Wednesday, April 25, 2018 (Brookville Star) - Fire funding explained for villages - 3rd in a three part series

(by Jeff Requarth, Clay Township Trustee)


Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of informational columns supplied by the Clay Township Trustees concerning the upcoming 3.5 Mill levy for fire protection services. The issue will be on the May 8 primary ballot. Any opinions expressed by Mr. Requarth are not those expressed by the Brookville Star.

The information in this article was supplied by the villages of Phillipsburg and Verona..

Village of Phillipsburg Fire and EMS receive their funding entirely from the Clay Township Fire and EMS levy. The current level of funds does not provide adequate funding to sustain the expected level of service required for our number of calls for service. Additional funding is needed to replace aging equipment, ambulances, fire apparatus, and updates to facilities, along with increased training requirements, wages, fuel, travel distance to the hospital, utilities maintenance are among the many items that must be addressed. Phillipsburg Fire and EMS to continue the present level of service will need additional funding.

If no, the level of service could suffer and may jeopardize its continued existence all together. Village of Verona Fire Department receives funding from several sources that include Village of Verona, Village of Gordon, Harrison Township , and Clay Township.

While they have received increases in funding from other sources in the last few years, they have lost funding from Clay Township making it even harder to maintain quality equipment and service.

Some of the major needs to replace equipment, that in many cases is more that 20 years old and is no longer compliant with NFPA and OSHA standards. Equipment such as Bunker Gear, Extraction tools are over 25 years old, 1992 fire engine outdated, maintenance issues unable to carry today's require equipment, breathing apparatus 13 units reaching end of their life cycle, thermal imaging cameras out-dated and fail often.

By not replacing these items to keep compliant, you put firefighting personnel at risk.

I cannot stress enough that all three, Brookvile Fire and EMS, Phillipsburg Fire and EMS and Verona Fire Department are all vital to providing Fire and EMS service the the entire area of Clay Township, the loss of any of these three departments would be devastating.

The levy will add $122.50 annually on a $100,000 home that is $10.21 per month or .34 cents per day if your home is valued at $100.000.

In closing, I hope that the information in these three articles has been informative. Each individual voter must make a decision based on his or her priorities.

If additional information is needed, or additional questions your can contact me at 475-0268 or reach out to any of the three departments.