Lake Twp. moves toward fire levy renewal


MILLBURY — Lake Township Trustees took the first step toward putting a fire renewal levy on the November
ballot, asking the county auditor to certify the amount at Tuesday’s meeting.
Fiscal Officer Vicki Schwamberger said the levy generates about $242,000 annually for the township.
The trustees said they would ask for a five-year renewal of the 1-mill levy.
“This is just a renewal of what we’re currently receiving,” said Trustee Chairwoman Melanie Bowen.
Schwamberger said the 1-mill levy is about 30 percent of the fire and EMS budget. EMS costs about
$209,000 a year and fire is $600,000.
During the meeting, Ken Smith, who is a member of the Lake Board of Education, asked if the trustees had
considered asking for a continuing levy so they didn’t have to go back to the voters every five years.
Voters in the school district recently passed a continuing operating levy.
“The residents have made it very clear to us that they like it to be a five-year levy, so no,” said
Trustee Richard Welling.
“They want to have the ability to control that,” Bowen said of the voters.
There are two other continuing mills that support the fire department. Township, Walbridge and Millbury
residents also pay a permanent ¾-mill EMS levy.
Issues for the Nov. 3 ballot have to be to the Wood County Board of Elections by Aug. 20.
The 1-mill levy discussed Tuesday was last replaced in 1999 and renewed in 2004.
It pays for almost anything fire-related, including equipment, buildings, training and salaries. In Lake
Township, the 60 firefighters are paid on a “points” system.
Fire Chief Todd Walters said if the levy was rejected, the department would have to cut training and
education programs, since pay isn’t a big issue with the part-time staff.

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