the Nov. 7 ballot.

The cost to the owner of a home valued at $150,000 would be about $150.85 per year if the levy is approved.

If approved by voters in November, the levy would generate $950,000 a year to cover the personnel costs of five full-time shifts and 20 part-time shifts per week.

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The township would be able to implement a plan for a combination of part-time and full-time staffing during daytime hours when the current members are at their full-time jobs and unable to respond to calls, said township Administrator Traci Stivers.

The shifts would be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., five days a week.

In addition, the additional funding would be used to replace fire trucks and other equipment.

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The township fire district operates two 1-mill fire levies which have eroded over time to a 0.39-mill levy approved in 1983, and a 0.3-mill levy that was approved in 1979. Both levies together generates $160,000 a year. Any expenses over that come from the township’s general fund.

According to the township, the average expenses over the past four years is $218,070. Stivers said there has been a drop in salaries as the fire district has lost a number of volunteers over the past few years.

Trustee Beth Callahan voted against placing the levy on the ballot because township residents would be paying more property tax millage that residents in the city of Franklin and are not promising better service.

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