Fire chief: Wayne Township fire levy will not increase taxes

By Ashley Bunton - [email protected]

A fire renewal levy for the Wayne Township Fire Department in Fayette County will be on the ballot in November. The fire department is asking the community to vote yes for the renewal, said fire chief Chris Wysong.

“It is important to me that our taxpayers in Wayne Township are aware that we are focused on providing the best services possible, and seeking assistance from other sources to offset operating cost,” wrote Wysong in a recent email to the Record-Herald.”Our 1.5 mill tax renewal has an effective tax rate of .875968 which is set by the state. We are collecting at 2008 valuations, so when property values go up, our effective tax rate goes down keeping our revenue relatively the same. If this didn’t happen, as property values go up, taxes would be raised. However, revenue can increase in the event of new construction. As we work efficiently to provide the best to our community, we ask for their support this November and vote yes on our renewal; there is no increase in taxes on this ballot.”

Wysong said anyone with questions is welcome to stop by the firehouse in Good Hope on the first Tuesday evening of the month or attend a township meeting the second Tuesday of the month; both meetings start at 7 p.m.

To keep the operating costs of the fire department low for taxpayers, Wysong said the Wayne Township Fire Department applies for grants to offset the cost of purchasing new equipment, rather than to increase taxes.

“In recent years, cancer awareness and prevention have become a bigger focus along with ways to reducing exposures. In a rural township such as ours, the struggles to keep up with the prevention becomes a financial burden without the assistance of grants,” said Wysong.

Products heated during a fire in a house do off-gas and emit carcinogens, said Wysong.

“The black soot gets embedded into the equipment and gear that is used or worn by firefighters exposing them first hand to cancer-causing substance. Our members deserve the best protection possible for their service to the community. This year we have received a grant from the Ohio Department of Commerce for $10,000 used to purchase an industrial washing extractor (machine) and drying cabinet capable of drying six sets of turnout gear at once. This investment allows our Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to be cleaned thoroughly, eliminating the dangerous materials from staying around and prolonging our exposure cancer-causing products,” said Wysong.

Wysong said the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation (BWC) has awarded the Wayne Township Fire Department with a 75 percent matching grant for $8,175 through a Safety Intervention program.

“The township is responsible for the remaining 25 percent of the purchase of a ROTO jet hose washer. Dragging fire hose through the burnt material embeds cancer-causing carcinogens into the outer hose jacket. The hose washer will ensure the jacket is cleaned thoroughly and reduce exposure from off-gassing while stored in the station,” said Wysong.

The fire department also received a community grant from Target DC in West Jefferson, Ohio.

“They graciously awarded $3,000 for the purchase of new PPE. Two firefighters are being outfitted with brand new PPE to include a coat, pants, gloves, protective hoods and boots. PPE has a lifespan of 10 years and must be replaced to ensure the most protection to the firefighter during operation in dangerous situations. We have a rotation of purchasing two to three new sets of gear a year to prevent significant purchase requirement to replace outdated equipment every 10 years. Along with the implementation of the new washer and drying cabinet, we are now able to ensure the maximum lifespan of the gear,” said Wysong.

By Ashley Bunton

[email protected]

Reach Ashley by calling (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching for @ashbunton

Reach Ashley by calling (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching for @ashbunton