DGKN staff report
SUGAR CREEK TWP. Trustees have approved to split the township into two taxing districts for the purpose of requesting levies to help improve and fund local fire departments.
After discussion at public meetings this spring and summer and feedback from representatives from local fire departments, the board of trustees unanimously agreed at a July 8 special meeting to create the two districts.
The process has included working with the county prosecutor’s and auditor’s offices. The prosecutor is expected to draw up language to put on the November ballot and the auditor is to certify the amounts.
The township is looking into requesting a levy of 1.5 mills for the 2020 and 2021 tax years for the Southern Sugar Creek Township Fire District, which is serviced by Kidron Volunteer Fire Department and Orrville Fire Department, and 2.9 mills for the Northern Sugar Creek Township Fire District, which is serviced by East Wayne Fire District.
Township Board President Jon Hofstetter made it clear the term “fire district” is required by Ohio Revised Code to be used for the taxing district for the ballot.
“We’re just naming them for the ballot issues,” Hofstetter said in a recording for the July 8 special meeting. “Those voting for the Kidron Orrville area will see Southern Fire District. We’re going to have to advertise that no we’re not replacing KVFD, we’re not replacing OFD, we’re not replacing East Wayne, this is what the township has to do to be able to put something on the ballot for the separation. This is just a formality.”
Audio recordings from meetings are available at sugarcreekwayne.com. The website also has copies of the resolutions and a map showing the two districts.
Marshallville is working on the process of placing a 2.9-mill levy on the ballot to match the township, Hofstetter said during the meeting.
Trustee Scott Widmer called the creation of the fire districts a “milestone.”
“This is a big step toward addressing the needs in both communities … we’re finally getting to a spot where we can address it formally,” Widmer said on the recording during the July 8 special meeting.