SAGAMORE HILLS Trustees unanimously voted at a July 17 special meeting to ask the county to certify the funds for a 0.75-mill levy and a 1-mill levy they plan to put on the Nov. 7 ballot. Once the certification -- or statement of how much either levy would generate -- Trustees would decide which amount to ask voters to approve.
Trustee Paul Schweikert said the township currently has a 0.75-mill continuing levy that brings in approximately $220,000 annually to fund the fire and EMS department. Trustees will be seeking to at least double that to continue to fund the department. The additional cost to residents, according to Schweikert, would be roughly $30 per $100,000 of their home's value.
"We pay $750,000 to fund the fire department," Schweikert said. "This would give us roughly $440,000 of that money and the rest we will cover with the ambulance billing and the general fund."
The $750,000 Schweikert quoted is the amount of the township's contract for personnel with the city of Macedonia. The contract does not include equipment or the newly renovated substation in Sagamore Hills Park that cost the township $156,000 to convert from a garage.
Schweikert said if the township had not pulled out of the former Northfield Center-Sagamore Hills Fire District last year, trustees would be asking residents for a 4- or 5-mill levy. He said that if residents approve the 0.75-mill levy, Trustees have no plans to ask for another levy in the foreseeable future.
"We don't anticipate any further levy next year," he said. "As a taxpayer I don't like surprises, and there is nothing else in the works for the police department or anything else."
He added the funds from the levy could solely be used to cover fire department costs and for no other township department.
Schweikert said trustees are "pretty committed" to a 0.75-mill levy but want to see what a 1-mill levy would bring. He said part of the reason for needing the levy is during the past couple of years trustees have been using money from the general fund to supplement road work costs.
"Next year if we get the grant (for Canyon View Road) it will cost us $440,000," he said. "Our revenue for road work expenditures is $325,000 so we have to make up the difference."
He added the last road levy the township asked for was 18 years ago and trustees are working to stretch that to 20 years.
Trustees have until Aug. 9 to file with the Summit County Board of Elections to place the levy on the November ballot. Schweikert said he hopes residents will support a levy.
"The trustees would appreciate the support and ask the residents to remember the fire department on Election Day," Schweikert said.
Briana Barker: 330-541-9432