ENGLEWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – With elections less than one month away, the City of Englewood is informing residents of the details of their fire and EMS levy.
The fire and EMS levy is the only one on November’s ballot, and city staff said it will be important for the continued safety of residents.
“Those funds will go to further stabilize our fleet for the fire department, as well as the continued personnel cost that we’re experiencing with the shortage of part time personnel,” said Anthony Terrace, chief of the Englewood Fire Department.
If approved, the new levy will replace the general fund levy, allowing money to be more directly allocated to the fire and EMS needs, including maintaining the salaries of full-time employees.
“We have aging equipment, said director of finance for the city, Della Stearns. “We hired in 2019, 17 full-time firefighters to put us at 27 firefighters. The part-time environment for firefighters is difficult for us to be able to fill those positions,” she said.
Because the department has been short on resources and has struggled to maintain vehicles in the fleet, the City of Englewood has partnered with Union Township and City of Clayton fire departments, sharing equipment to service residents throughout the area. So far, Stearns said the levy has experienced a generous amount of support, but said city finances will be strained if voters reject the change.
“If it’s not approved, the general fund will have to continue to support fire. Fire and EMS are the most important thing — and police. Safety for our residents is the…highest priority for the City of Englewood. So other things would suffer, say streets or community projects.”
Staff at the city said they hope voters will view the levy as a worthwhile investment.
“This levy will cost taxpayers in the City of Englewood $3.82 per $100,000 of home valuation,” said Terrace.
For a home at the same valuation, that would translate to just over $45 a year, and would bring in nearly $350,000 to the fire department annually, compared to the current levy, which generates less than $130,000.
Nearby Perry Township and Bellbrook also have measures on November’s ballot. 2 NEWS will provide the details of those measures ahead of election day.