SRWW Joint Fire District 2 & EMS seeks levy to have personnel on station 24/7

By Gary Huffenberger -

The reason the SRWW Joint Fire District 2 & EMS has proposed an additional property tax levy is to have fire and EMS personnel on station 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

One thing SRWW Joint Fire District Chief Chuck Gaskins wants fire district residents to know is that though they will vote on a 6.02-mills levy this November, an existing 2.5-mills fire levy will expire next year.

Rather than have two separate levies, the voter will vote on one levy that has 6.02 mills. If the requested levy passes in November, the district will not seek to renew the existing levy, said Gaskins.

The owner of a $100,000 home would pay $210.70 a year (which is $17.56 per month) in property tax on the proposed levy, according to the Clinton County Auditor’s Office.

The proposed levy would annually generate $650,000 for the fire-and-EMS district. As a fixed-sum levy, it would always generate that much, the auditor’s office stated.

Currently, there is personnel on station at the SRWW Joint Fire District 2 & EMS fire station from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. But that’s not the case on weekday evenings and nights, as well as throughout weekends.

The SRWW Joint Fire District 2 & EMS does about 800 runs a year, Gaskins said.

It’s getting harder and harder to provide 24/7 coverage through volunteers, added the chief.

With the added funds, SRWW can pay fire and EMS staff to be on station, said Gaskins.

To get 24-hour coverage, SRWW will need to hire more people, he said.

The fire chief said SRWW’s service territory is up there by itself in Clinton County’s northeast corner, making fire and EMS mutual aid from other departments 15 to 20 minutes away.

The letters in SRWW stand for the village of Sabina, plus the neighboring townships of Richland, Wayne and Wilson.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

By Gary Huffenberger