Hilliard Northwest News

May 7 primary plans

Norwich Township trustees to seek $3-$4 million fire levy

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The Norwich Township trustees took another step forward Dec. 11 in their plan to seek a fire levy on the May 7 primary ballot.

The trustees must file a petition by Feb. 6, 2013, with the Franklin County Board of Elections for the issue to be placed on the ballot.

The fire levy would be the first on the ballot since voters approved a 6-mill issue in 1998.

Township officials said Dec. 11 the amount of tax millage is yet to be determined, but they will ask Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo's Office to calculate millage amounts for three options, to generate $3 million, $3.5 million and $4 million annually.

Revenue levy would not be collected until 2014.

Once that information is received, trustees will choose a levy amount and adopt a resolution requesting the board of elections place the issue on the ballot.

The trustees appear to be favoring the option that would produce $4 million a year.

Trustee Chairman Larry Earman said the township will decide in January, after learning the precise amount of the township's cash reserve at the end of 2012.

"We don't want to ask for more than we need, but we also don't want to fall behind with equipment purchases or go back to the ballot too soon," Earman said.

Levy amounts of $3.5 or $3 million would require the general fund to supplement the fire fund in as soon as three years. The trustees considered a $5 million levy to be more than needed.

"I want the levy to last at least seven years, and a $4 million levy accomplishes that," Trustee Tim Roberts said.

Cemetery fees

In other action at the Dec. 11 meeting, the trustees discussed the fees for grave sites, burials and cremations at Wesley Chapel Cemetery.

Cemetery Sexton Steve Montgomery provided trustees with a comparison of fees charged by other Franklin County townships, as well as a sample of cities in Ohio.

Norwich is generally in line with all fees except those for a Saturday or holiday burial for township residents, township Administrator Kate Cavanaugh said.

"We want to manage this without raising fees," Trustee Chuck Buck said.

The trustees directed Montgomery to advertise for part-time employees to work Saturdays and holidays at the cemetery, in lieu of paying full-time workers overtime.

The issue of overtime was raised after the township's most senior -- and highest paid -- employees were the only employees available for overtime work at the cemetery.

The trustees also discussed the possible future use of GPS units on township vehicles to monitor use of the vehicle, including location and speed.

 

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