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KVFD plans future with levy

KIDRON  A plan is in place to make sure that for years to come well-trained volunteers will continue to don safe reliable gear, use the latest equipment, and jump in updated squads or engines to provide efficient and effective emergency services.

Kidron Volunteer Fire Department’s board of directors has discussed how to adequately fund capital improvements. The possible need for a tax levy was discussed at length. The pandemic, inflation, and the increasing requests for services all led the board of directors to request that voters consider a tax levy.

An additional tax levy has been proposed and voters of the Southern Sugar Creek Township Fire District will consider the 2-mill levy at the May 2 primary election.

According to information provided, costs of everything has gone up from fire trucks to squads and equipment on those trucks, and it became necessary to discuss options.

The oldest vehicles in the Kidron Fire fleet are a tanker from 1986, an engine from 2002 and a squad that is from 2008.

Money will be used gradually as needed.

The KVFD board of directors hosted two Q & A sessions this past week and previous week to allow residents to ask questions and voice concerns, meet the team and tour the facility.

David Sleutz, a former Kidron Fire volunteer and a member of the board of directors, said about seven people attended the first open house and so far residents seem to be receptive to the request for funding through a tax levy and asked good questions about what the money would be used for.

“Everything we do, we do for the community,” Sleutz said.

The proposed three-year levy will be on top of a 1.5-mill levy that has existed for a few years. For owners of a house valued at $100,000, for example, they would pay $43 for the existing levy, and another $70 if the proposed 2-mill levy passes for a total of $113. This amounts to 36 cents per day total.

Sleutz said the board is dedicated to being fiscally responsible and won’t be shopping for a new vehicle any time soon. Instead, the plan is to replace the engine of the oldest vehicle but maintain the exterior, which is still in good shape.

The squad gets the most amount of work and the plan is for the 2008 squad, which was originally purchased as a used vehicle, to be refurbished with a new engine and motor and the exterior will remain.

“We’re doing what we can to be financially responsible with the money we do get,” Sleutz said.

The levy is expected to generate $170,000 and the current levy is generating about $140,000. The levies run concurrently. Each levy is for three years.

Sleutz recommends homeowners visit the Wayne County Auditor’s website and input the parcel number to see how much a new levy would cost.

“We have a great group of firemen and of EMTs – the men and women – we have a fantastic department,” he said. “We have a lot of community members and a lot of people in the community let people go on squad runs.

“We want to thank the community for everything they’ve done for the department. We want to be fiscally responsible and do everything we can.”

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