NB needs money for fire trucks
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 09:46
NORTH BALTIMORE - Village residents will be voting on a levy in November to pay for two fire trucks.
In a special meeting Monday, Village Council passed legislation by a 5-0 vote to begin the certification process for placing the issue on the ballot.
The proposed 10-year tax levy is to pay for a pumper truck and a brush truck to be used by the fire department. The pumper is estimated to cost $440,000 and will replace a decommissioned 1977 model. The brush truck is estimated to cost $140,000.
The Wood County Auditor's Office will next have to certify a millage amount for the levy.
However, Village Solicitor Chet Marcin has done preliminary work on the proposed fire equipment levy, and said if the village was to put a 1.5-mill levy on the ballot, the owner of a $100,000 property would pay about $46 more per year.
Council member Aaron Patterson asked Fire Chief Ted Francisco if he knew of any other revenue sources to pay for the trucks.
"Where do the other villages, township or joint-districts get their money to buy capital equipment?" Patterson asked.
"Do you know of any other entities, other than a large city, that runs their department without a levy?" he asked.
Francisco said the smaller departments he is familiar with use levies. He also said he hopes to obtain grant funding to later reduce the millage amount.
"Because if there is something we could be doing, I would like to know about it," Patterson said.
"I just don't know what else to do. I wish there was something else we could do," he continued.
Also at Monday's meeting, council members authorized the issuance and sales of more than $9.4 million in bonds to pay for both phases of its sewer project.
Members are expected to approve an additional $3.5 million in bonds to pay for the project at another special meeting on Thursday.
As a result of the bonds, residents can expect to see their sewer bills increase, again.
Since the sewer project began, residents have seen their bills increase 20 percent, followed by another 20 percent. A 15-percent increase is scheduled to go into effect next month.
Residents should also expect their sewer bill to increase again, by about $10, when Phase II of the project begins.
The sewer rate hike for Phase II will have to be approved by council at a later date, but officials expect the increase to be about $10.
The first phase of the project cost about $7 million. A final cost for the second phase has yet to be determined as all bids for the project have yet to be received. Bids will be opened on July 11.
Phase I, on the north side of the village, is completed and Phase II, on the village's north side, is expected to take 16 to 18 months to complete.
Council members approved two ordinances pertaining to payment for the sewer project. One was for $5 million and another for $4.4 million.
The ordinances were passed in an emergency measure, which means they were not given the usual three readings. Both ordinances were passed 5-0, with council member Jeff Bretz absent.
The legislation was passed on first reading and as an emergency measure. The village was able to lock in a 2.75 percent interest rate. If they had waited, the interest rate would have been 3.75 percent, according to officials.
As a result of the lower interest rate, the village is expected to save $2.5 to $2.8 million in the long run.