MARIETTA - Beginning in January, Marietta Township residents will have round-the-clock emergency medical services. According to final, but unofficial results, Marietta Township voters passed both a renewal and an additional tax levy Tuesday night to enable the Reno Fire Department to keep a paid staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"I am ecstatic. Thank God for Marietta Township voters. Now we will have non-stop EMS support," said Jean Eshelman, chairwoman of the levy committee as the results were reported at the Washington County Courthouse Tuesday night.
The first levy, a five-year, 1-mill renewal, will bring in $78,862 annually and cost $28.27 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home (tax evaluation value). It passed overwhelmingly, with 71.74 percent voting for the levy.
The second levy, a fire-year, 1.6-mills levy, was not quite as popular. It passed with 56.96 percent voting for the levy. It will generate $138,184 annually for the department and cost $49 a year for the owner of $100,000 home (tax evaluation value).
"I'm just tickled to death. We don't have to worry about how we are going to provide support come January," said Reno fire Chief Dan Ritchey.
Voters leaving the polls Tuesday expressed mixed opinions about the levies.
"I voted for both the the Reno Fire levies. I live in this area and I might need their services one day. As I understand it they are short staffed," said Reno resident John Dennis, 39.
Reno resident BJ Mayer, 38, also voted for both of the fire levies.
"It makes sense. It makes me feel safe," said Mayer.
But higher taxes were a concern for some voters, like Deane Curtis, 50, of Marietta Township.
"I pay enough taxes as is. They need to come down some," said Curtis.
Three other townships voted on and passed renewal levies for fire and emergency protection. In Newport Township, 66.19 percent of voters were in favor of a 5-year, 3-mills replacement levy. In Watertown Township, voters approved a five-year, 1.5-mills renewal levy with 67.62 percent of residents voting for the levy. And in Warren Township, 60.07 percent of voters approved a 1-mill renewal levy for fire and emergency services.
Both Fearing Township and the Village of Lowell easily passed operational levies. In Fearing Township, 68.9 percent of residents voted for the 5-year, 1-mill renewal levy for roads and bridges. In Lowell, only 236 residents voted on the the issue, with 153 voters or 64.83 percent favoring the 5-year, 2-mills levy that will fund current operating expenses.
Finally, area residents were asked to decide on three issues regarding the sale of alcohol in specific venues.
The Par Mar Store at 1300 Park Ave., New Matamoras, will not be able to sell beer, wine and mixed beverages. Grandview Township residents voted down the proposed liquor issue with 53.47 percent against it. Even more overwhelmingly, 60 percent of residents were against the sale of beer on Sunday at that same location.
However, 60 percent of Adams Township residents were in favor of allowing the Lowell Moose Lodge at 11561 Ohio 60, to serve wine, mixed beverages and spirituous liquor on Sundays between 11 a.m. and midnight.