Union Township residents will have the opportunity to vote on a replacement fire levy at this November’s general election. According to Union Township Trustees, Clyde Fyffe, Wes Wilson, and Maurus Molloy, the levy overall costs less taxes due to one important difference with the Washington Fire Department.
According to the Union Township Trustees, the current item that will appear on the ballot is a 1-mill, five-year replacement levy. One mill, Rambo explained, is a term used to mean so much percentage of the taxable value of a property. In this case, one mill means one-tenth of 1 percent of the taxable value is what someone would pay toward the replacement fire levy to help pay the contract with the city.
“The fire levy is actually a replacement for a levy that already exists and is set to expire this year,” Union Township Fiscal Officer Tom Rambo said. “We have two fire levies and all the proceeds from it go to pay a contract that Union Township has with the City of Washington. So it goes directly to them from the township.”
One big advantage, Rambo said, for the township is that Union is served by a full-time fire department, making the insurance costs less than if the department used volunteers. The trustee said in the end what people save on their insurance offsets the cost of the tax. This means that overall, the residents of Union Township will come out better after the replacement levy because of the contract with the city, trustees said.
“I believe that most people in the township know they are saving money in the long run and generally are really supportive of the fire levies,” Rambo said. “These levies have been going on for a long, long time and all of the money is used to pay for the fire contract with the city.”
The trustees said it is important for the township to have this levy and also important for the people, because in the long run it saves them in more ways than one and because the amount someone will pay toward the levy is rather small.
“I remember back in ‘92 my daughter came home from college and after going into the house she smelled smoke, so she returned to the garage to find her car on fire, ” Rambo said. “She immediately dialed 9-1-1 and within four or five minutes the Washington Fire Department was right there, and if they were not, our house would have burned down. That is a good thing about having a full-time fire department, because if they relied on volunteers like other townships, they would have to wait longer as they gathered volunteers and equipment. That is what makes the fire levy so important for Union Township, it establishes a safer place for residents.”
The information in this article was provided by the Union Township Trustee Maurus Molloy. Stay with the Record-Herald for more coverage of the 2019 General Election as it approaches.