Shawnee Fire asks for additional levy


A look at fire protection levies taxpayers will decide in November

By Mackenzi Klemann - mklemann@limanews.com



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Read more about what’s on the November ballot at LimaOhio.com/tag/election.

SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — The Shawnee Township Fire Department is seeking an additional 4.5 mill property tax levy alongside a 1.5 mill renewal levy this November to hire more firefighters, purchase equipment and find a new station.

Taxpayers first approved the 1.5 mill levy in 2006 to supplement continuing levies adopted in the 1980s. But the department has lost about 34% of its budget due to changes in Ohio’s tax structure, Chief Todd Truesdale said.

“It’s put us in a real tight position,” Truesdale said. “We’ve done everything we can to extend the budget as far as we can, but we have to go back to the taxpayers and ask for new monies.”

The Shawnee Fire Department commissioned a study in 2019, which found that run volumes had doubled within the last decade, Truesdale said. That meant the department would need more workers on each shift to cover those runs. A new location may also be needed.

The additional levy would bring in roughly $1.6 million per year, with 46% covering losses incurred in lost taxes over the years from the state of Ohio. Of the remaining monies, 38% would support staffing for the increased call load, with the remaining 16% dedicated toward capital improvements, replacing vehicles and relocating the station.

The Columbus Grove and Pleasant Township fire districts are proposing a joint fire district so village and township residents alike pay equal tax rates. The additional 1.5 mill property tax levy before voters in November would replace all previous levies with a uniform tax rate for the village and township.

If approved, the average homeowner would pay $52.50 per year, or 15 centers per $100, on a home valued at $100,000.

The fire district is also asking voters to approve a $1.3 million bond issue to construct a new firehouse, as the current station is becoming too small. The 20-year bond issue comes in at a rate of 1 mill starting in 2022, for an average of $35 to $40 per year in taxes on a $100,000 home, according to Chief Bob Brubaker.

Levy renewals and additions:

• Jackson Township: The Kalida and Ottoville fire districts are requesting additional levies to support their operations, purchase new fire trucks and maintain services. The requests will appear as two separate ballot questions for Jackson Township voters—the first for an additional 1.75 mills for the Kalida Fire District, the second for an additional 1.5 mills for the Ottoville Fire District, both of which would become continuous levies.

• Perry Township has two fire and emergency services levy renewals on the ballot: The first for 1.5 mills and the second for 1 mill, both of which will be renewed for five years if approved by voters.

• New Knoxville: 2 mill renewal for fire and emergency medical services, renewed every five years.

• Jackson Township: 3 mill renewal for fire and emergency services, renewed every three years.

• Minster: 3 mill renewal for fire and emergency services, renewed every three years.

• Washington Township: 2 mill renewal for fire and emergency services, renewed every five years.

• Wayne Township: 2.5 mill renewal for emergency services, renewed every five years.

• Ottawa village: 1.1 mill renewal for volunteer fire department, renewed every five years.

• Monterey Township: Additional 1 mill levy request for fire apparatus and other fire equipment, renewed every five years.

• Perry Township: 2 mill renewal for fire and emergency services, renewed every five years.

• Union Township: 0.25 mill renewal for fire protection, renewed every five years.

• Palmer Township: 0.7 mill renewal for fire and emergency services, renewed every five years.

• Ottawa Township: 1.35 mill renewal for fire protection, renewed every five years.

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A look at fire protection levies taxpayers will decide in November

By Mackenzi Klemann

mklemann@limanews.com

ONLY ON LIMAOHIO.COM

Read more about what’s on the November ballot at LimaOhio.com/tag/election.

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