Berlin seeking fire levy renewal


Berlin Township residents will vote on a renewal fire levy in next week’s election.

On the ballot is a property tax issue (renewal — 2.98 mills, 5 years, commencing 2020, first due 2021). It is “for providing and maintaining fire apparatus, appliances, buildings, or sites therefor, or sources of water supply and materials therefor, or the establishment and maintenance of line of fire alarm telegraph, or the payment of permanent, part-time, or volunteer firefighters or firefighting companies to operate the same, including payment of the firefighter employers’ contribution require under section 742.34 of the Revised Code, or the purchase of ambulance equipment, or the provision of ambulance, paramedic, or other emergency medical services operated by a fire department or firefighting company.”

“This levy was originally approved by Berlin Township voters in May 2006 and has been renewed in the past when the levy has come up for expiration,” said Assistant Fire Chief Joe Pichert. “It is not a new property tax levy. The residents are currently paying for this levy. This levy helps provide funds for the operation of the fire department. Last year, the fire department responded to 401 calls for assistance, and currently this year, the department has responded to 378 calls for assistance.”

A fact sheet issued by the township notes the current levy was passed as a renewal in May 2015.

“Fire department operates from funds collected by a 2.98-mill fire levy and a 2.95-mill fire levy,” the fact sheet states. “Does not receive any funding from Berlin Township’s General Fund. The fire department does receive funds from Delaware County for a lease agreement to house a 24-hour staffed paramedic EMS transport unit in the fire station.”

The fact sheet adds the proposed levy cost per $100,000 of property valuation is $76.95 per year, or $6.42 per month, or 21 cents per day.

The Berlin Township Fire Department serves all of the unincorporated areas of the township, with a service area of 22.5 square miles. The fast-growing township has a current population of approximately 7,000 residents. It employs seven full-time firefighters and 23 part-time firefighters.

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Also on the ballot in Berlin Township, two incumbents are running unopposed. Trustee Ronald Bullard is running for a full term starting Jan. 1, 2020; and Fiscal Officer Claudia E. Smith is running for a full-term starting April 1, 2020.

The Berlin Township Fire Department recently had an open house at Station 390, 2708 Lackey Old State Road, Delaware. Berlin Township Fire Department recently had an open house at Station 390, 2708 Lackey Old State Road, Delaware. Gary Budzak | The Gazette Budzak | The Gazette

By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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