Levy considered for fire district

NEW RIEGEL – Trustees with Seneca and Big Springs townships, along with New Riegel Village Council, met with NBS EMTs Sunday evening to mull the future of the EMS program.

Those present formed a consensus to move forward sooner rather than later to place a levy on a ballot to provide stipends for EMTs’ service.

“I think Seneca and Big Spring townships should keep their program local, not countywide,” said Jim Faber, Seneca Township trustee.

Members expressed concern potential EMTs would bypass the fire district in favor of ones that are offering payment for services.

Seneca Township Trustee Dennis Rosier laid out the costs to voters to provide EMTs with a $3.50 per hour stipend. To place a 1-mil levy on the ballot, the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $28 annually. This would generate $74,638 for the joint ambulance district per year, he said.

Along with providing the stipend to EMTs and other fees and costs during the year, total expenses would amount to about $73,472, he said.

Noting it is more difficult to fill daytime hours on the squad, Joe Nye suggested a higher fee could attract more candidates.

“The majority of us here, we’re not doing this wanting to get paid. It’s what we like to do; it’s ingrained in us,” said Brian Kummerer.

Renee Reinhart reported 23 active members are on the NBS squad and said she wants to see the squad have better community outreach to interest candidates.