Pultney Township eyes fire district

BELLAIRE The Pultney Township trustees met Wednesday night to discuss several ongoing issues, including the possible decision to enter into a joint fire district with the Village of Bellaire.

The trustees are in the process of gathering information and will meet with Neffs Fire Department Friday morning.

Trustee Frank Schaeffer said they were following the Ohio Revised Code regulations concerning how to form a joint fire district.

He added that the township currently contracts with two fire departments: Neffs and the Spirit of 76.

Trustees were approached by Neffs to form a joint fire/EMS district and have created an exploratory committee to look into the matter. Members of the Bellaire Village Council have joined the committee.

Among the issues to be discussed are the liens on the Neffs Fire Department building. The current fire service is provided through a 1 mill levy from the village. The township has a .5 mill ambulance and EMS services levy and a 3.5 mill fire levy. The trustees have obtained projected new millage amounts for two to six mill levies. Should the township decide to form a new district, they would have to decide which millage they want.

They must also determine the change in property values. The current levy is based on 1985 standards. A levy proposal, whether new or replacement, must be turned in by August to be on the ballot.

“We’re looking at funding 76. We’re looking at the boundary lines,” Schaeffer said. “Whether we want to place the boundary lines, whether to keep them as a separate entity, which is what (Neffs) is asking us to do. All we’re doing is fact finding. That’s where we’re at now.”

Trustee Jim Tekely added that a public hearing will be scheduled after the information is gathered and a course is ready to be proposed. Public input would be welcome.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com