State Supreme Court Allows Orange Township Fire Levy On February Ballot
Orange Township residents will see a 7.5-mill fire levy on the special Feb. 5 ballot.
According to Orange Township Fire officials, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an opinion Friday on the township's appeal of the Delaware County Board of Elections decision to keep a fire levy off of the February ballot.
County Board of Elections officials said that the township filed its paperwork to be on the special ballot just minutes after the deadline.
Township fire officials said that they appealed the county's decision to the state Supreme Court immediately after the county's ruling.
Assistant Fire Chief Matt Noble said that he was happy the state court released the opinion.
"It's a roller coaster," Noble said. "We honestly didn't think we would be in this situation."
The township is asking residents to approve the 7.5-mill levy after a 7.8-mill levy failed on the November ballot.
The February levy request asks voters to pay $229 annually per $100,000 of assessed property value, according to township officials.
Residents currently are taxed at 5 mills for the fire department, and the new request of 2.8 mills increases payment by $76 annually per $100,000 of assessed property value, officials said.
Because of the failed levy in November, township officials already have taken steps toward decreasing spending, such as cutting its contract in half with the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.
Firefighter Joseph Line is one of 22 firefighters who received a layoff notice in December.
"I'm a third-generation firefighter," Line said. "It stung a bit when we lost the levy and knowing we could lose our jobs."
Noble said it was a sense of relief that the levy would be on the ballot.
"There is a sense of relief in one respect. We are going to be able to get our fire levy on in February," Noble said. "No comes the next step, and that is getting our message out to the public."
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Jan. 2, 2013: Orange Township Budget Cuts Decrease Number Of Deputies Patrolling Streets
Dec. 6, 2012: Orange Township Firefighter Jobs On The Line After Board Rejects Levy Request
Dec. 3, 2012: Missed Filing Deadline Might Mean End For Orange Township Levy Hopes
Nov. 30, 2012: Orange Township Officials Take Step Toward Firefighter Layoffs
Nov. 27, 2012: Orange Township Needs More Time Before Making Fire Dept. Cuts
Nov. 7, 2012: Orange Township Officials Vote To Place Smaller Levy On Ballot After Failed Attempt