JTFD to host town halls on fire levy


The Jerome Township Fire Department is hosting a series of town hall meetings to discuss the upcoming fire levy on November’s ballot.
During Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting, Fire Chief Doug Stewart said there will be several informational sessions throughout the month of October.
At each of the meetings, he said, residents are welcome to ask questions and find out information about the fire levy.
“We’ll be there to provide facts about what it’s going to do to help the public and how it will affect them,” he said.
There will be two meetings at the fire station, one on Oct. 16 from 7-9 p.m. and another on Oct. 27 from 2-4 p.m., according to Stewart.
He also said there will be three meetings held at the Red Barn, each accompanied by a different activity.
The first will be Oct. 19 from 10 a.m.-noon, including a touch a truck event. The next, on Oct. 23 will be at 6 p.m. before the community center trivia night. On Oct. 29 from 6-8 p.m., the town hall will be held alongside a trunk-or-treat event for Halloween.
The sessions will focus on a five-year, 5.5 mill fire/EMS operating levy that will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.
If approved, the levy will cost residents $16.04 for every $100,000 of market value.
According to information from Jerome Township, the fire division has experienced an increase in service calls over the past five years, with no increase in millage.
As a result, township officials feel as though fire and EMS units are understaffed, as response times in some areas exceed eight minutes.
Funds from the levy would be used to sustain current operations and add additional firefighter and paramedics to the staff.
A second fire station would also be opened in the northern area of Jerome Township, although capital costs to build it would be covered by a developer.
An informational packet from Stewart indicates he feels the fire division has been fiscally responsible, but “the current revenue simply will not sustain the level of service the community needs.”
He invited all residents to attend one of the town hall meetings, but encouraged those who are unable to attend, but still have questions, to contact him personally.
In other business, trustees:
– Discussed the possibility of contributing funds to landscape the roundabouts near Costco.
Township resident and business owner Barry Adler said he encourages financial support to create landscaping on the roundabouts.
“I feel this is an important entrance to the township and the county and feel they could contribute to the funding,” he said.
He also mentioned, as a former landscaper, he felt there would be limited maintenance required for the project.
Trustee Joe Craft said he was recently in contact with Union County Engineer Jeff Stauch, who had “no luck” in asking Costco to contribute to the funding.
However, Craft said a local landscaping company, M.J. Design has offered to help complete the project.
He said the company asked the township to raise funds for the plants and materials, which would amount to $5,000-$8,000.
The plants would be “Ohio-species plants that are pretty tough” and could sustain low amounts of water and maintenance, Craft explained.
In return for funding the plants, M.J. Design would cover the cost of labor, which they estimated to be between $10,000 and $15,000.
Craft called it a “very generous offer” and said the township would continue to consider it.
– Approved a motion to reschedule the public hearing for the pet crematory zoning to Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m., as trustee C.J. Lovejoy was absent Tuesday for health reasons.
The public hearing for the final development plan for Glacier Park Neighborhood was also rescheduled to this date and time.
– Scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. Trustee Joe Craft said all three trustees are expected to be present at the meeting, although it will largely be an executive session.
– Set Oct. 31 from 6-8 p.m. as the date and time for township trick-or-treat events.

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