2018-04-11 / Front Page

Fire Levy Vital, Say Township Trustees

A new 1.3-mill property tax levy is vital to the operation of the Archbold-German Township Fire Department, the German Township Trustees said during their Monday, April 9 meeting.

After 18 months of negotiation over how the fire department is funded, the village of Archbold and the trustees reached an agreement in January.

It calls for German Township residents living both inside the village and outside to pay the same tax rates for fire protection service.

In the past, township property owners paid a lower rate than those in the village.

“I think it’s important that people understand that there was a lot of discussion about this agreement, and we did come to an agreement between” Archbold officials and the trustees, said Andy Brodbeck, a township trustee and former AFD chief.

“This levy is important because the agreement was that the services be provided to all residents in German Township… and that they will be paid for equally by all.”

Reading from a prepared document, Brodbeck said village officials and trustees would “determine and present an adequate funding levy to the residents of German Township that covers the overall fire department budget, including apparatus, equipment, operational, and housing needs.

“To fulfill this agreement, the parties agreed that a new 1.3-mill fire levy, along with the current five-tenths (.5) and six-tenths (.6) levies, would be adequate to properly operate the fire department.

“This new 1.3-mill levy, along with the current fire levies, will raise approximately $427,000” per year.

For the agreement between village council and the trustees to be effective, passage of the levy is vital, Brodbeck said.

“Passage of the levy will allow for the department to continue providing the superior service that they have always given,” he said.

Kenneth “Skip” Leupp, a trustee, said he spoke with John Whitemore, assistant Fulton County prosecutor, for information about how the levy can be legally promoted.

For example, if an individual business or individual wants to post a sign asking people to vote for the levy, there is no legal problem.

But the fire department cannot use its own sign to ask for votes.

The sign can ask people to vote Tuesday, May 8, but cannot ask or recommend how to vote.

If a group wants to promote the levy, a campaign committee must be formed before any money is spent, Leupp said.

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