On Nov. 8, Scioto Township voters will decide the fate of a 3.25-mill replacement levy for fire services.
The levy is a replacement of a fire protection levy that was last passed in 2017. Scioto Township Fire Chief Marvin McIntire said Wednesday the levy is necessary to continue the department’s current operations, and if it passes, there’s been discussions about possibly expanding services.
“If it passes, we’re trying to offer more services,” McIntire said. “We’ve identified the need for some daytime fire coverage. We think with the increase we’ll receive we can at least get it started and figure out how to support it down the road. We’ve got a plan to put it all together. We’ve been working on it since Jan. 1. We realize it’ll take awhile to get there, and we realize it won’t be perfect, but we do have a plan.”
McIntire said the levy will also help the department to “continue to maintain and operate the station, trucks and equipment.” He added that equipment upkeep has become more difficult in recent years due to supply shortages.
“Everything is more expensive,” McIntire said. “I’ve got turnout gear on order that it takes a year to get. We’ve got four trucks that need general maintenance but we can’t get parts. (We put a levy on the ballot) this year because we showed that need for those additional funds for what we’re trying to do.”
McIntire said the department’s 20 firefighters are all volunteers who are paid per call. McIntire said the levy is the same millage as the previous levy and will cost homeowners about $114 per $100,000 of valuation.
He added the community has supported the fire department with its previous levies, and he’s hoping that trend continues.
“As the fire chief, I never get too worried,” McIntire said. “We’re not increasing millage. (Our past levies have passed by a) 63% average. I don’t perceive it as a big deal. I’d be shocked if it didn’t pass.”
McIntire said if the levy fails, the department would take steps to put another levy on the ballot and said if that levy failed, then it would be up to the township trustees to look at options.
According to the Delaware County Board of Elections, Scioto Township successful passed a fire levy in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and most recently in 2017. The township also passed a levy in 2001 to construct a new fire station.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.