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Decatur, Belpre pass levies to pay EMS staff

LITTLE HOCKING — Decatur and Belpre township residents passed additional levies Tuesday night to have paid EMS staff.

“This levy passage was because we were attempting to put on a paid EMS crew 12 hours a day seven days a week,” said Little Hocking Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Chevalier, which covers both townships.

He said they have been having trouble getting volunteers and the passage of the levies would make sure they have a fully staffed squad.

“We would have dedicated crews during the day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” explained Chevalier. “In the evening, we’ll have dedicated crews of volunteers. There should never be a case when we don’t have someone run the squad.”

The new levies would increase property taxes by $91 for a home appraised at $100,000 in both townships beginning in 2022 and would next be eligible to reappear on ballots in 2026.

“I thank the residents of Belpre and Decatur townships. We have good support and we appreciate it,” noted Chevalier.

He said they have not had a fire or EMS levy in Belpre Township in some time.

“In the early (1990s), we had one for three years to pay off a fire truck,” he added.

Chevalier said for those interested in how the levy funds will be used, there is a 10 minute video on the Little Hocking VFD Facebook page (facebook.com/LittleHockingFire) that gives an explanation.

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