Residents who haven't cast their vote early will be asked on Nov. 2 to support the Washington Township Fire Department with a levy that will cost an additional $66 per $100,000 property value annually.

Residents who haven't cast their vote early will be asked on Nov. 2 to support the Washington Township Fire Department with a levy that will cost an additional $66 per $100,000 property value annually.

The Washington Township Department is asking for a five-year 7.25-mill replacement levy with a 1-mill increase, for a total millage of 8.25 that will collect $17.6-million each year the levy is in effect.

The current 7.25-mill levy on the books was approved by voters in 2005 and will expire at the end of the year. The current levy that garners $13.57-million for the fire department accounts for 75 to 80 percent of its budget.

If the new levy is approved by voters, it will cost $252.66 per $100,000 property value annually.

Washington Township Fire Chief Allan Woo said he's had to explain how levy collections work to several residents.

"One thing is what the actually millage is versus the collected millage. Home values will go up, hopefully, but taxes will stay the same. It's difficult to explain to people," he said. "It's always important to understand we will never collect more than we say we'll collect that first year."

Residents can find out how much the levy will cost them if approved online at Washington-township-fire-levy.org, Woo said.

According to Woo, the $17.6-million that will be collected the first year, if the levy is approved by voters, will be a little more than the fire department needs to operate. By the end of the five-year levy, however, the $17.6-million will be less than the fire department's bottom line. The money will balance out over the cycle of the levy, Woo said.

This year's proposed levy increase is the first the Washington Township Fire Department has asked for in 10 years. Woo said it's needed because the fire department will lose funding as the state's tangible personal property tax is phased out.

The department also needs to replace equipment that keeps firefighters safe, such as breathing apparatus and turnout gear.

If the levy is turned down by voters, Woo said the fire department has enough money to operate for one quarter, but they'll have to return to voters with another request for funding.

"A lot of it depends on the numbers that are there and if it fails, let's just put it this way: we'll take a look at going back again," he said. "We do carry a little bit of a contingency in case this happens – enough to get through the first quarterÉ We'll take one more bite at the apple (with another levy request) and if it fails we'll have to make some cuts."

Woo said he's not sure what kind of support the fire department will see for the levy because of the economy.

"I'm nervous this time because of the economy," he said. "But I am happy to see the press release on the (International City/County Management Association) Awards É The public gets to choose the level of service they want."

The fire department was recognized by the ICMA when Dublin was awarded with 2010 Voice of the People Award for Excellence in emergency medical services and fire services, which are both provided by the Washington Township Fire Department.

The awards are based in the 2009 National Citizen Survey that Dublin residents participated in last year.