Clinton-Highland Joint Fire & EMS District asking for 2.5-mill levy


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



The Clinton-Highland Joint Fire & EMS District is requesting an additional 2.5-mills property tax levy to provide the added revenue to have 24/7 on-station fire and EMS crews.

“These crews will reduce the need to rely only on volunteer members to respond to an increasing number of emergency calls. It has become difficult to recruit and retain volunteers to meet the needs of the district,” Clinton-Highland Joint Fire Chief John Johnson said.

This proposed 2.5-mills levy, if approved, would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an estimated $87.50 a year (or $7.29 a month) in property tax, according to the Clinton County Auditor’s Office.

Annually, the levy would generate about $236,323 for the district.

Johnson said that over the past few months, the district has put into practice on-station staffing and it’s reduced out-the-door and on-scene response times.

“This coverage has had a noticeable positive effect in providing the district residents dependable quality emergency services,” the chief said.

Volunteers will continue to be an important part of the fire and EMS district, said Johnson. He added, however, that the present budget will not support the continued cost of providing much-needed, on-station crews.

Passage of the requested levy is needed to continue providing high quality emergency services, said the fire and EMS chief.

The proposed levy would be for a continuing period of time, states the ballot language.

Clinton-Highland Joint Fire & EMS District has an existing levy. It is a five-year, 4.3-mills levy, having started in tax year 2016 and running through tax year 2020.

If anyone has a question about the requested levy, the chief said they are welcome to phone 937-987-2713 and he will return the call.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

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By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com