Bruce Lauber, president of the German Township Trustees, and Joe Short, a former trustee, said at “Meet The Candidates Night,” hosted by the Archbold Buckeye and the Archbold Chamber of Commerce, the township was told not to pay the village for fire service.
The event was held Thursday, Oct. 12, at Archbold High School.
Lauber told the audience, “One point I think has not been publicized very heavily through this whole study is we have discovered here is a discrepancy that the township (outside the village) is paying less that what village residents pay.
“However, a number of years ago, five years ago, the village administrator came to us and said, ‘Why are you paying us for fire protection?’”
At that time, Dennis Howell was the village administrator. He retired from the post in the summer of 2016.
Lauber said the trustees told Howell, “Well, because we always have.
“At that point, he (Howell) said, ‘just don’t worry about it anymore. Just don’t write us a check.’”
Lauber said, “Maybe at that time, it (the disparity between what village and township residents outside the village pay) should have been discovered.”
Short told the audience that “regarding the inequity, yeah, there’s an inequity.
“German Township puts a fire levy on, and it’s for outside the village and inside the village.”
But Short said the village put its 3.3-mill operating levy on the ballot, which included funding for fire protection, “and the people voted for it without question.
“So, you know, it seems as though I’ve heard that… I’m not going to say there’s a blame.”
He said village officials have complained about paying more for fire protection.
“Yes, it’s true. There is no doubt about that.”
Short said in the past, when he was a trustee, “we paid approximately $5,000 a year as a kind of gratuity, because we knew there was an inequity, and when it was brought up, the administrator said, ‘don’t worry about it, it’s for the good of the community.’
“We wanted to make it fair.
“I got to see the last contract that was presented from the village council to the township, and there was a zero-dollar cost from the township to the village.”
Short said he spent a lot of time with Brett Kolb, county auditor.
“The village has this information, the township trustees have this information, and what is the best alternative here?
“That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to work together and come up with a solution.”
Short said council wants the fire equipment and $141,000 per year.
(Editor’s note: In the proposed agreement that called for a two-mill fire levy with rollbacks, village officials said there would be no charge for fire protection above what the two-mill levy brought in.)
Short said the township would be responsible for about $44,400 per year for fire protection service.
“If elected, I could support that,” he said.
“We can work together on this. Again, the township retains ownership (of the fire equipment), and they (the trustees) pay $44,400.
“Look, we have the problem solved. Let’s go along to the next one.”