Since the cancellation of in-person voting March 17 to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Washington Township has been focused on providing services during the pandemic rather than communication about its five-year, 8.25-mill renewal levy that’s on the ballot, trustees chairwoman Denise Franz-King said.
“We’re not really thinking about the levy right now,” Franz-King said.
The fire department, she said, is focused on doing its job, which, in this case, is disaster preparedness -- protecting the community and the firefighters.
“The public will support us if we’re doing our job,” she said.
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 paying $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.
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 parts of southern Delaware County and southeastern 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 have said.