Issue 38 — Nov. 4, 2014

Trustees deem 3.75-mill fire levy necessary to maintain current levels of emergency services
Registered voters in Jackson Township, city of Grove City and village of Urbancrest will decide on a 3.75-mill fire levy at the polls Nov. 4, 2014. In light of projected shortfalls in the 2015 fire budget, the Jackson Township Board of Trustees explored cost-cutting alternatives and met with officials from the City of Grove City to find ways to avoid the 2015 fire division budget going into the red, but no viable solution was reached.

A reduction in tax sharing from the state of Ohio; rising costs for insurance, medical supplies and equipment; and aging fire stations in dire need of major repairs are just a few of the reasons additional revenue is needed to maintain current fire and emergency service operational levels. The trustees jointly concluded a fire levy was the only fix and unanimously voted to place it on the general election ballot.

The fire division employs 25 part-time firefighter/paramedics at a starting wage of $11.63 as only one example of ongoing operational decisions to be fiscally responsible and contain costs. Jackson Township’s last fire levy was in 1991 when the Grove City/Jackson Township area’s population was 60 percent less. The fire division had more than 11,400 emergency responses in 2013 compared to 4,900 since its last levy 23 years ago.

Construction of Jackson Township’s newest fire station — Station 204 off Buckeye Parkway — has not precipitated the need for additional revenue. Station 204 was funded by tax-increment funds from the City of Grove City, and a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency. The new station did not increase staffing levels as current firefighter/paramedics were reassigned from other stations. Operating the new fire station costs the township less than 1 percent of its fire division’s annual budget.

Jackson Township homeowners can get exact payment projections resulting from the proposed levy at the Franklin County Auditor’s website. Go to www.franklincountyauditor.com. Hover over the “Your Property” tab, and select “Property Search“. Enter an owner’s first and last name by selecting “owner’s name” in the red Quick Links box on the left of the page under property search, or search by address. Click on “Current Levy Info” midway down in the red Parcel Info box on the left.

Call Township Administrator Mike Lilly at (614) 875-0100 or Public Information Officer Lynn Bruno (614) 945-5045/cell: (614) 896-0013 with any questions or for more information.

A reduction in services likely will result from the levy failure, but Jackson Township trustees have not yet discussed what that entails. Trustee contact information is listed.

Chairman David Burris — burrisd@jacksontwp.org/(614) 679-2429
Stephen Bowshier — bowshiers@jacksontwp.org/(614) 679-2431
Jim Rauck — rauckj@jacksontwp.org/(614) 361-8989

The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 6, 2014. Go to the Franklin County Board of Elections website for more information.

Informational links

This page is intended for informational purposes only to help voters make an informed choice.