The voters of Radnor Township face the decision of approving a 5-mill, 5 year replacement levy for the operation of the fire department on Nov. 7. The 5-mill, 5 year, levy approved by voters in 2012 will expire at the end of this year.
Fire Chief Randy Butts said the reason for a replacement levy instead of asking voters to renew the 2010 levy is, “In our township we don’t see a lot of change and we’re just trying to take advantage of any new valuation.”
Stated in the information brochure mailed to township residents, the replacement will “generate a bit more money,” and, “The bottom line is you will be paying the same millage rate as before.”
According to Delaware County Auditor George Kaitsa, the current 5-mill levy, approved by voters in 2010, cost a property with a value of $100,000 $123.63 annually. If passed by voters, the replacement fire levy will cost a property with a market value of $100,000 $175 annually.
“The replacement levy will be collected at the full rate of 5 mills because it is a replacement levy,” Kaitsa said in an email. “The homeowner will not receive the 10-percent rollback or the 2.5 percent owner occupied credit.”
Butts said the station has a staffing schedule centered around 8 to 10 part-time firefighters with two on duty Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. He said the township dynamic has changed forcing the township to move from an all-volunteer department to hiring part-time firefighters.
Butts said the volunteer firefighters used to be local business owners and farmers who were able to drop things to go on a run, but times have changed with fewer volunteers available during weekday business hours. Butts said the department has an average of 150 runs per year, but it seems to be on the increase this year.
Butts said the money from the 5-mill levy will be used to continue the operation of the fire department and for updating equipment, such as the thermal cameras, turnout gear, and the maintenance of the station equipment. He said the old 1999 fire engine the department has needs to be updated as well.
The ballot language states, “A replacement of a tax for the benefit of Radnor Township, Delaware County, Ohio for the purpose of providing and maintaining fire apparatus, appliances, buildings, and 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 permanent, part-time, or volunteer firefighters or fire-fighting companies to operate the same at a rate not exceeding 5 mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to $0.50 for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for 5 years, commencing in 2018, first due in calendar year 2019.”
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.