Rocky Fork Enterprise

Jefferson fire levy would make 2-mills permanent

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Jefferson Township residents can expect to find a 2-mill, permanent fire levy on the May 6 ballot to sustain current operations.

During a special Jefferson Township Board of Trustees meeting Jan. 31, a resolution was approved to proceed with placing the additional tax on May's ballot.

Township Administrator Tom Spring said Jefferson fire has a 2-mill levy that expires at the end of this year.

The proposed 2-mill levy will be for a continuing period of time and generate $933,301 annually, he said.

It would cost residents an additional $70 per year or $5.83 a month per $100,000 of assessed property value.

Jefferson Fire Chief Crystal Dickerson said the levy is for basic operations.

"We're continually inundating residents with renewals," she said. "It seems we're always hitting them with renewals. The board is trying to make it permanent so we aren't constantly coming back.

"They call it a continuing levy," Dickerson said. "It's for continued operations. If we lose it, it will devastate our operations. We operate on such a thin budget that any loss of revenue would hurt us terribly."

The levy would be placed upon the tax lists of the current tax year, commencing in 2014, and first due in calendar year 2015, if approved by voters.

"We're trying to keep this revenue going so we can operate," Dickerson said. "It will devastate us to lose any."

The department serves about 11,000 residents within approximately 14 square miles and includes parts of Reynoldsburg, Gahanna and Columbus.

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

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