By Linda Collins
Fairborn Daily Herald
MAD RIVER TOWNSHIP — The Mad River Township Board of Trustees quickly got down to business during the Monday, Aug. 1 township meeting. They took the next step toward placing three levies before voters in November.
Township trustees passed three resolutions to proceed with the submissions of two levy renewals and one replacement levy with the Clark County Board of Elections. Trustee Kathy Estep told residents that the township had filed the necessary paperwork with the Clark County Auditor’s Office, notifying county officials of their intent, and had received certification from the auditor’s office regarding the millage rates. She noted that the three existing levies would expire at the end of 2016.
“These levies are crucial to our public safety, so we need to move forward with placing them on the Nov. 8 ballot,” Estep said.
Township trustees are seeking to replace the existing five-year, 0.5-mill police levy with a five-year, 0.8-mill levy. If passed, the 0.8-mill replacement levy would generate $142,115 annually and would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $28 in annual taxes, a yearly tax increase of $10.50.
According to Estep, the current police services levy only 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 costs in one year. Furthermore, township trustees are anticipating that those annual contract 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.
“We seriously looked at what lies ahead for us in the next five years,” Estep said. “We have to compensate for increases in contract costs, the wear and tear on the deputy’s vehicle, and other operating expenses.”
Estep noted that the police levy excludes the Village of Enon.
Trustees are also placing a five-year, 0.8-mill fire levy renewal on the fall ballot that, if approved, would continue to generate about $128,346 annually to pay for fire protection services in both the Village of Enon and the township.
In addition, trustees are asking voters to approve a five-year, 1.0-mill EMS levy renewal in November that would continue to bring in $218,763 a year to finance the emergency medical services in the village and township.
“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 to our community,” said Estep.
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.
In other business, trustees approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the township and the Clark County Board of Commissioners, on behalf of the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services. Estep explained that the memorandum defines the responsibilities of the Department of Job and Family Services regarding repairs and services of certain township vehicles and equipment.
Township trustees, department heads and residents also observed a moment of silence in memory of village resident and former fire fighter Lewis DeVore who passed away on July 26 at the age of 84.
Enon/Mad River Township Fire and EMS Chief Tracy Young said DeVore proudly served the local fire department for 54 years and ultimately, received his lieutenant’s badge. DeVore also served on the Hertzler House Committee at George Rogers Clark Historic Park and was a longtime member of the Enon Community Historical Society where he helped organized the Enon Apple Butter Festivals. Young told township trustees that members of the fire department would be honoring and paying tribute to DeVore during his funeral service, procession, and burial on Wednesday.
The next regular session of the Mad River Township Board of Trustees is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15 at the Enon/Mad River Township Fire and EMS Department, located at 260 E. Main St.
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.