ELLSWORTH TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – Voters in Ellsworth Township will be asked to approve a new fire and EMS levy on the ballot this Nov. 8.

It’s a 5.77 mills levy, which would cost about $17 per month for a $100,000 home. The levy would generate $414,764.

The department has been using American Rescue Plan funds to staff the fire house with two people at all times, but that money is running out.

To continue staffing at the same level, fire Chief Edward Smith says the levy needs to pass.

“Private ambulance services — as you see — are declining in our area. You just don’t have the people responding,” Smith says. “Some of our residents wait 50 minutes for an ambulance to get there. They could die.”

Smith says if the levy passes, the district would most likely be able to improve their Public Protection Classification (PPC) grading. The classification rates fire departments on criteria like response time, training, fire hydrants and more.

Homeowners insurance could decrease if the PPC improves.