July 25, 2016

Partly cloudy

Westfield Township’s fire levy is defeated

WESTFIELD TWP. — Voters defeated a levy Tuesday to increase funding for Westfield Fire and Rescue, and the South Central Fire District went down with it.

Voters rejected a 2.5-mill continuous levy to fund Westfield Fire and Rescue, with 102 ballots cast for it and 156 against, according to unofficial results from the Medina County Board of Elections.

“It’s going to be tough because this levy was to start getting capital money set aside for equipment replacement,” said township trustee Jim Likley, liaison to the Fire Department.

Likley said Westfield Fire and Rescue will continue to operate on a 1.5-mill levy passed in 1996. The levy brings in $79,000 annually and costs property owners $33.18 a year per $100,000 of appraised valuation, according to the auditor’s office.

Westfield Center has a contract with the township and funds the department with revenue from a 1 percent income tax. Gloria Glens contracts with the department, funding its portion through a separate levy.

“Our present levy is a continuing levy, and that won’t change with this going down,” Likley said.

The way the department is funded could change, however. Likley said the township has not had to pull from the general fund to supplement the department thus far.

The township has not passed a new fire levy in 14 years.

“I really don’t know why it’s not popular with voters,” Likley said. “I attribute it this time to the present economic times.”

Contact Lisa Hlavinka at (330) 721-4048 or lhlavinka@medina-gazette.com.