Voters approve fire district levy


SUNBURY — Voters in 13 precincts approved a bond levy for the BST&G Fire District by a 61% to 39% margin in the March 19 election.

Unofficially, there were 3,097 total votes cast, with 1,896 for the issue and 1,201 against, the Delaware County Board of Elections reported. While the results may not have been a surprise, it came in an election where the Olentangy Local Schools levy failed, and the City of Delaware split on its respective proposals.

“We want to thank everyone for your support,” the district posted on Facebook once the results were tallied. “We will continue to work hard every day for our community.”

BST&G serves the communities of Berkshire Township, the city of Sunbury, Trenton Township and the village of Galena, all in the northeastern portion of Delaware County. Its fire station is at 350 W. Cherry St., Sunbury.

The 0.78-mill bond will raise $9 million over 15 years, amounting to $27 per $100,000 in valuation, first due in calendar year 2025, to pay the annual debt charges.

“This bond issue is necessary for the district due to the continued increase in homes, businesses, and population,” said a fact sheet regarding the levy issued by BST&G. “As the fire district communities grow, the department must continue to grow with it.”

As Gazette readers know, what was once the village of Sunbury is now the city of Sunbury. And with the announcement of Intel facilities coming to next-door Licking County, population will surely grow in Delaware County in the coming years.

With those factors in mind, the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association conducted a study for the district in 2022. It determined an additional fire station is needed in the vicinity of Interstate 71 and wtate Route 37, as well as in Trenton. The study also concluded an ambulance needed to be stationed near the highway.

“Funding from this bond issue will secure the monies necessary to build both stations, and possibly renovate the current facility as the district continues to grow,” the face sheet said.

In January, the Fire District and the Delaware County Board of Commissioners agreed “to build a joint Fire and EMS satellite facility” next to I-71 and SR 37 across from Camping World on Wilson Road in Berkshire Township.

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In a related note, residents may have noticed that the usual Wednesday siren test didn’t occur on March 20. “Out of consideration for our residents’ experiences with last week’s tornado, Delaware County has opted out of the Statewide Tornado Drill siren test,” said Delaware County Homeland Security & Emergency Management.

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak photographs and reports on stories in eastern Delaware County and surrounding areas.

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