By Elise Franco
Township trustees will determine in coming weeks if they’ll replace three fire levies, but first they need certification from the Mahoning County auditor.
The board voted Monday to ask for auditor’s certification of three levies that would replace current levies of 1.2 mills, 1 mill and 1.5 mills, approved in 1976, 1984 and 1992, respectively.
The levies, totaling 3.7 mills, currently raise about $1,169,000 for the fire department, said township Administrator Michael Dockry.
Dockry said the taxable values have decreased over the years so residential properties are taxed on 1.75 mills and commercial properties are taxed on 2.2 mills.
The auditor’s office will determine the exact millage of the levies and how much they would raise each year.
It would then be up to the trustees to decide whether to put the levies on the ballot.
The deadline to file with the Mahoning County Board of Elections for the levies to appear on the November ballot is Aug. 8.
Trustee David Ditzler said the purpose of the replacement fire levies would be to bring the current levies up to today’s taxable value.
Ditzler said the fire levies would also serve a purpose similar to a 2-mill replacement police levy voters approved in March by keeping the fire-department staffing at its current level.
“We’re trying to recover money cut by the state and keep status quo within the fire department,” Ditzler said. “We need to keep pace with the growth of Austintown since the levies were first voted on.”