4 smaller Butler County communities win fire levy approval

Voters strongly approved fire levies in three Butler County townships and the village of New Miami, but there were mixed results in Hanover Township, where the fire and emergency services levy was approved but a levy that would pay for overall township operations failed.

Explore>>>RESULTS: Latest Butler County election results

Here’s how the votes went, according to unofficial results from the Butler County Board of Elections:

  • Ross Township residents soundly approved a renewal of the 3-mill levy that supports the Ross Township Fire Department, which represents no increase in taxes. The unofficial tally was 68 percent in favor, 32 percent against (2,847 to 1,341). The levy pays for salaries and finances maintenance of fire equipment, buildings and purchase of ambulance equipment. The owner of a $100,000 home now pays $85.01 a year, a rate that will continue.
  • Some 71.75 percent of voters in Milford Township approved a 2-mill fire and EMS levy renewal, with 28.25 percent against. The unofficial numbers were 1,313 to 517. The owner of a $100,000 home would keep paying $59.27 a year.
  • Residents of Hanover Township approved a fire levy with a vote of 56.2 percent to 43.9 percent (2,374 votes to 1,851). They also rejected the township operating levy, which had 38.9 percent support, compared to 61.1 percent opposition (1,616 votes for; 2,538 against).
  • In the village of New Miami, voters approved a renewal of a 2-mill fire levy. The owner of a $100,000 home will pay $61.25 a year, the same amount property owners currently pay.

“Looks like the operating levy failed,” said Hanover Township Trustee Larry Miller. “Very disappointed in that. We really needed the money, and we’re so proud that the citizens helped us with our fire levy. Looks like I lost one and won one.”

The operating levy would have helped the general fund for new equipment “and maintaining our police force, and we’re just going to have to start cutting everything we can, because the state of Ohio took a lot of our money — about $150,000 a year,” Miller said.

Approval of the fire levy will help the township afford the replacement of fire equipment.

“Maybe we can get the governor to give us some of our money back that the state took away from us,” Miller said. “I’m going to sure do everything I can to talk to the representatives and the senators of the state of Ohio, and try to get that put back into the townships.”

On the other hand, “I’m very elated about our fire levy; that’s a wonderful thing,” Miller said. That will allow the township to go to 24-hour service, with someone on fire duty at all times, “as soon as possible,” he said.

“We’ve just been doing great with our fire department,” said Ross Township Trustee Raymond Wurzelbacher. “With a part-time paid fire department, (Fire Chief) Steve Miller does a great job. I’m very pleased with how Ross Township is going right now.”

Reporter Michael D. Pitman contributed to this story.