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Fire district, township focused on future

Last month’s settlement agreement and one-year contract signed by East Wayne Fire District and Sugar Creek Township board members mean local leaders can now concentrate on the future of fire protection and emergency medical services.

Township Trustee President Jon Hofstetter has received positive feedback about the contract dispute being over.

“A lot of people are happy we can finally put that to bed and start to move forward,” he said.

The COVID-19 outbreak and Stay at Home orders to keep the virus from spreading has slowed some movement.

Blake Nussbaum II, East Wayne Fire District chairman, said that by now he was hoping to have had an initial meeting of a committee he has put together to discuss a variety of issues facing local communities. Still, he’s hoping to have a meeting as soon as it’s safely possible and residents’ thoughts and ideas are welcome through the committee. The mission of the Community Strategic Vision Committee is “to provide community feedback in a cross functional format for citizens to public service organizations.”

At the first meeting, Nussbaum is planning for fire and EMS protection for communities to be the point of discussion with everything from operational and staffing costs to different ways of running a fire department.

The CSVC is composed of about 20 community leaders and residents including Dalton and Marshallville council members, board members and members of EWFD and Kidron Volunteer Fire Department, trustees from Sugar Creek and Baughman townships, and school board members.

Hofstetter said he expects township trustees to begin talking about a levy at this month’s meeting to be able to continue funding fire and EMS. He said he would like input from both KVFD and EWFD to help come up with an amount. Sugar Creek Township meets next at 7 p.m. April 21 at the Kidron Community Center. The filing deadline for the November election is Aug. 4.

Hofstetter said “no one will be paying double in property taxes” if the township were to put on a fire levy for the unincorporated area and if EWFD considers a levy for Dalton and Marshallville.

Read the settlement highlights, brief history and a timeline of the contract dispute in the April 15, 2020 edition.


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