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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: How will the 2.9-mill levy influence emergency response compared to 2020?

There will be an opportunity on the November ballot for township residents served by the East Wayne Fire Department to approve raising $125,000 and approve the township trustees to contract for emergency response services.

East Wayne’s total receipts in 2019 were $427,633 and East Wayne’s 2019 Wage Earnings report states that $135,325 (31.6% of total receipts) was paid in wages, including $45,240 — over a third of the total budget — to Fire Chief Kyle Nussbaum. If you doubt the numbers, please make a public records request for these reports at

In the August 12, 2020 edition of the Gazette, EWFD President Blake Nussbaum stated this tax levy would “be used to staff the fire station several hours each day.” East Wayne’s staffing grant expires in 2020, so the taxes raised by the 2.9 mill levy will be necessary to replace that staffing grant.
Township residents need to know when the EWFD Board President said funds would “be used to staff the fire station several hours each day” whether he was talking about the Dalton station or the Marshallville station. Township residents should ask the EWFD Board and Fire Chief how they plan to staff the fire station in Dalton with these new levy funds. How will this differ compared to staffing in 2019 and 2020? I’m certain Marshallville residents will want to have some staffing at the Marshallville fire station, so how does the EWFD Board and Fire Chief plan to staff both stations to protect residents across these two response areas?

Township residents should ask the EWFD Board and Fire Chief whether staffing in 2021 will be more than or less than staffing in 2019 and 2020. Will there be more funds available for paid staffing if the levy passes compared to the staffing grant?
Township residents should ask the EWFD Board if they plan to continue paying the Fire Chief $45,000/year. Is the Fire Chief a full-time paid position?
This 2.9-mill levy raises $125,000 each year from township residents — that’s nearly triple the amount raised by the 1-mill levy approved back in 2016. That amount of money raises a lot of questions. I hope we can all learn more from the EWFD Board how our tax revenue will influence emergency service responses in the township and I hope the answers to these questions are satisfactory.

Scott Widmer
Sugar Creek Township trustee

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