Lemon, St. Clair voters approve fire levies

Two Butler County townships approved fire levies in Tuesday’s primary election.

Lemon Twp. voters approved the renewal of a five-year, 3.8-mill fire and EMS levy by an unofficial, final vote of 63 for the levy and 13 against, according to the Butler County Board of Elections.

In 2019, the levy generated about $101,000 to cover the costs of fire/EMS service that is contracted from the city of Monroe, according to township fiscal officer Rita Tannreuther.

The renewed levy will cost about $202 a year for an average priced home in Lemon Twp., according to the Butler County Auditor’s Office.

“We’re glad to see citizens wanting to keep this service,” said Lemon Twp. Trustee Kevin Majors.

In St. Clair Twp., voters approved an additional 3.5-mill continuing operating levy by an unofficial, final vote of 301 for the levy to 196 against the levy, according to the Butler County Board of Elections.

According to the Butler County Auditor’s Office, the new additional levy will cost $103 a year for the owner of an average priced home in St. Clair Twp. In 2019, a pair of fire levies, a life squad and ambulance levies generated about $635,000, according to the county auditor’s office.

Fire Chief Larry Anglin said the new fire levy will eventually replace a pair of five-year levies, a 0.5-mill fire levy renewed in 2017 and a 0.75-mill levy renewed in 2018. Anglin said the older smaller levies will not be renewed when they expire.

He said the additional funding will be used to upgrade equipment such as Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus tanks, the replacement of radios and looking at the future purchase of a fire truck and tanker that are nearing the end of the service life.

Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds said he was “surprised, if not shocked” by the tax increases voters continue to pass. “We receive a constant stream of calls regarding high taxes while time after time levies passed with little opposition,” he said. “Sending more money to your local government will not guarantee better services.”

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