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Prairie Twp. residents may see fire levy on ballot
The Prairie Township Fire Department is looking to place a levy on the November ballot.
Prairie Township Fire Chief Steve Feustel requested the township board of trustees approve the request process for a levy amount certification at the July 14 trutee’s meeting.
The board approved the requestwhich will allow the fire department to request information from the Franklin County Auditor in regard to past levies.
This is only the beginning stage, according to Feustel, who said there were fire levies in 1993 and 1999, and the auditor’s office will have certified numbers from the levies and further information allowing the fire department to move forward.
“We can replace those levies with the exact same millage,” explained Feustel.
Feustel said there are two reasons why a levy is needed and the major reason is a plan to replace a fire engine.
“It’s 12 years old and it will take seven months to replace it. You have to plan in advance to replace it. There will be a 20 year life span on a new vehicle. It is definitely and investment,” said Feustel.
The other financial issue, according to Feustel, is ever-rising operational costs.
“Regular operating costs are a major expense. We’re like any business. Our operating costs will continue to increase,” said Fuestel, citing such expenses as an increase in the prevention bureau of the fire department.
The board did approve the resolution, however, Chairman Steve Kennedy requested Feustel have projections for the next meeting.
“I need some numbers like revenue figures, expenditures and the true carry over you anticipate and the expectation of hitting those numbers,” said Kennedy.
While no numbers were discussed by any party at this time, the chief said he will be presenting the certified numbers received from the auditor’s office as well as the projections requested by Kennedy at the next board meeting.
“Our expenses will continue to go up and if we don’t pass anything eventually we will spend more than we take in. A levy is a preventative measure,” said Feustel.
Feustel said the Franklin County Auditor’s office will be able to provide information on what it will cost taxpayers and what funds could be generated from a levy.
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