HANOVER TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – A levy in Columbiana County is looking to give the Hanover Township Volunteer Fire Department upgraded facilities and full-time EMT service.
“We really appreciate the current EMT services, but those are not in the township, they are coming from other areas,” said Trustee John Zehentbauer. “We know that there’s a delay in time for them to get there. It’s just a fact. It’s nothing against them. They’re providing services but it does take an extra time.”
The township currently contracts with the Hanover Township Volunteer Fire Association, meaning they buy their services. They need a new building but can’t do it, so the township is building one and will lease it to the fire association.
“We have a great relationship with them,” Zehentbauer said. “They’re the only provider for fire protection in our township. This has been ongoing for over 80 years, this relationship.”
On the Columbiana County Board of Elections website, it lists the levy as additional at 3.1 mills generating $814,000. Zehentbauer says that would be true if the company behind the Nexus Pipeline wasn’t getting a tax reduction. Either way, it won’t affect what they’re trying to do for the fire association.
“They’re still paying their taxes. I want to make sure that people realize that, but it’s reduced,” Zehentbauer said.
The company is creating the Nexus Pipeline. The pipeline extends from Kensington, which is in Hanoverton Township, all through Michigan to Toledo. The company is in the middle of a tax appeal. Zehentbauer says the township agreed to a tax reduction, so the levy would actually generate $525,000 if passed.
“The pipeline has been a blessing,” Zehentbauer said. “That’s why I want to make it clear I’m appreciative of them. The oil and gas industry has helped us tremendously. The pipeline has provided some tax revenue. They’re looking for some tax relief.”
Should it pass, the levy will cost a homeowner with a home valued at $100,000 an extra $109 a year.
“If this levy passes, we will start the bidding process right after in December, and hopefully have that built within a year,” Zehentbauer said.
Fire Chief Frank Baker says having an ambulance staffed in the township to respond to medical emergencies would give him peace of mind.
“The residents of Hanover Township deserve that,” Baker said.
Zehentbauer says he was told about 60% of the calls the firefighters get are medical calls.
“It’s a pretty cool program,” Zehentbauer said. “Right now, our volunteers are being worked to death. They’re going out at 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock in the morning on two calls. These are people that have to go to work every day.”
Baker says he’s happy to think they might get a new fire station.
“It is exciting to think that we can replace an aging building with a deteriorating infrastructure, no restroom facilities and does not support staffing needs,” Baker said.