June 30, 2016

Mostly sunny

Protection will cost more in 2010

WADSWORTH — Wadsworth Township will pay a higher rate in the new five-year contract signed Friday with Wadsworth for fire protection and emergency medical service.

The township will pay the city $404,000 per year in $101,000 quarterly payments to receive fire and EMS coverage from the Wadsworth Fire Department, city Safety Director Matt Hiscock said in a statement.

The current five-year contract, which expires Dec. 31, required the township to pay $280,000 a year for the protection, township Trustee Virgil Mochel said.

“According to the percentage of calls we had in the township, they felt like we needed to pay more,” Mochel said.

Hiscock said through November, 321 fire calls and 981 EMS calls were made in the township during the contract period.
Should calls to the township exceed 25 percent of the Fire Department’s total calls, the township will pay $2,500 per additional call. In the previous contract, the township would have paid $2,000 per additional call exceeding 30 percent of Wadsworth’s total calls, Mochel said.

He noted the township didn’t have to pay any extra charges.

“These high costs are due to fixed costs … (including) buildings, apparatus and supporting equipment, as well as the ever-increasing training, certification and technical demands,” Hiscock said. “Additionally, the costs of equipment, supplies and personnel dominate most department budgets.”

Mochel said he anticipates the township likely will have to renew its 2-mill continuous levy so it is collecting at current property valuations.

“The levy doesn’t increase as the value of homes increase,” Mochel explained.

The continuous levy was approved in 1986, a spokeswoman with the Medina County Auditor’s Office said.

Estimates indicate the levy will generate $138,819 in 2009, the spokeswoman said, adding estimates often are lower than what is actually collected.

Mochel said the levy is only bringing in half of what the township pays for fire and EMS service, and money is coming out of the township’s general fund to cover costs.

“We’re going to be farther and farther behind, so that’s a problem,” he said.

Contact Lisa Hlavinka at (330) 721-4048 or lhlavinka@ohio.net.