2018-06-24 / Insight

Deerfield Twp. voters to decide two proposals on Aug. 7 ballot

810-452-2601 • npugliese@mihomepaper.com

First Responder, Safety Officer and Firefighter Mike Sweet inspects a truck inside Deerfield Township Fire Dept. Hall. First Responder, Safety Officer and Firefighter Mike Sweet inspects a truck inside Deerfield Township Fire Dept. Hall. DEERFIELD TWP. — Voters in Deerfield Township will have two measures to consider as they head to the voting booth in August.

Voters will be asked to consider a measure to raise funding through special assessment for the purpose of funding the Fire and Emergency First Responder Services in the township for five years (2018-2023). For each residential, commercial and industrial business, the maximum per year assessed is $51, while owners of vacant property or property that does not hold a building can be assessed a maximum of $13 each year. It’s estimated that the assessment will raise a total of $136,087.

Deerfield Township Supervisor Ray Hayes said the measure is a result of a state-required shutdown of the township’s First Responder Program four years ago due to the inability to staff all needed shifts each day all year. “The fire department recognized a need to have a first responder program and in late 2016, decided to take on the task,” he said. According to Hayes, most of 2017 saw the township’s fire department personnel pursuing training to fill the role of first responders, and in January of 2018, became operational. “In the first five months they have responded to 120 medical calls,” said Hayes. “Now, the first responders are part of the fire department budget.”

The current assessment funding, which totaled to a maximum of $38 for occupied properties and $13 for vacant properties per year from 2012-17, for the day-to-day operations of the Deerfield Township Fire Dept. has expired and did not include major equipment expenditures. “The new proposal for 2018-2023 has an assessment of $51 and $13,” said Hayes. “It is to fund the fire department as well as the first responders’ day-to-day operations for the next five years.” Hayes said the proposed assessment does not include major equipment expenditures.

According to Hayes, the assessment removes the need for residents to pay for fire runs. “Many community residents pay as much as $2,500 for a fire run in addition to the township paying a fee to the fire department servicing them,” said Hayes. “This has also resulting in a savings to many residents on their fire insurance.”

Keep annual meeting

In addition to the question of funding for the township’s fire department and first responders program, voters will also be asked to decide if the township’s annual meeting, held each year on the last Saturday in March, should be abolished. Hayes said at the annual meeting, while members of the public are able to discuss any subject they choose, they have the ability to only vote on salary increases for elected officials.

The matter is required to appear before voters, said Debbie Oliver, Deerfield Township clerk, because the meeting was established by vote a decade ago.

According to Hayes, the savings to the township resulting from the elimination of the annual meeting would be “miniscule,” and said of the matter of public input into municipal proceedings, the public is welcome to attend the regular monthly township meetings, during which two public times are held. “More people regularly attend the monthly meetings than the annual meeting,” he said. The Deerfield Twp. Board of Trustees regular meeting is held each month on the second Monday at 7 p.m.

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2018 The County Press, All Rights Reserved

Click here for the E-Edition
2018-06-24 digital edition

Unrestricted access available to web site subscribers

Subscribers to the County Press newspaper can now purchase the complete online and E-Edition of the paper for as little as $5 for three months. If you want a six month subscription to the online edition it is $10 and a full year can be purchased for $20.

Non-subscribers can sign up for the online version for $15 for three months, $30 for six months and $60 for an annual subscription.