Voters asked to fund expansion of Russia firehouse


By Kyle Shaner - kshaner@sidneydailynews.com



A rendering provided by the Russia Community Fire Company shows the proposed design for the renovations and additions to the firehouse in Russia, which would be completed if a tax levy passes in the 2020 general election.


Courtesy image

RUSSIA – Loramie Township is pursing a levy that would allow for expansion of the Russia Community Fire Company firehouse while other Shelby County townships are seeking funds for ambulance equipment during the 2020 general election.

Voters in Loramie Township will decide on an additional tax for the purpose of the construction, improvement or maintenance of buildings for firefighting services at a rate not exceeding 2.45 mills for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.245 for each $100 of valuation, for 10 years, commencing in 2020, first due in calendar year 2021.

The levy would fund the renovation and expansion of the Russia Community Fire Company firehouse, a project that is anticipated to cost $1.25 million. The annual cost to the owner of a house valued at $100,000 would be approximately $86.

“We’re just cramped,” Chief Tom Phlipot said. “We’re out of room.”

The firehouse, which was constructed in 1972, has 3,500 square feet of space. If the levy passes, 2,992 square feet would be added to the west end of the building.

The expanded firehouse would include three bays in the front and two in the back, with room to add a sixth bay in the future. Currently, the firehouse has two bays for the department’s four trucks – two engines, a tanker and an equipment truck. The department would like to add a grass truck to its fleet but lacks space to store it.

“In order for us to get access to our tanker, we have to pull an engine out,” Phlipot said of the current setup.

The added space would allow all of the department’s possessions to be stored in a single building. Currently, the department’s gear washer is stored in the village maintenance building, tables and chairs are stored in a shed, and some paperwork is stored off-site at locations such as Phlipot’s home due to a lack of space in the firehouse.

A dedicated gear room also would be added. Gear is presently stored in the apparatus bay near the trucks.

“There’s a big push in the fire service, for cancer prevention, to have your gear cleaned and stored in a separate room so it’s not exposed to any fumes and whatnot that are out in the apparatus space,” Phlipot said.

The Russia Community Fire Company has considered its options for a larger firehouse for several years. In 2017 it received a donation that allowed it to purchase the property at 111 North St. in Russia, giving it space to add onto the current firehouse.

The firehouse has served the community well, Phlipot said, but it no longer meets the needs of the fire department as equipment has gotten larger and the department has grown; in 2007 the department began responding to medical calls.

“We arrive on scene probably 10 minutes before Versailles Life Squad is able to get here, just due to distance alone,” Phlipot said. “And that’s been a very big asset to our community. There’s a guy over there on Voisard Street that’s alive today because of that service.”

Along with the need for more space, Phlipot said low interest rates make this the right time to pursue the addition and renovation.

“We don’t want to kick the can down the road for our kids and their kids in the future,” he said.

Elsewhere, Van Buren Township is seeking an additional tax for the benefit of Van Buren Township, including the village of Kettlersville, for the purpose of providing ambulance and emergency medical services at a rate not exceeding 0.5 mill for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.05 for each $100 of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2020, first due in calendar year 2021.

Dinsmore Township, Franklin Township and Jackson Township each are seeking levies for the purchase of ambulance equipment. Dinsmore Township includes the village of Botkins and a portion of the village of Anna, Franklin Township includes a portion of the village of Anna and a portion of the city of Sidney, and Jackson Township includes the village of Jackson Center.

The levies for Dinsmore Township, Franklin Township and Jackson Township all seek taxes at a rate not exceeding 0.3 mill for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.03 for each $100 of valuation, for four years, commencing in 2020, first due in calendar year 2021.

Levy renewals also are on the ballots this year.

Loramie Fire District is seeking the renewal of a tax for the purpose of providing and maintaining fire apparatus, appliances, buildings or sites therefore, or sources of water supply and materials therefore, or the establishment and maintenance of lines of fire alarm telegraph or the payment of permanent, part-time or volunteer firefighters or firefighting companies to operate the same, including the payment of the firemen employer’s contributions required under Section 742.34 of the Revised Code, or to purchase ambulance or emergency medical services operated by a fire department or firefighting company within Loramie Fire District at a rate not exceeding 1.5 mills for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.15 for each $100 of valuation, for three years, commencing in 2021, first due in calendar year 2022.

Graham Local School District is seeking the renewal of a tax for the purpose of general permanent improvements at a rate not exceeding 1 mill for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.10 for each $100 of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2020, first due in calendar year 2021.

Miami Valley Career Technology Vocational School District is seeking the renewal of a tax for the purpose of current operating expenses and improvement to school buildings and sites, including equipment and furnishings at a rate not exceeding 2.18 mills for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.218 for each $100 of valuation, for 10 years, commencing in 2021, first due in calendar year 2022.

The village of Fort Loramie is seeking the renewal of a tax for the purpose of current operating expenses at a rate not exceeding 1.15 mills for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.115 for each $100 of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2021, first due in calendar year 2022.

The village of Lockington is seeking the renewal of a tax for the purpose of payment of firefighting companies to operate at a rate not exceeding 2.6 mills for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.26 for each $100 of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2021, first due in calendar year 2022.

The village of Port Jefferson is seeking the renewal of a tax for the purpose of the payment of firefighting companies at a rate not exceeding 1 mill for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.10 for each $100 of valuation, for three years, commencing in 2021, first due in calendar year 2022.

Anna Local School District is seeking the renewal of a tax for the purpose of permanent improvements at a rate not exceeding 1.5 mills for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.15 for each $100 of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2021, first due in calendar year 2022.

https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/10/web1_election-logo-2020-temp-5.jpg

A rendering provided by the Russia Community Fire Company shows the proposed design for the renovations and additions to the firehouse in Russia, which would be completed if a tax levy passes in the 2020 general election.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/10/web1_Scene-1.jpgA rendering provided by the Russia Community Fire Company shows the proposed design for the renovations and additions to the firehouse in Russia, which would be completed if a tax levy passes in the 2020 general election. Courtesy image

By Kyle Shaner

kshaner@sidneydailynews.com

Reach the writer at kshaner@sidneydailynews.com or 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at kshaner@sidneydailynews.com or 937-538-4824.