SIDNEY – Shelby County voters approved all the village and township tax levies in the 2020 general election, according to unofficial results, with funding for the expansion of the Russia Community Fire Company firehouse among the highlights.
Loramie Township voters approved an additional tax for the purpose of the construction, improvement or maintenance of buildings for firefighting services. According to unofficial results, 852 voters, 73.2%, voted in favor of the new tax while 312, 26.8%, voted against it.
“Obviously we were very grateful,” Chief Tom Phlipot said. “Put a lot of work into it and just very grateful to get the response that we did.”
The 10-year levy will 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 will be approximately $86, with the tax first due in calendar year 2021.
The firehouse, which was constructed in 1972, has 3,500 square feet of space. With the passage of the levy, 2,992 square feet will be added to the west end of the building.
The expanded firehouse will 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.
The added space will 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 will be added. Gear presently is stored in the apparatus bay near the trucks.
Phlipot said work should begin next spring and hopefully will be done by this time next year.
Elsewhere, voters in Dinsmore, Franklin, Jackson and Van Buren townships all approved new tax levies as well.
Van Buren Township voters approved 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. Unofficial results showed 831 voters, 69.48%, approved of the levy while 365, 30.52%, voted against it.
Dinsmore, Franklin and Jackson townships each approved new levies for the purchase of ambulance equipment.
Dinsmore Township, which includes the village of Botkins and a portion of the village of Anna, had 1,142 votes in favor of its levy, 60.94%, and 732 opposed to the levy, 39.06%.
Franklin Township, which includes a portion of the village of Anna, approved its levy with 758 votes in favor, 58.9%, and 529 votes opposed, 41.1%.
Jackson Township, which includes the village of Jackson Center, approved its levy with 690 votes in favor, 56.65%, and 528 against the levy, 43.35%.
Voters in Fort Loramie, Lockington, Port Jefferson, the Anna Local School District and the Loramie Fire District all approved levy renewals.
Loramie Fire District voters approved a tax renewal for firefighting services with 3,104 voters in favor of the levy, 80.27%, and 763 voters opposed, 19.73%.
Lockington voters approved a tax renewal for the purpose of payment of firefighting companies with 48 voters in favor of the levy, 63.16%, and 28 against it, 36.84%.
Port Jefferson voters approved a tax renewal for the purpose of the payment of firefighting companies with 95 votes in favor, 66.43%, and 48 votes against the levy, 33.57%.
Fort Loramie voters approved a tax renewal for the purpose of current operating expenses with 755 votes in favor of the levy, 82.69%, and 158 against it, 17.31%.
Anna Local School District voters approved a tax renewal for the purpose of permanent improvements with 1,820 voters in favor of the levy, 60.51%, and 1,188 voters opposed, 39.49%.
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