SCT board asks for support of fire/EMS levies

We are quickly approaching election day. The township has placed two levies before you, the voters, for consideration. The board would like to highlight some of the key points of the levies.

The first point we have to offer will be the coverage area. The Northern Sugar Creek Fire District was established to fund the EWJFD. The Southern Sugar Creek Fire District was established to fund KVFD and OFD. The township began contract discussions at the Oct. 13, 2020 meeting. EWJFD and KVFD intend to cover the districts that have been established for them.

Since May 2020, the Sugar Creek Township board of trustees have worked with EWJFD, KVFD, and the Village of Dalton to try and begin funding our local fire departments. Two districts were formed to allow for the different needs of the Dalton and Kidron area. In the Dalton area, EWJFD needs to transition to a combination department to enable personnel to be compensated while working inside the station and responding to emergencies. Volunteers, when available, could assist with staffing as they have time. In the Kidron area, they are in the process of replacing its fire station. We believe two separate districts respect the two main communities. The levy amounts suggested by each fire department will allow the respective districts enough money to operate and tackle items needing funding. For more information, please reference sugarcreekwayne.com.

The 1-mill levy will not be placed on the ballot and has expired. The reasoning behind the decision was due to a lack of flexibility. The 1 mill levy was township wide and did not allow for differences in between Kidron and Dalton. Kidron Volunteer Fire Department still has a consistent volunteer response. Dalton does not have the same consistency. The solution is to pay personnel to be at the station physically. Paid staffing is the solution many of our neighbors, and for that matter, other governmental entities through the state have implemented to solve adequate fire department staffing issues.

The passage of both township district levies will allow the board to start funding our fire and ems services annually. Both KVFD and EWJFD will be able to show how they have spent the dollars. Residents will get to see what services they received in 2021 and how much they paid. Renewal ballot issues would be in 2022.

If either of the levies is not approved, the township does not have adequate funds to provide to either fire department. As of the ending of our Oct. 13, 2020 meeting, the general fund had a balance of approximately $11,000. If residents turn down their respective levy their local fire department will have minimal money from the general fund, and it will not be until 2022 before an approved levy could begin funding the fire department. Trustees will have to develop an alternative plan for voters to consider at the next election.

Please support your local fire department and vote yes.

SUBMITTED BY
The Board of Sugar Creek Township Trustees

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