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Rome VFD to start fundraiser campaign

Officials: Money important to department


ROME TOWNSHIP — Rome Township residents will soon be getting something in the mail from their friends and neighbors at the Rome Volunteer Fire Department.

Fire officials announced Thursday that the annual fund raising mailer will be delivered to home and business addresses in the township this week through the U.S. Postal Service.

The envelope contains a brochure, a donation request card and a return envelope. Tate Tooley, president of the fire department, said the annual fundraising campaign is a necessity.

“These donations help Rome VFD, Inc., keep our bills paid,” Tooley said. “The funds also help us provide the proper training, equipment, and care for our volunteer firefighters.”

Tooley said Rome’s operating budget runs between $40-$55,000 annually. The department receives $25,000 from the annual contract the fire department corporation has with Rome Township Trustees to provide fire and rescue services to the township.

This mailer is the other major revenue source for the year for the organization.

Tooley said the department’s biggest expenses are insurance and maintenance costs for the building and equipment. Most of Rome’s equipment, including personal protective equipment, hand tools and trucks, are covered by tax levies.

“Our fire department corporation budget basically only pays our operating expenses such as building and equipment maintenance, insurance costs, utilities, etc. So, this mailer is extremely important to us. It basically allows us to keep our doors open,” Tooley said.

Rome’s renewable tax levy is coming up for a five-year renewal on this November’s ballot.

Joe Burgess, the department’s chief said he hopes Rome residents will think about the service and security they get from the fire department and support the mailer campaign.

“The department is celebrating 50 years of service to the township this year, and community donations have been the key to sustaining the organization throughout these past five decades,” Burgess said. “Please consider donating to our department. We know times are tight so any amount is appreciated. Remember, by donating you are supporting neighbors helping neighbors. We appreciate our community members for their support.”