Fire levies, alcohol sales up for vote

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The November ballot will bring with it the option of levies for three fire departments and Sunday liquor sales for an Ironton club.

Voters in Windsor Township, Washington Township, and Decatur Township will decide Nov. 2 on fire levies for their respective townships.

Washington Township Fire Levy

Email newsletter signup

The Washington Township 1-mil fire levy would bring in $5,100 per year and pay for the township to contract for fire protection with the Madison-Jefferson Fire Department. The department currently responds to fires in the township for about $870 each and works car accidents free, said Jerry Kelly, president of the Washington Township board of trustees.

For a homeowner with $50,000 in property, the levy would cost $15.31 per year. For a homeowner with a $100,000 home, it would cost $30.62 per year and for a $150,000 home, the cost would be $45.93 for the homeowner.

“Basically for no more than it’s going to cost them, they should vote for it,” Kelly said.

Kelly said the township has been encouraging residents to vote for the levy by word of mouth. Whether or not it passes is the million-dollar question, he said. He added that he realizes many residents are on a limited income and he is too.

“I can’t control voters,” he said. “I can’t control votes. I know I will vote for it and my wife will vote for it but I can’t speak for everyone else. I certainly hope it passes but it’s a wait and see game.”

Decatur Township Fire Levy

In Decatur, residents will have the option of voting for a 1.8-mil fire levy. The levy is new and would be in addition to the current levy that brings in less than $3,000 each year.

“The levy we are asking for would help us keep the doors open,” Fire chief Gene Cox said.

Specifically, the $10,000 it would generate would pay for fuel, training, equipment and vehicle maintenance, as well as the operation of the firehouse itself among other costs. The department has tried to cut down on expenses, even installing a coal furnace in the firehouse for heat. Electric bills and Internet service, which the department is required to have to submit reports about fires, are costly.

Cox said the department has made improvements recently, despite a small budget.

“To do the things we’ve done operating with a very meager budget, I think we’ve done real well.”

The department is having trouble getting grant funds because it cannot afford to pay the matching funds that most of them require.

For $50,000 in property, the Decatur fire levy would cost a homeowner $27.56 a year. For a $100,000 home, it would cost the homeowner $55.12 per year. For a $150,000 home, the levy would cost the property owner $82.68 each year.

Windsor Township Fire Levy

The 1-mil Windsor Township Fire Levy is up for renewal as well. The levy is the main source of income for the department, fire chief Don Christian said.

“This is the main life blood of the department,” Christian said. “If we lost this, I don’t know what would happen. We probably wouldn’t have a fire department.”

The levy was originally passed five years ago.

For a $50,000 home, the levy would cost the homeowner $14.06 each year. For a homeowner with a $100,000 home, the levy would be $28.12 per year. For a $150,000 home, it would cost $42.18 per year.

Ironton Eagles Sunday alcohol sales

The Ironton Eagles is asking voters in the 3C precinct for permission to open and sell alcohol on Sundays.

The club would be opened from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. each Sunday, according to a letter written by secretary Jim Weber. On the extra day, the club would not have competition from places in Ashland, where alcohol is not served on Sundays, Weber said.

According to the letter, the Eagles have contributed $146,000 to local police, fire, schools and churches since 2002. Part of that total was the $7,500 it recently gave to the Friends of Ironton for the Sprayground project, Weber said.

“We serve the community,” Weber said.

Weber said the club was required to get a number of signatures from residents of the precinct before it could be put on the ballot, so he went door to door asking people.

“We didn’t have one negative response,” he said.

Eagles president Tony Layne was reached for comment Monday, but he referred questions to Weber.