It appears that Dalton Village council is preparing to withdraw from the East Wayne Fire district. Over the course of 2022 there have been many rumors, speculative accusations and opinions stated based on emotions and not sound logic. It appears clear to me now, through the non transparent communication of our village leaders, that discrediting EWFD was the primary goal off 2022 to allow the Village of Dalton to withdraw without consequence. Through all of this the department is still functioning due to the dedicated first responders that set emotion aside and only have the best interest of the community at heart.
It seems a possible plan is to have North Lawrence cover Dalton as primary fire and EMS until another plan is made and put in place. North Lawrence has presented a contract that would pay them $286,000.00 for twelve months, doubling what the current levy ($140,000.00) produces. With all of the talk about EWFD supposedly being fiscally irresponsible how in the world does this make sense fiscally? Also there is the issue of physical distance that North Lawrence would have to travel while responding to calls.
There are also several consequences if the decision to withdraw would be made. If the decision to withdraw would be made before the end of the year then per ORC 505.371(D), on January 1, 2023 the following happens.
1. EWFD is dissolved and no longer exists.
2. Dalton and Marshallville no longer have active coverage from a local fire department.
3. Existing EWFD 2.9 levy goes away. (Payment to contracted agency would have to come out of general fund.)
4. All real and existing property owned by EWFD would go to the Village of Marshallville. I would estimate this to be over one million dollars of assets lost.
(PU truck, Grass fire truck, airpacks, radios, brand new UTV, turnout gear, small tools and and equipment, load system in squad 1, cardiac monitors just to name a few. Most of these items were purchased through grants, bringing your tax dollars back into the community.
5. Building grant ($956,000.00) would be lost. Due to the actions of DVFD this building grant may already be lost.
6. Wayne county auditor will ascertain, apportions and order a division of cash. Most like 80% to Dalton and 20% to Marshallville.
7. This needed cash from number six, which will be needed to form another department will most likely not be available to divide due to Baughman township suing EWFD which means the funds are encumbered until that lawsuit is over years later.
Decisions of this magnitude must be done with much thought and careful planning based on sound logic. When it comes to public safety, and quite frankly fiscal decisions, emotions absolutely must be left out of the equation or else lives are put in jeopardy and your tax dollars are wasted. We MUST make sound logical decisions based on facts and not emotions. We need to do the right, and moral thing so that our children and grandchildren are not still dealing with the consequences years down the road.