By Linda Collins
For the Herald
MAD RIVER TOWNSHIP — As Mad River Township voters head to the polls on Tuesday, they will be asked to approve two levy renewals and one replacement tax levy that will expire at the end of this year.
“These levies are crucial to our public safety, so we are reaching out to voters and asking them to vote for these levies on Nov. 8,” Mad River Township Trustee Kathy Estep said during a recent township meeting.
Township trustees are asking voters in both the township and the Village of Enon to approve a five-year, 0.8-mill fire levy renewal that, if approved, would continue to generate about $128,346 annually to pay for fire protection services. If passed, it would continue to cost an owner of a home with a tax-accessed value of $100,000 an annual tax of $19.18. According to the Clark County Auditor’s Office, the tax accessed value is based on 35 percent of a home’s actual value.
In addition, trustees are asking voters in both the village and township to approve a five-year, 1.0-mill EMS levy renewal that would continue to bring in $218,763 a year to fund emergency medical services. If approved, it would continue to cost an owner of a home with a tax-accessed value of $100,000 an annual tax of $34.24.
“Approval of the fire and EMS levy renewals would not increase annual taxes at all and is essential for maintaining the same great level of services our fire and EMS department is currently providing to our community,” Estep said.
The Enon/Mad River Township Fire and EMS Department protects a population of over 12,000 citizens residing in the township and the Village of Enon.
Estep pointed out that township trustees generally place the three levies on the ballot in the same fiscal year to save the taxpayers money. Township voters last approved the three levies in May 2011.
Township trustees are seeking to replace the existing five-year, 0.5-mill police levy with a five-year, 0.8-mill levy. If approved, the 0.8-mill replacement levy would generate $142,115 annually for police protection. It would cost the owner of a home with a $100,000 tax accessed value $28 per year, an annual tax increase of $10.50.
According to Estep, the current police services levy generates approximately $80,000 annually. However, the 2016 law enforcement contract with the Clark County Sheriff’s Department amounted to $92,423, which reflected a $3,083 increase in contractual costs in just one year.
Furthermore, township trustees are anticipating that those annual costs will continue to rise to compensate for a 2 percent annual wage increase through 2018 for deputies, nurses and dispatchers employed by the sheriff’s department. These levy funds would also be used to provide and maintain a deputy’s cruiser, other equipment and communications.
“Our sheriff’s deputy’s contract has increased about 2 percent each year, and will continue to do so. Therefore, we had to seriously looked at what lies ahead for us in the next five years,” Estep said. “We have to compensate for increases in contract costs and the wear and tear on the deputy’s vehicle, as well as other operating expenses.”
Estep also noted that the township police levy excludes the Village of Enon.
“This levy only pertains to those voters who reside in the township. Voters living in the village will be asked to approve a separate police levy,” said Estep.
If approved, all three levies would commence in 2016 with the first tax payment due in 2017.