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Levy for Oak Grove VFD to be on ballot

February 21, 2008
By Patrick Cooley,
There will be a replacement levy for the Oak Grove Volunteer Fire Department on the March 4 ballot.

The department’s 4-mill levy for fire and emergency services expires this year. In order for it to continue, said Peggy Byers, the deputy director of the Washington County Board of Elections, the replacement levy must have exactly the same language as the original.

Anyone in the precinct that votes at the Oak Grove Community Building will be voting on the levy. According to the board of elections, there are 935 registered voters in that precinct.

The auditor’s office estimates the levy will generate approximately $102,000 a year. This includes an estimated $87,000 from property taxes, plus a rebate for $15,000 from the state because of the pending elimination of tangible personal property tax on business equipment, inventory and fixtures, according to Oak Grove fire Chief Richard Sams.

“Out of the levy money, we’ll be paying our operating expenses, utilities and fuel supplies for both the fire and emergency squad,” he said. Hopefully we’ll be replacing one of our older trucks with a new one. It’s a 1978 model, and it’s getting pretty unreliable. Sometimes it gets to the fire; sometimes it doesn’t.

“We’re not looking for anything too expensive, just something equal to what we have, but a newer model. Nothing fancy, just a basic pumper truck,” he said.

Sams said the department has never had a problem getting its levies passed, and he doesn’t expect that to change this year.

“It’s always been that way in the past,” he said. “We hope that continues. We’ve enjoyed pretty good support through the years. We’ve tried to spend wisely and stretch our budget as far as we can.

“A lot of things we try to buy through donations and government grants. When we bought our Jaws of Life, we got those through donations,” he said.

Currently, the department has a little more than 30 members. They cover the west side of Muskingum Township, while the Devola Volunteer Fire Company covers the other.

The levy is replacing a 4-mill levy that was passed by voters in 2002, and expires at the end of this year. That levy passed by a margin of 373 voting “yes” and 143 voting “no.”

Fact Box

About the levy
¯ Residents of the Muskingum West precinct, whose polling place is the Oak Grove Community Building, will vote on a 4-mill fire and emergency services replacement levy.
¯ The rate amounts to 40 cents for each $100 worth of property value.
¯ The levy will start in 2009 and last for five years.



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