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Published: Wednesday, 2/6/2008

4 informational meetings scheduled on Sylvania Township fire levy

BLADE STAFF

Four public meetings have been set to explain plans for the Sylvania Township Fire Department and how it will use funds if voters pass a 1.25-mill continuing fire levy next month.

The meetings are being organized by Sylvania Citizens for Fire Services, which is promoting the levy's passage.

Township trustees voted to place the levy on the March 4 ballot in December, a month after three fire levies failed and many voters complained that they were faced with confusing alternatives on the ballot.

The new citizens' organization is a coalition of groups that competed for votes in that election.

If passed, the 1.25-mill tax will raise about $2 million annually for the department that serves both the township and the city of Sylvania.

The revenue will pay for increased fire department staffing, new fire apparatus purchases, and replacement of three township fire stations and the remodeling of the fourth.

The upgrades are included in an overall plan by Fire Chief Frederick Welsh. The chief, who started on the job in October, will present the plan and respond to questions at the pubic meetings.

The meetings are scheduled for Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. at Hill View Elementary School; Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. at Timberstone Junior High School; Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. at the Sylvania Township Administration Building, and Feb. 26, at

1:30 p.m. at the Sylvania Senior Center.

In November, voters rejected two 0.5-mill levies which were proposed by trustees for operations and capital improvements.

A third levy issue, for 1.5 mills, was also rejected. That issue was for both operations and capital improvements and was a citizens' initiative.

Chairmen of Sylvania Citizens for Fire Services are John Crandall and Bruce Wharram.

One mill equals $1 of tax for each $1,000 of assessed property value.

If passed, the levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 house an estimated $46 per year.



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