Local Community Fights For Levy To Save Fire Department

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An upcoming levy could decide the future of the Liberty Township Fire Department.

Voters rejected a larger levy in November that has already resulted in the loss of 10 positions at the fire department.

This week, four firefighters spent their last day on the job after being laid off.

All the other employees have now been put on notice.

“I have 18 years on the department and got a layoff notice yesterday,” said Capt. Bill Piwtorak, Liberty Township Fire.

The 30 days notice is required by their contract.

“In anticipation that this levy potentially could fail, all 42 people have been notified,” added Piwtorak.

But a group of citizens calling themselves ‘Save Our Services’ has other plans.

“Almost every one of us in here knows somebody who has needed these services,” said Becca Mount.

Mount knows the panic of having a loved one in trouble.

“It was frightening to see my child on the bathroom floor having a seizure and not knowing what was causing it. It was just frightening beyond belief,” said Mount.

In those moments, she learned firsthand the value of emergency response.

“It's about knowing that when I pick up the phone during an emergency and I call 911, I know where my local fire department is coming from.  I like the idea that they're 4 minutes and 41 seconds away on average,” she said.

The 5.6 mill levy before voters would cost homeowners $171.50 a year per $100,000 of their property value, an increase of $28.33 a year.

If it fails, Piwtorak said there will be no money for the department.

That’s why Mount says “failure is not an option.”

Election Day is February 5, but early voting is already underway.

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