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Published: Saturday, 8/13/2005

Clinton Township, Wauseon pursue fire truck tax

WAUSEON - Trustees in Clinton Township - Fulton County's largest township, which encompasses Wauseon - are asking city and township residents on Nov. 8 for a new levy to buy an aerial fire truck.

Trustees are asking for a 1.15-mill, five-year levy that would raise almost $193,000 a year at a cost of more than $35 a year to the owner of a $100,000 house.

It would take total real estate taxes on such a house to $1,609 in the township and $1,550 in the city.

The levy would help purchase an $850,000 truck with a 100-foot ladder that would allow firefighters to reach the roof of the Fulton County Health Center, which they cannot do with their current equipment.

The truck would replace a model that is about 30 years old and has an 85-foot ladder.

That truck performed well at last month's fire at downtown Wauseon's Clermont Manor Apartments in the former Hotel Blair. But Wauseon Fire Chief Marv Wheeler said, "We're tinkering with it a lot."

If the levy should pass, trustees would order a new truck right away. So some of the taxes would go toward interest payments because the bill for the truck would arrive before collections are completed.

Trustees approved the request 2-0 last week, with President Brett Kolb abstaining from the discussion and vote because of his new position with the Fulton County Board of Elections.

He was hired last week by the elections board as its new director, effective Jan. 1, and will be a part-time employee until that time, so he did not want to vote on an issue for the ballot, he said.

The trustees' last fire equipment levy - 0.7-mills - expired in 2003.

"We never keep a continuing levy for equipment on," Trustee Larry Neuenschwander said. "We give everybody the opportunity to vote it up or down."

For fire operations, the township has a 0.3-mill levy that was replaced in May which raises almost $52,000 a year at a cost of just over $9 a year to the owner of a $100,000 home.

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