YOU DECIDE ON November 8th 2022
We are asking for your support on a continuous 1.5 MiL Levy.
Population and calls for service
Increases in population and calls for service have increased beyond anything conceived in 1948 when the department was established.
Population in 1970= 3,000 Call Volume 2018-1142
Population in 1980= 5,000 Call Volume 2019-1249
Population in 1990= 7,821 Call Volume 2020-1277
Population in 2021= 8,213 Call Volume 2021-1419
1.5 Mil Levy
WHAT ADDITIONAL MONEY WOULD THIS GENERATE IN 2023 WITH A MAJORITY YES VOTE?
A 1.5 Mil Continuous Fire-EMS Levy in 2023 would bring in an additional $220,247.87
THERE IS ALREADY A 3 MIL CONTINUOUS FIRE-EMS LEVY FROM 2003. WHY NOT JUST RENEW IT ?
This is a good question that the Township trustees and Fire Department command staff discussed with the Clermont County Auditor. Changes to how the State of Ohio Funds the property rollback program was established in 1970 and updated in 1979, has created one of many hardships for local government. House Bill 59, passed by state legislators, took away a 12.5 property tax rollback for anything but property tax levies that are already established and renewed. The State of Ohio will no longer pay the 12.5%, which they have not only done since the 1970s but also used as a reason why Ohio established an income tax in the 1970s. If the three mil levy were replaced, you would lose the 12.5% property tax rollback. As a taxpayer, you would be paying a substantial amount more on the 3 mil levy than the requested 1.5 mil Levy.
STEPS TAKEN TO SAVE TAXPAYERS MONEY?
The elected officials and Fire Department started making cost and service assessments in 2014. Fire Chief William Jetter, at the time, radically readjusted service models, lowered and improved ISO fire levels, and sought state and federal grants to help fund operating and capital expenditures. The department received its first-ever federal grant funding for equipment and Fire apparatus.
Chief Matthew Carey continued this trend in 2017, developing a Strategic Plan, updating EMS services, Station upgrades, and employee benefits, establishing a future funding roadmap, and receiving State and federal funding.
Since 2019, Fire Chief Stephen Downey has expanded on the previous accomplishments and brought the departments aging and dilapidated Fire and EMS vehicle fleet up to standards. He has also improved working conditions, streamlined operations, and obtained even more state and federal funding. Chief Downey is currently working on a Federal Assistance to Firefighters grant to replace a much needed SCBA air compressor and vehicle extrication tools.
State EMS grants,State BWC, grants, Covid funding, Awards for Assistance to Firefighters grants, multiple community block grants, lower ISO ratings( Which in turn could lower residents' home insurance), buying and refurbishing used Fire trucks, and getting three used ambulances and doing remounts saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars alone.
Misconceptions about the building upgrades planned at the Fire Station and Township Hall on State Route 222.
Original plans started in 2018 to make changes to the current area. A CDBG block grant was awarded in 2019 to start the original plans. Since then, Chief Downey has obtained a second CDBG grant and federal ARPA money to fund this project. The station was built in 1980 to be the Life Squad building before the Township Fire and EMS departments combined. It was never built to house modern-day Fire trucks, Ambulances, and the staff that is there 24/7, 365.
Staffing and retention have emerged as our biggest threats.
Employing firefighters/paramedics has become an enormous endeavor. It takes someone around two years to obtain the fire and ems certifications to reach the firefighter II/ Paramedic level. On average, we pay $15.50 an hour for a Firefighter/Paramedic. A 2021 study of twenty-two area fire departments ranked us at the bottom for pay.
The township has experienced a recent reduction in state rollback provisions and state estate funding. The Township General fund can not support capital expenditures or carryover shortfalls. Townships are limited to ways they can generate revenue and spend it. The current budget process is extensive. Many aspects have been in place since the 1930s.
Funds have been dramatically reduced due to Medicare and medical reimbursements from EMS billing. The township practices soft billing on EMS Details.
We have experienced between a 10 and 50 percent increase in medication and medical supplies.
Medicare is now policing the services we provide and not allowing reimbursement for items used in rendering care to the patient.
Maintenance and equipment cost have drastically risen.
Securing pharmaceutical storage, licensing,and fees have risen and Fees have risen.
Costs associated with medication reporting and software expenses to complete EMS reporting now required by the STATE Board of EMS and the State Pharmacy Board have risen.
The cost of fuel has increased
Training of EMT/Paramedics has increased in cost and hours. The price to keep certifications has also risen.
The current levy replacement is being sought to help sustain the increases we are experiencing in providing FIRE/EMS Services.
Current EMS billing for services only returns around 25% of what is billed annually.
One of the used ambulances obtained before if was refurbished.
Used ambulances being refurbished.
Three used ambulances were refurbished and in service. Originally a, 2001,2003 and 2006 now with a new life. This saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for taxpayers.
State BWC funds helped purchase state of the art Cots for patient movement and care.
Two used Fire Engines were purchased and refurbished for a new life replacing trucks that were falling apart.