Local voters could face a crowded ballot when November rolls around.

Local voters could face a crowded ballot when November rolls around.

The Plain Township Fire Department likely will place a tax issue on the ballot, and there's the possibility of a school district levy issue -- along with the presidential and legislative candidates.

During a meeting last week, Plain Township trustees decided to hold a public meeting this week to gain feedback from the community on an operating levy.

"In a week, I think we should have a meet-and-greet at the firehouse and talk about the levy in a casual way and get feedback," trustee David Ferguson said.

Plain Township last passed a 2.7-mill operating levy in 2000.

Fire Chief John Hoovler said a November levy likely will be necessary because the department has stretched the funds from the 2000 levy as far as they could.

"I feel strongly that it's something we need to do in November," he told trustees. "I know the schools probably feel the same way."

New Albany-Plain Local school board member Mike Klein attended the meeting and said he would support a fire levy, but he doesn't want residents to choose between the two.

"I certainly respect that the fire department needs to go to voters," he said. "I think the school would like to be alone (on the ballot)."

Hoovler said delaying an operating levy for the fire department is unlikely, but both issues are important for the community.

"Both are extremely important, and to pick one over the other would be a hard decision," he said. "My fear would be that both fail."

Klein said the school district and fire department should support each other's efforts.

"I certainly think both requests are critical," he said. "I'd hate to make people pick. These are both worthy requests."

Trustee Don Shoemaker agreed.

"Whatever the school board comes up with, even if we don't totally agree with it, we should get on board and support it," he said.

"I think it's important that we all come together," Klein said.

The public meeting is slated for 8 a.m. today (Thursday) at the fire station, 9500 Johnstown Road.

"I want to get people from the village, school board, the New Albany Co., the foundation, different organizations," Ferguson said. "We should get them and their organizations to have some discussions and go back to the community in a positive way."

The public is invited to attend the "townhall-type discussion," Ferguson said.

Trustees also talked about holding another meeting for public discussion in July before a final decision on an operating levy for the fire department is made.