By a vote of 255-152, Jefferson Township’s 5-mill continuing levy for emergency medical services (EMS) has passed, according to unofficial results from the Fayette County Board of Elections.
The levy, which will generate around $700,000 and cost property owners about $175 per $100,000 of valuation annually, was one of two EMS-related levies on the ballot in Fayette County. Initially brought to the ballot by the Jefferson Township Trustees, Ryan Yenger – one of the trustees – said recently he thought it was important for the township to have its own EMS because of the amount of time it takes the Fayette County Memorial Hospital EMS ambulance service to reach the township.
“I think as elected officials it is our job to make that decision to put it on the ballot so that the people’s voice could be heard, and their voice was heard tonight,” Yenger said. “We are proud that they supported this levy and in doing so, we will definitely make sure that we will provide them the care they deserve on this end of the county, that is for sure.”
During a recent interview, Yenger said the levy will create and staff about seven to 10 employees for a 24/7 township EMS service, and includes the possibility for new ambulances and a place for employees to stay for their shift at the Jefferson Township Fire Department.
Though they may have secured funding for their township, the trustees there will be seeking to exempt the township from paying the county-wide levy, according to Yenger.
“We are going to hire legal counsel and we are going to seek the Ohio Township Association,” Yenger said. “We are going to see what we can do to go ahead and get the commissioners to exempt us, like they originally promised. I want to thank everyone who is on the fire department and the volunteer EMTs that went door-to-door in Jefferson township and spoke to all of the residents. I feel like that is how a person or an entity should go about it, talking to the people we represent and that is what we did.”
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy
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