Concord Twp. voters to decide on new fire levy, recurring referendum

They’ll also be determining the fate of a more familiar issue, the 14th referendum on the county commission’s approval in January of a rezoning that would clear the way for the proposed Trafalgar housing development near Interstate 75.

Township Fire/EMS Levy

The township trustees are asking voters to approve a 3.7-mill, five-year levy. The proceeds, certified by the county auditor at $568,474 a year, would be used to continue fire and EMS services provided by Troy under a new contract that begins Jan. 1.

The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $113.31 a year. The existing 2.40-mill levy costs that same homeowner $68.07 per year.

Trustee William Whidden said the trustees redid the township emergency services agreements following a comprehensive review of contracts and services in November 2011.

After meetings with fire officials in Troy, Covington and Tipp City, trustees decided supplemental contracts that had been in place with Covington and Tipp City volunteer departments were an unnecessary expense because of mutual aid agreements the departments provide each other. Those contracts were ended and negotiations held on a new agreement with Troy, which has provided fire and EMS service to the township for years.

Based on a review of runs the city crews make into the township and future needs such as a new tanker truck, the township agreed to pay 13 percent of the city department’s budget under a phase in five-year period. The 13 percent reflects the amount of fire department services going to the township area, Whidden said.

Trustees agreed to pay Troy more for the services because the township could never afford its own fire department, the city provides “excellent service” and the township needed to pay its fair share of the city’s cost of operating a fire department from which the township benefits, Whidden said.

“We had fair, open and honest negotiations with the city and both sides are confident the new five-year contract represents the township’s fair share of the city’s cost to provide these essential services,” he said.

Referendum

Voters also will decide on a referendum of the county commissioners’ approval of the proposed rezoning of 50 acres from agriculture to single-family residential. The Geisinger family owns the Trafalgar property located near the Merrimont and Shenandoah subdivisions.

The commissioners have approved the rezoning repeatedly since 1995, only to see opponents successfully challenge the decisions in referendums.

Opponents have pointed to various reasons to fight the rezoning over the years.

They have included concerns over traffic, a desire to leave the property as open space and arguments there isn’t a need for more single-family housing in the area.

The referendum last appeared on the November 2011 ballot.

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