Voters approve 2-mill fire/EMS levy

Expanded services, equipment replacement on the way in Madison Twp.

MADISON TWP. — Fire Chief Kent Hall said Tuesday evening, May 4, was “a good night to live in Madison Twp.”

Madison Twp. voters passed a 2-mill fire and emergency services levy by a margin of 320 votes, according to final, unofficial results from the Butler County Board of Elections.

Hall said his department will not have to meet with the township’s administrator to establish a plan for cuts.

“We’ll be expanding EMS service in the township, take care of our volunteers who get minimal pay for their duties and set up a capital fund so we can start replacing some outdated equipment,” Hall said. “This is absolutely awesome news.”

The levy will provide the fire department with an additional $394,000 in funding per year, in addition to the township’s ongoing 1-mill levy that was passed in 1981. Township officials said the combined levies will cost the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $75 annually.

Unofficial results from the Butler County Board of Elections show a total of 1,398 votes cast on the issue, with 61.4 percent, or 859, voting for the levy and 38.6 percent, or 539, voting against it.

Computer problems prevented a small party gathered at the township’s main fire department from keeping up on the latest vote tallies, though dispatchers made an announcement shortly after final results came in to let everyone know the fate of the levy.

The Madison Twp. Fire Department costs approximately $400,000 annually to operate, according to township officials.

The new levy not only helps reduce the economic strain on the township’s general fund, but Hall said the money it generates will ultimately allow his department to set aside funds for bigger gear and equipment purchases down the road.

Prior to the levy, Fiscal Officer Amy Schenck said the 40 volunteers who make up the township fire department received a paltry $10 stipend per run, prior to taxes being taken out. That token amount did not change regardlessof the volunteers being called in for a 5-minute run or a 5-hour ordeal.

Schenck said the goal in seeking the 2-mill levy was to avoid coming back to ask voters for further funding for a long time.

A similar 2-mill levy failed last November by a margin of just 26 votes, which Hall admits left a bad taste in his mouth.

“This is a heck of a lot better than losing by 26,” he joked.

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