ENGLEWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – It’s all about the costs, and they’re rising.
Englewood’s Director of Finance Della Stearns said Wednesday that’s why the city placed a 2-mill emergency services levy on the ballot this year.
“Costs have gone up, receipts are down and that’s basically it,” Stearns said. “We don’t get paid as much as we used to. Insurance isn’t picking it up as costs increase. I know all cities are having this problem.”
According to Stearns, Englewood spends nearly $1 million from its general fund on emergency services. The money is going to ambulance runs. The city hopes the levy can help alleviate that burden.
“I hope we can level out, but in the past, we’ve been able to fill (emergency) staff with part-time workers,” Stearns said. “That saves us money because we don’t have to provide healthcare, but that day may be coming to an end. We can sustain it for a while, but we would have to consider cuts to other services.”
To help ease the costs on residents, the city decided to take the renewal of an operating levy off the ballot.
“It’s a longtime levy we have had since 1987,” Stearns said. “We choose not to renew that, so we’re giving up that one in hopes we can get more for the fire and EMS. That was a 1.26 mill levy we did not renew and we’re hoping the net cost will attract people to vote.”
As of now, Stearns said the city hasn’t considered what it would do if the levy fails.
“It’s a lot of money, and we can sustain it for a while, but we would have to consider cuts somewhere,” Stearns said. “Not in fire, but in services somewhere. The general fund supports fire at about $1 million.
“But if we continue to eat against the general fund, something will have to give. You only have so much.”
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