Mifflin Township trustee Richard Angelou said the trustees would consider their options regarding levies for the township fire and police departments following levy defeats Nov. 2.

Mifflin Township trustee Richard Angelou said the trustees would consider their options regarding levies for the township fire and police departments following levy defeats Nov. 2.

Fire Chief Jim DeConnick and Police Chief Michael Pocock both said after the trustees' Nov. 17 meeting that they plan to meet with the trustees in the coming month to discuss their budgets for 2011. Part of the discussion likely will include whether to place another levy on the ballot.

Angelou said the trustees would consider funding options for both departments and that May would be the logical time to place a levy on the ballot.

Voters rejected a 3.8-mill levy to support the Mifflin Township Fire Department, which provides service to the city of Gahanna and unincorporated areas of the township, with 7,720 votes against the measure and 7,405 for it. An 8.8-mill levy to support the police department was rejected 315-284 by residents in the unincorporated areas of the township, according to unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections.

If approved, the fire levy would have generated $3.8-million annually for the fire department and would have cost about $120 annually for every $100,000 of assessed property valuation.

The levy's defeat won't affect fire service to residents, DeConnick said. Although he does not anticipate any layoffs, the hiring of additional personnel and a pay raise for existing staff will not occur next year.

In addition, the department will purchase only supplies it absolutely must have.

"We're buckling down like everyone else is," he said.

The police levy would have cost residents in the unincorporated areas of the township about $270 a year per $100,000 in assessed property valuation. The levy would have generated nearly $400,000 annually. Pocock had warned that the levy's failure could lead to the elimination of the police department.

He thanked township residents Curtis and Charlie Johnson for their efforts in support of the levy.

"You guys were a pleasure to work with," he said.

Also at the meeting, Ben Weiner of the Franklin County Economic Development and Planning Office briefly discussed an initiative being funded by the county commissioners to place "gateway signs" at major road entrances into Mifflin Township to help build a sense of community pride.

He introduced project consultants Al Berthold and Maggie Grady of Neighborhood Design Center to outline the proposal. Both said they are seeking input from the trustees and township residents on how the gateway signs should appear.

"We'd like to get some ideas and get the ball rolling," said Grady, a fourth-year architecture student at the University of Cincinnati. "The more feedback we get, the better the signage will be, and they will be more representative of your township."

They said they want to hear from numerous residents prior to the trustees' regular meeting in January, when the consultants hope to present design proposals for the signs.

The initiative and work by the consultants are being funded by the county, but any signs that are built would have to be funded by the township, Berthold said.

For more information on the county's gateway sign project, visit www.franklincountyohio.gov/commissioners/edp/planning/mifflingateways. Residents also may call the township office at (614) 471-4494.

The trustees will hold a staff meeting at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 6, and their next regular meeting at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21, in the township hall, 155 Olde Ridenour Road.

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