2018-08-12 / Insight

Deerfield Twp. voters vote yes

810-452-2601 • npugliese@mihomepaper.com

DEERFIELD TWP. — Voters in Deerfield Township made their voices heard in favor of safety during Tuesday’s election.

Voters were asked, and approved, 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). Voters approved the special assessment with a total of 885 votes in favor and 363 against.

Beginning later this year, 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.

Clerk Debbie Oliver said the measure ensures first responders can continue serving the community. In 2017, the township’s fire dept. personnel pursued training to fill the role of First Responders, and in January of this year, became operational. According to township supervisor Ray Hayes, in the first five months, township first responders have responded to 120 medical calls.

“(The first responders) as well as the Township are very grateful for the support,” said Oliver. “The first responders usually can get to someone in need before the ambulance can and start with some immediate care as well as giving the patient security that things will get better and they are not alone.”

Abolish annual meeting?

While the voters in Deerfield Township approved the funding for the township’s fire department and First Responders Program, they were not in favor of the second issue on the ballot — of abolishing the township’s annual meeting, held each year on the last Saturday in March.

Voters opted to maintain the annual meeting at a rate of 900-283.

According to Hayes, at the annual meeting, while members of the public are able to discuss any subject they choose, the township board can only use the meeting to vote on salary increases for elected officials.

Because voters in the Deerfield area chose via vote to maintain the annual meeting, there will be no change, said Oliver. “It will continue as is,” she said. Oliver believed there might have been a “misunderstanding” between the proposed measure to cancel the annual meeting and canceling the Township Board of Trustees’ regular monthly meetings, which was not the case. “Citizens are encouraged to come to the monthly meetings,” she said. “The annual meeting is poorly attended, if not at all.”

The Deerfield Township Board of Trustees regular meeting is held each month on the second Monday at 7 p.m.

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