Truro Township puts 4-mill fire levy on Nov. 3 ballot

KELLEY YOUMAN
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ThisWeek group

Truro Township voters will be asked to approve a new 4-mill permanent fire levy Nov. 3.

The levy will cost property owners about $140 annually per every $100,000 in valuation, township administrator Jason Nicodemus said.

If approved, the levy is estimated to generate an additional $1.9 million for the department annually, according to fire Chief Jeff Sharps.

"It would allow us to maintain our current levels of service and response times and also plan for big-ticket items," Sharps said.

Among them is a new fire engine, which is anticipated to cost around $800,000, he said.

"Our newest fire engine right now is a 2009," Sharps said. "The other is a 2007 (model year) and the oldest is 2002. They're operational -- we take care of our equipment and have a preventative maintenance program to keep the trucks running -- but we're in that cycle where it's time to replace an engine. The fire engine just doesn't respond on fire runs, but it also responds on (emergency medic) runs."

Sharps said if the levy is approved, he also will request approval from the board of trustees to hire a full-time administrative employee to assist with filing reports, answering subpoenas and public-information requests and other duties.

"Most central Ohio fire departments have administrative assistants, and we have zero clerical positions," Sharps said. "I believe an organization our size needs that position to be more efficient and better serve the community. Right now, the members of the fire department are tasked with those functions."

Voters last approved a fire levy in 2012.

"When we approved the last fire levy, the goal was for it to last six to eight years. We hit that mark and now we're looking forward," Sharps said. "We don't want to come back every three or four years to the voters. I am comfortable in saying we won't have to go back to the voters for eight to 10 years."

The department has an annual budget of about $7.8 million, Nicodemus said.

A 2.5-mill township general-fund levy approved in November 2016 helped pay for the $3.9 million replacement of the aging Station 161. The new station opened in July at 6900 E. Main St.

Trustees voted unanimously in June to put the levy on the November ballot.

The department has about 60 employees and serves Truro Township, the village of Brice and the city of Reynoldsburg. In 2019, Truro Township responded to 7,580 calls for service, according to information from the fire department.

For additional information, go to trurotwpfiredepartment.com.

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