Levy passage allows for new Springboro fire station plans

Firefighters at the Clearcreek Fire District, which protects Springboro and Clearcreek Twp. CONTRIBUTED
Firefighters at the Clearcreek Fire District, which protects Springboro and Clearcreek Twp. CONTRIBUTED

Residents and businesses on both sides of Ohio 741 in Springboro — including the Dorothy Lane Marketplace and Settlers Walk community —can look forward to quicker responses to calls for fire or other emergency services.

More than 67.4 percent of voters in Springboro and Clearcreek Twp. voted for a continuing 3.75 mills property tax that will help pay for fire and emergency services and construction of new fire house in the northwest part of the fire district, according to final unofficial Warren County Board of Election results.

Before the election, Clearcreek Fire District Chief Steve Agenbroad said this was one of the uses envisioned for the money to be raised through the additional levy.

The levy is expected to cost property owners $131.25 more a year for every $100,000 in property value on their county bill, according to Warren County Auditor Matt Nolan.

While Springboro has grown and the unincorporated township boomed residentially, the fire fund had not been boosted through a new tax levy since 2001, when voters approved an additional continuing 3.85-mills.

The fire budget had been running at a $1.2 million a year deficit and reserve funds were expected to run out in 2022, according to Clearcreek Twp. Fiscal Officer Russell Carolus.

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Agenbroad said the new money would also be used to hire more staff for the proposed northwest district station and a community paramedic position, as well as upgrade existing equipment and the existing three fire station buildings in the city and unincorporated township.

Agenbroad thanked residents for responding to the information campaign.

“They said resoundingly, ‘We will support you,’" he said.

Property owners in these two communities are already paying 4 mills in property tax for these services on three existing levies supporting the Clearcreek Fire District.

A new service would be provided by adding three community paramedics focused on response to non-emergency medical calls, which are about 70 percent of the calls the department receives, according to the fire district.

The levy is expected to carry the district for 15 years and help pay for improvements boosting the department’s rating with the Insurance Service Office. This should translate to lower insurance rates, especially for businesses, Agenbroad said.