Springboro area voters asked to approve additional funding for fire, emergency rescue services

Voters in Springboro and unincorporated Clearcreek Twp. will vote on an additional 3.75 mill property tax levy sought for fire and EMS services there. Pictured is the response to a recent Springboro fire.

Voters in Springboro and Clearcreek Twp. will be asked to approve an additional, continuing 3.75 mills in property tax for fire and emergency services in the Nov. 3 election.

The proposed levy is expected to cost property owners $131.25 more a year for every $100,000 in property value on their county bill, according to Warren County Auditor Matt Nolan.

Property owners in these two communities are already paying 4 mills in property tax for these services on three existing levies supporting the Clearcreek Fire District.

The fire fund has not been boosted through a new tax levy since 2001, when voters approved an additional continuing 3.85-mills.

If successful, Fire Chief Steve Agenbroad said the money would be used to build a new station serving the northwest part of the district, add staff for the station and other needs, and a community paramedic position, as well as upgrade existing equipment and the existing three fire station buildings.

The new station would serve residents and businesses on both sides of Ohio 741, Main Street in Springboro, including the Dorothy Lane Marketplace and Settlers Walk planned community.

The new station would be staffed by 15 firefighter-EMTs.

In addition, a new service would be provided by three community paramedics focused on response to non-emergency medical calls, which are about 70 percent of the calls the department receives, according to the fire district.

The levy is expected to carry the district for 15 years and help pay for improvements boosting the department’s rating with the Insurance Service Office. This should translate to lower insurance rates, especially for businesses, Agenbroad said.

“People appreciate the service we provide them,” the chief said.

The district fire budget is running at a $1.2 million a year deficit and reserve funds are expected to run out in 2022, according to Clearcreek Twp. Fiscal Officer Russell Carolus.

Agenbroad said voters understood that it was time to approve additional millage or see cuts in service.

Voters rejected a 2013 levy increase request.

No opposition has shown itself to this point. Jack Chrisman said he and the anti-tax Citizens for Responsible Spending weren’t gong to oppose Issue 6.

ExploreFire crew cut after levy loss

A social media campaign will ramp up in the weeks leading up to the election as supporters work to make up for limitations related to COVID-19 restrictions.

“It’s been challenging. We’ve made the best of it,” Agenbroad said.

Clearcreek Twp. trustees put the levy issue on the November ballot. STAFF/LAWRENCE BUDD

In Other News