If the third reading passes, the three-mill continuous levy for fire protection will be put to voters in a special election in February, or possibly May, depending on election laws. In order to get the levy on the February ballot the deadline for filing is Nov. 19.
The levy is estimated to generate $45,963.36 for fire protection to pay for maintenance on a new fire station which is proposed for Bedford Township and will actually be a substation of the Pomeroy Fire Department.
The Pomeroy Fire Department was one of only 200 entities in the country which received a highly competitive federal grant to build a new fire station in Bedford Township. The station will be approximately 7,500 square feet and house one fire truck. The grant is for $811,750 and will pay for 100 percent of the construction costs. The award is provided through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Assistance to Firefighters Station Construction Grants (ARRA-SCG) program as established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)/Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Once the building is built, it will be owned by the Village of Pomeroy though it will sit on land leased to Pomeroy by Bedford Township. Residents of Bedford Township, not the Village of Pomeroy, would fund the maintenance costs which is why the fire protection levy is being proposed.
The cost to hold a special election in February is around $1,200-$1,500. At this week’s special meeting of the Bedford Township Trustees, Pomeroy Fire Chief Rick Blaettnar addressed the cost of the special election, saying he has discussed with Pomeroy Village Council not charging Bedford Township for the runs the department made into the township from December 2008-09. An unidentified resident told the trustees he felt this should more than cover the cost the township has to pay to file the election fee. Bedford Township pays a flat fee of $150 per run that Pomeroy makes into their township.
The majority of the people attending this week’s meeting were in favor of the levy and fire station, citing it would lower their homeowner’s insurance significantly and was a sign of progress. However, despite the majority in favor of the station, support for the new station and levy was not unanimous at the meeting.
“We just want a chance to vote on it,” Courtney Sim, township resident in support of the levy and fire station, said.