Dublin and Washington township residents will vote on or before Tuesday, March 17, on a five-year, 8.25-mill renewal levy for the Washington Township Fire Department on the primary election ballot.

If approved, the levy would continue to generate $17.33 million annually, according to a fact sheet from the township. It would renew the 8.25-mill levy set to expire Dec. 31.

Property owners would continue pay $226.06 per year per $100,000 of home valuation, the same amount they are paying, according to the fact sheet.

The levy originally was approved in 2010 and was renewed again in 2015, said Eric Richter, Washington Township administrator. It's collecting at an effective rate of about 7.4 mills.

If the renewal is approved, collection would begin Jan. 1, he said.

According to the fact sheet, the township's other permanent fire levies generate a little more than $3.2 million annually and cost property owners $44.27 per year per $100,000 of home valuation.

Richter said the majority of revenues from the 8.25-mill levy funds operating expenses for the fire department, including salaries for personnel and maintaining the department's stations.

The stations are at 6255 Shier Rings Road, 4497 Hard Road, 5825 Brand Road and 5750 Blazer Parkway. The department has 108 employees, including 97 full-time fire-station personnel, all of whom are emergency medical technicians.

The department has a service territory of 27.658 square miles in northwest Franklin County, including the city of Dublin, as well as southern Delaware County and southeast Union County.

Last year, the department had an emergency call volume of 6,317, an 18% increase in calls since 2015. About 74% of those calls were EMS-related, township officials said.

Fire Chief Alec O'Connell said the renewal also will ensure the department will be able to replace and refurbish aging fire apparatus and medic units.

O'Connell said the department doesn't have any plans to increase staffing or build a new station.

"We don't see that in the near future," he said.

A fifth station would eventually be constructed at Jerome and McKitrick roads, O'Connell said.

Denise Franz King, chairwoman of the Washington Township board of trustees, said the renewal would supply 78% of the funds necessary to operate the department.

It covers firefighters, trucks, equipment, medicine, training and can only be used for fire and EMS services, she said.

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