SAGAMORE HILLS — Financing of township fire and EMS services will remain steady after passage of Issue 23 on Tuesday. The 0.75-mill additional fire levy was approved by voters 1,538 to 1,035, according to final but unofficial results from the Summit County Board of Elections.
The fire levy is for a continuing period of time, with taxes first due in 2018. The levy will bring in $218,000 in new revenue per year, which with a previously approved 0.75-mill will raise the total to $436,000.
"All three trustees are really happy that this levy passed," said Trustee Paul Schweikert. "We really need this money.
"We don’t want to tax people any more than we have to, and we believe that we will not have to ask for any more tax money for three to four years, when a road levy might be needed."
Schweikert said trustees were happy to see that the majority of township voters "didn’t fall for the untruths" that were being circulated by a resident.
"We will be able to fund fire and EMS services for about $750,000 a year and keep our own equipment, compared to the $953,000 that we would have had to pay had we stayed in District 27," he noted. "The higher amount wouldn’t have allowed us to keep our own equipment."
Schweikert said any voters who have doubts about fire / EMS funding can visit Township Hall and get the facts.
The new levy will increase a property owner’s yearly tax burden for fire / EMS services by about $26 per $100,000 of a property’s value. They will now pay a total of about $52.50.
Sagamore Hills fire / EMS services are now covered via a contract with the city of Macedonia. Township Trustee Paul Schweikert said the township pays about $750,000 per year to Macedonia for fire / EMS services.
The remainder of the operational expenses above the $436,000 which the levies will generate comes from ambulance revenues (about $200,000) and the general fund.
Schweikert said previously if the levy passed, trustees have no plans to ask for any other levy for at least two years.
One area local option issue passed Tuesday, while another failed.
Issue 24 was approved 302 to 49 for Sagamore Hills Precinct B, and will allow the sale of wine, mixed beverages and spirituous liquor on Sundays from 10 a.m. to midnight at Dos Coronas at 419 W. Aurora Road.
Issue 12 was defeated 183 to 132 for Macedonia Precinct A. It would have allowed the sale of beer, wine, mixed beverages and spirituous liquor on Sundays from 11 a.m. to midnight at Fun-N-Stuff Amusements at 661 E. Highland Road.
Meanwhile, a 4.5-mill countywide issue (Issue 3) for services provided by the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board was passing by nearly 40,000 votes with only a handful of precincts still to be counted.
The levy will run for six years, and homeowners will continue to pay about $138 per year per $100,000 of their property’s value.
"We are thankful for the many organizations, government officials and citizens who helped to pass this levy," said Summit DD Superintendent John Trunk.
"We are fortunate to have the backing of a community that understands how important it is to fund essential services for children and adults with disabilities."
The Summit County Board of Elections will certify the election results near the end of November.
330-541-9400, ext. 4189