Fire and safety levies coming Tuesday in Gallia


By Dean Wright - deanwright@aimmediamidwest.com



GALLIA COUNTY — With a variety of issues for Gallia to vote on this Tuesday, many among them are in connection with ongoing safety levies.

“The University of Rio Grande is running a levy that is separate from ours at the Village of Rio Grande,” said Rio Grande Police Chief Chris Dodson. “Our levy is a renewal of the successful levy that the taxpayers graciously passed in 2011. This levy greatly assisted the police and fire departments in their time of need. Unfortunately our critical emergency services are not immune from our continuing cost of living always on the rise. The levy that passed in 2011 provided the police Department with the ability to increase coverage for road patrol, a school resource oficer for our elementary school and a replacement for our cruiser that had over 200,000 miles.”

Through the levy, the fire department has been able to purchase a new ladder truck, a facility to house it and new safety equipment for firefighters. It created the two safety agencies in the village after being passed in 2011 that were better equipped and trained.

“We are asking for your vote again to renew the levy so that we can maintain the high standard of service we are providing now well into the future,” said Dodson. “Times are tough, crime and emergencies never sleep, so we need your support to serve you in the most efficient and productive way we can. We live in a great community and my staff will work hard to keep it that way, but without the renewal we will have to reduce our patrol hours considerably.”

A proposed renewal municipal income tax for the Village of Rio Grande is being put before voters to finance police and fire safety needs. Ballot language is as follows. “Shall the Ordinance providing for a one-half percent (1/2%) levy be renewed on income for the purpose of police and fire protection wages/benefits, equipment, supplies, and apparatus, for a period of five (5) years, beginning in 2018 be passed?”

Voters are then asked if they are for or against the levy.

“As you can imagine, firefighting is a very expensive thing,” said Springfield Township Fire Department Safety Officer Steve Short. “Bunker gear, one set is about $5,500. A self-contained breathing apparatus is $6,500 now, so to properly outfit our people, we need all the money we can get.

A proposed renewal tax will go before Springfield Township votes in regards to continuing operation of firefighting needs. Ballot language is as follows. “A renewal of a tax for the benefit of Springfield Township for the purpose of providing and maintaining fire apparatus, appliances, buildings, or sites, therefor, or sources of water supply and materials therefor, or the establishment and maintenance of lines of fire alarm telegraph, or the payment of permanent, part-time, or volunteer firefighters or firefighting companies to operate the same, at a rate not exceeding one (1) mill for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to ten cents ($0.10) for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for a period of five (5) years, commencing in 2018, first due in calendar year 2019.”

Voters are then asked if they are for or against the levy.

A proposed renewal tax will go before Raccoon Township voters in regards to the continuing operation of firefighting needs. Ballot language is as follows. “A renewal of a tax for the benefit of Springfield Township for the purpose of providing and maintaining fire apparatus, appliances, buildings, or sites, therefor, or sources of water supply and materials therefor, or the establishment and maintenance of lines of fire alarm telegraph, or the payment of permanent, part-time, or volunteer firefighters or firefighting companies to operate the same, at a rate not exceeding three-tenths (0.3) mill for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to three cents ($0.03) for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for a period of five (5) years, commencing in 2018, first due in calendar year 2019.”

Voters are then asked if they are for or against the levy.

Gallipolis is proposing a municipal income tax to be put before voters to finance public safety operations. Ballot language is as follows. “Shall the Ordinance providing for a one percent (1%) levy on income for public safety operations to be effective January 1, 2018 be passed?”

Voters are then asked if they are for or against the levy. Should voters pass the levy, this would mean those working in Gallipolis would pay a two percent income tax as opposed to the previous one percent.

“It gets tougher for us to deal with (crime),” Gallipolis Police Chief Jeff Boyer said at a previous public meeting. “It gets tougher for us to deal with the drug dealers because 10 full-time officers need to get a search warrant for a house. Everybody in here probably knows of a house they suspect to have drug dealers. It takes many, many hours for our guys to do surveillance, sit on that house, get the proper information they need to go in front of the prosecutor’s office and get a search warrant with a judge to sign it. We know there are drug houses and we know there is a problem.”

Boyer said ideally if the levy would pass he would like to hire an additional five new officers for the city as well as meet equipment needs for the Gallipolis Police Department.

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.

http://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2017/11/web1_13710033_1018959674807181_2579009364266527545_n.jpg

By Dean Wright

deanwright@aimmediamidwest.com