Contracts Expected Back on Ballot in Ohio Townships

Trustees in some Ohio townships said they expect to back to the ballot in the spring in order to honor or negotiate contracts for fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Voters in Salem Twp. approved an additional 3-mill levy for fire and EMS services by fewer than 10 votes, according to unofficial results, and trustees there said it will allow them to either continue negotiations with the Macochee Joint Ambulance District or enter a new contract with the city of Urbana.

Several local trustees said they believe residents have grown weary of voting for new levies, but they also cautioned that the fire and EMS levies are necessary in order to continue to provide those services.

Residents in Salem Twp. have historically received EMS service from the West Liberty Emergency Medical Services. But that agency became the Macochee Joint Ambulance District earlier this year as a way to provide a more professional, full-time service. Salem Twp, trustees were told their rates for EMS services will increase from about $5,000 a year to as much as $126,000 annually. Now that the Salem Twp. levy has passed, it will allow the township to negotiate with the city of Urbana and Macochee to see if a better rate is available. The levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $92 a year.

In Union Twp., the contract with the city of Urbana for fire protection will increase from $36,000 in 2012 to $43,000 next year and about $75,000 by 2015. Union Twp.’s contract with Mechanicsburg, about $20,000 this year, is also expected to increase, said Charles Dooley, Union Twp. trustee. Voters there rejected a proposed 4-mill replacement and increase that would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $120 a year.

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