Liberty Township officials are asking voters to support a renewal of the current fire department levy in the Nov. 7 election.
If passed by voters, the 5.6-mill renewal levy would commence in 2018 with the first collection due in January 2019. The duration of the levy is five years, expiring in 2023. There will be no increase in taxes for the property owners of Liberty Township, according to a fact sheet provided by the township.
According to a fact sheet about the levy provided by the township, the levy would generate $7,900,000 annually. The cost to property owners would be approximately $165.79 per year for a property valued at $100,000.
The fact sheet reports the fire department serves a 34-square mile area covering both Liberty Township and the City of Powell, providing fire suppression, EMS services, technical rescue, fire code enforcement, fire investigation, safety and fire prevention education for local residents.
The township operates two fire stations — Fire Station 321, located at 7761 Liberty Road and Fire Station 322, located at 10150 Sawmill Parkway — staffed with 43 full-time and nine part-time firefighter-paramedics.
The ballot language for the proposed levy reads: “A renewal of a tax for the benefit of Liberty Township, Delaware County, Ohio for the purpose of providing and maintaining fire apparatus, appliances, buildings or sites therefor, or sources of water supply and materials therefor, or the establishment and maintenance of lines of fire alarm telegraph, or the payment of firefighting companies or permanent, part-time, or volunteer firefighting, emergency medical service, administrative, or communications personnel to operate the same, including the payment of any employer contributions required for such personnel under section 145.48 or 742.34 of the Ohio 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 at a rate not exceeding 5.6 mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to $0.56 for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for 5 years, commencing in 2018, first due in calendar year 2019.”
In November 2012, voters rejected a fire levy placed on the ballot. That proposal included both a replacement of an existing levy and an increase. It failed by just 72 votes, 7,802 to 7,730.
The township went back to the voters in February 2013, at which time residents approved a 5.6-mill additional tax levy by a wide margin, with 3,779 voting in favor of the measure and just 696 opposed.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.