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Miami Twp. seeking renewal of fire levy

The levy generates about $2 million annually for fire services.

Voters in Miami Twp. are being asked to renew a fire levy that helps fund the community’s share of services it shares with Miamisburg.

Passage of Issue 52 – a 3.65-mill, five-year levy renewing the tax that expires at the end of the year - will help ensure the Miami Valley Fire District functions as it has, according to Fire Chief Matthew Queen.

“The importance of passage means that the fire department will continue to operate at the current level,” Queen said in an email. “Failure of a levy could potentially mean reducing/eliminating planned expenditures, reducing/eliminating some non-essential services or initiating a hiring freeze to help control costs.”

The levy on the November ballot is one of two tax issues that provide the bulk of township funding for fire services. It would generate about $2,009,543 a year, according to the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office.

The other is a 3.5-mill renewal levy that raises about $2.1 million a year. That five-year issue was renewed by voters in 2013 and both levies have been approved every time they have appeared on the ballot this century.

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There is no registered opposition to this year’s renewal levy, according to the county board of elections.

If approved, the renewal would continue to cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $111 a year, according to the auditor’s office.

The funds would support operations that function within an estimated $9 million annual budget. The MVFD includes five stations, five medic units, four engine companies and one ladder company, with combined staffing of about 65 full- and part-time firefighters, according to Queen.

“All funding sources go toward the operations of the fire department,” he stated. “No one specific levy funds any one certain item. All funding sources go toward personnel costs, supplies and materials, training, contractual services and capital improvement.”

The agreement for the fire district, which merged earlier this decade, calls for the township to fund about 60 percent of the budget because of the jurisdiction’s populations, township Administrator Greg Rogers has said.

Officials from both jurisdictions have expressed overall satisfaction with fire district operations.

Former MVFD board member and township Board of Trustees President Doug Barry has said the merger has saved money, and is an example of collaborative government efforts “that actually work.”

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