HARRISON TWP., Ohio (WDTN) – Friday, Harrison Township first responders rush into action, but as they turn the corner there’s a constant reminder of what’s at stake.
They see a sign that reads support fire levy, but not every resident backs the 4 mil increase
“Property taxes have increased 80 percent in the last 10 years and so what we fear is it’s making the township less competitive,” Dan Foley, a Harrison Township resident, said.
Foley, a Montgomery Commissioner, was joined by 2 other residents who both are former township trustees.
The three attended a trustee meeting on their personal behalfs as concerned residents.
Foley wants to be clear that, “This is not anti-fire department. What we need is a strong fire department and a strong economic development climate a strong tax climate that allows us to bring businesses to the township.”
Township officials say they want solutions too, and add that they haven’t asked for a levy since 2006.
From then to 2015, officials say property taxes revenues have dropped and state funds have been cut.
And so, without another levy, they say the fire department,”right now it’s at its bare minimum to operate safely and effectively,” Township Administrator Kris McClintick “The fire fund has lost about $2.7 millions dollars in the last four or five years. So the question is how do we continue to operate safely and effectively and gain back that $2.7 millions dollars without asking for more money from the resident.”
Township officials say the resident’s request at this point is, “a little late in the game right now for us to do this.”
Given McClintick’s stance, 2 NEWS asked Foley why the three waiting until now. He answered, ‘It’s a good question. We didn’t realize that there was a 4 mil increase until we started to see the signs popping up in the community.'”
The levy will stay on the ballot, and now voters must decide the future of this township’s fire and EMS.
The three residents also suggested that the board form a committee to address Harrison Township’s future finances.
Township officials say that committee is being formed.
Election Day is May 5th.