Rocky Fork Enterprise

Jefferson Township fire levy passes

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Jefferson Township voters said yes to a new 3-mill levy on May 7 that will sustain current operations.

The issue passed 699 votes to 524, according to unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Fire Chief Crystal Dickerson said she’s very happy with the results.

“We thank our residents wholeheartedly for their support,” she said. “It meant so much. To have our community believe in us and allow us to continue to operate, there are no words. We thank them so much.”

The levy will cost property owners an additional $91.88 per $100,000 of assessed property value, Dickerson said. It is expected to generate $1.3 million annually.

Before the election, Dickerson called the levy critical.

“We need to continue operating if our residents wish us to operate,” she said prior to the election. “It’s for operational needs only to keep operating as status quo. If it fails, we’ll make drastic cuts and lay off firefighters.”

At risk was the department’s part-time staff that could have lead to putting the ladder truck out of service.

Dickerson said the department would have lost three part-time positions daily.

The fire department currently staffs one full-time station at 6767 Havens Corners Road in Blacklick.

On a typical 24-hour shift, up to nine firefighters/paramedics and a battalion chief are on duty.

She said voters last approved an increase in 2007 and that 2-mill levy was renewed last fall.

The Jefferson Township Fire Department responded to a record 2,077 calls for assistance in 2012.

The department was established as a volunteer department in 1967. Since then it has transitioned from volunteers to a combination of full-time and part-time firefighters and paramedics.

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