WEATHERSFIELD TOWNSHIP Trustees getting ready to put fire levy on ballot
An official said the township hopes to add daytime staff to the fire department.
By MARY SMITH
MINERAL RIDGE -- Weathersfield Township trustees asked the Trumbull County Prosecutor's office Thursday to draw up the legal language for a 1.5-mill fire levy to appear on the March primary ballot.
The prosecutor also was asked to verify with the county auditor's office the amount of money to be generated.
Trustees must still take formal action on the proposal to place a levy on the ballot, and a resolution for the levy will appear on the trustees' agenda for their regular meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The plan is opposed by trustee-elect John Vogel, who will take office in January.
"It is my intention to visibly and actively campaign against the levy," Vogel wrote in a letter to trustees following the meeting. "In addition, I will present a motion at my earliest opportunity after being sworn in to have the resolution regarding the placement of this levy on the ballot struck down."
Trustee James Stoddard said trustees are hoping to start adding daytime staff to the fire department sometime next year. Now, volunteer firefighters -- many of whom work during the day -- provide fire protection in Weathersfield from three fire stations.
Stoddard also said that the proceeds from the levy, if it is approved, would also pay for the reinstitution of an equipment replacement program, "to allow us to purchase some equipment down the road. & quot;
A 1.5-mill measure would generate about $232,500. The fire levy would be a permanent measure, if passed by trustees and approved at the primary.
Vogel said he opposed the levy because he does not believe the services are needed, and because he says there is no evidence that having a three-member crew in one station would have a significant impact on safety.
He also said that paying some firefighters would undermine the voluntary nature of the fire department.
One mill produces an estimated $155,000 in revenue for the township. The township currently has three fire levies in place that total 2.7 mills, all of which are permanent measures. A 0.7-mill levy was passed in November 1983; a 1-mill measure was passed in November 1984; and another 1-mill measure was passed in 1986.