FLETCHER — Residents of the village of Fletcher and Brown Township will be voting on renewal levies for fire and emergency medical services on the Nov. 7 ballot.
“Everything we have on the ballot is renewals,” Fletcher Mayor Penny Reed said.
There are no new levies on the ballot for the village of Fletcher, but Brown Township residents will see an additional tax of 1.50 mills for current expenses for the township.
The three levies on the ballot for Fletcher voters include a renewal of 1.50 mills for four years for ambulance and EMS services, a renewal of 1.50 mills for four years for fire services, and a renewal of 1.00 mills for five years that is also for fire services. If approved, the levies will begin in 2018.
The village of Fletcher contracts with the Fletcher Volunteer Fire Department for fire services. They also contract with St. Paris for additional ambulance services.
The funds will help pay for day-to-day operations at the Fletcher Volunteer Fire Department.
“We’re all volunteer,” Chief Tony Bensman of the Fletcher Volunteer Fire Department said. The Fletcher Volunteer Fire Department is not paid solely through the village of Fletcher, though.
The Fletcher Volunteer Fire Department serves its fire district consisting of nearly 80 square miles, including the village of Fletcher, Brown Township, Springcreek Township, the northern areas of Lostcreek Township, the southern areas of Green Township and the southeastern areas of Orange Township. The Fletcher Volunteer Fire Department also responds to many mutual aid calls to the surrounding fire districts, and they rely on the same mutual aid response from those districts.
Residents of Brown Township will also be voting on renewal levies for fire along with a new tax other operating services on the Nov. 7 ballot. The renewal levies for Brown Township residents include
Brown Township residents will see an additional tax on the ballot for 1.50 mills for five years for ambulance services and 1.50 mills for five years for fire services, commencing in 2018. Residents will also vote on an additional tax of 1.50 mills for five years for current expenses for the township, commencing in 2017.
Fletcher has had some type of fire brigade since the early 1840s. The official organization of Fletcher Volunteer Fire Department was formed in 1950.
All business of the fire department went through the village council until the department became a private incorporated organization in the early 1970s.
In 2000, the trucks were moved from downtown Fletcher to the new facility south of town on State Route 589. The original building had one finished bay and enough additional space to house all the trucks. Over the next several years, the building was expanded and updated to add a full kitchen, septic system, five truck bays, and in recent years, a second building was raised for the EMS, which now serves as a training facility.
Currently, the Fletcher Volunteer Fire Department operates two engines, two tankers, and a grass truck. The department also houses and mans the county air trailer, which is owned by the Miami County Fire Chiefs Association and is used to fill self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) bottles at the scene of large fires or hazardous situations. Any department in the county or even outside the county can request its response to an emergency scene.
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