AUSTINTOWN - Trustees on Monday will decide whether to ask voters to approve replacing three existing fire levies come November.
The levies generate about $1.1 million a year for the fire department; the replacements would raise an additional $1 million, according to trustees.
"Since the times these levies originally were passed, we actually are collecting less money from property owners' taxes than voters intended," Michael Dockery, township administrator, said. "Our attempt is to bring the amount being collected to the levels that originally were intended."
Trustee David Ditzler said because each levy is intended to collect a set amount of money, as the township grows and more properties are taxed, the amount of money collected from each property is less and therefore the total amount collected remains the same.
The current millage is 1 mill, 1.2 mills and 1.5 mills.
By doing these replacement levies, the township will collect the actual value of the set millage, thus increasing the amount coming into the township for basic operations.
If approved, people with homes valued at $100,000 would pay an extra $56 a year.
The money is used to pay personnel, maintenance and equipment expenses.
Ditzler said the township needs the additional money to offset losses it has had and is expected to experience based on cuts from state government.
In addition to the money collected from the levies, the township budgets $600,000 for the fire department from its general fund account.
"With the additional income from the levies, in the early years we will not have to provide the general fund money," Dockery said. "That money may be used to pay for other needed things, such as the paving of roads."
Ditzler said if more money is not generated, the fire department could face operating at a deficit.
"We would have to make cuts," he said.
There are 17 full-time firefighters, plus the fire chief. The department has 35 part-time firefighters.