You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Townships pay to study new fire district

Champaign County groups consider joint emergency services.


Several townships agreed to pay $20,000 for a study that would help determine whether it’s more efficient to create a new fire district or to continue with contracts for fire service that are already in place.

The study approved Wednesday became a priority after rates for fire and emergency medical services spiked throughout much of the Champaign County in the last two years, said Lewis Terry, an Urbana Twp. trustee.

The study, conducted with the assistance of the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association, does not necessarily mean the townships will go ahead with forming a new district. But it will help them evaluate how services, as well as costs for residents, might be affected if a new district is formed. It would also help make comparisons with the contracts that are currently in place.

If formed, the new district would cover all of Goshen, Union and Urbana townships, as well as the southern end of Salem Twp. and the village of Mechanicsburg.

“That’s going to give us the ability to make an informed decision,” said Tim Cassady, Goshen Twp. trustee.

In Urbana Twp., for example, the township paid about $67,000 for service from the city of Urbana in 2010, but the rate increased to $151,000 in 2012.

Urbana city officials have said the rate increase was necessary because of budget constraints. City officials have said the townships previously paid for fire protection but were receiving EMS service for free. As the economy worsened, that was no longer possible.

Once the contract to approve the study is signed, it will take between 90 and 120 days to complete, said Stan Crosley, of the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association. The study will include likely costs to create a new district, response times, and whether it might be necessary to purchase new equipment, among other items. It would also allow township officials to compare the cost of running a new district to the contracts currently in place.

However, even if the townships decide to form a new fire district, it will be up to voters to decide whether to pay for a new district or to continue with the system that is already in place.

“What we can’t measure is customer satisfaction with what you’re currently providing versus something that would be new and different,” Crosley said.

But Cassady said the study will allow trustees to present the best information available to voters and let them decide.

“I don’t think your study is going to be a magic wand, it’s just going to be a tool,” Cassady said.

The city of Urbana will not be involved in the study but will cooperate and provide any information that’s requested, said Mark Keller, chief of the Urbana Fire Division.

In Urbana Twp., the trustees will be open-minded since it’s not clear which arrangement voters will prefer, Terry said.

“We want it to be a community decision, not a trustees decision,” Terry said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Georgia fireman feels ‘blessed’ to catch baby from burning building
Georgia fireman feels ‘blessed’ to catch baby from burning building

The first thing you notice about Robert Sutton, the 31-year-old DeKalb County firefighter of 10 years, is humility.  But it’s hard to know what to say now, after his work to save a baby from a burning Glenwood Road apartment made local news, then national, then international. “It feels like I’m a celebrity or something,&rdquo...
Florida man snorts cocaine in front of cops as wildfire rages
Florida man snorts cocaine in front of cops as wildfire rages

As a massive wildfire raged nearby and deputies worked to evacuate residents, Joshua Benz picked a most “Florida Man” way to snort cocaine: by doing so right in front of a patrol car, police said. Benz, 25, a Naples resident, motioned for a deputy to stop his unmarked patrol car Friday night, according to the Naples Daily News. When...
Scam alert: $50 Lowe’s Mother’s Day coupon scam on Facebook
Scam alert: $50 Lowe’s Mother’s Day coupon scam on Facebook

A Facebook scam is making its rounds on the internet targeting Lowe’s Home Improvements. The Facebook post claims that Lowe’s is offering $50-off coupons for Mother’s Day. When clicking on the Facebook post, a user-friendly survey will appear on a website that resembles Lowe’s website. However, this fraudulent page is a scam...
Scientists in Texas closer to diabetes cure with unconventional treatment
Scientists in Texas closer to diabetes cure with unconventional treatment

Years of testing remain, but UT Health San Antonio researchers say they’ve cured Type 1 diabetes in mice. In peer-reviewed paper, they say a “gene transfer” can “wake up” cells in the pancreas to produce insulin. Health researchers at the University of Texas think they have found a way to trick the body into curing Type...
Nintendo Switch emulator: It’s a scam, feds say
Nintendo Switch emulator: It’s a scam, feds say

Don’t slip on this banana peel, federal officials say; there is no Nintendo Switch emulator on which you can run Switch games on your desktop. “It’s a scam,” said the Federal Trade Commission. Online ads may come with Nintendo branding, but when you try to download an emulator, it can install nasty things such as phony...
More Stories