Beginning in January, Marietta Township residents will have round the clock Emergency Medical Services.
According to final but unofficial results Tuesday, Marietta Township voters passed both a renewal and an additional tax levy that will 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, who watched as the results were reported at the Washington County Courthouse Tuesday night.
From left, Jean Eshelman, chairwoman of the Reno Fire levy committee, Reno Fire Treasurer John Smithberger, Reno Fire Chief Dan Ritchey and Reno Fire Captain Ted Patterson, rejoiced Tuesday night as Marietta Township residents passed both fire levies, ensuring the department will have the funding to provide round the clock emergency medical services.
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 five-year, 1.6-mill 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.
"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.
At a glance
Marietta Township Levy 1
- Five-year, 1-mill renewal levy.
- For the renewal levy - 1,571 votes; 71,74 percent.
- Against the renewal levy - 619 votes; 28.26 percent.
Marietta Township Levy 2
- Five-year, 1.6-mills additional levy.
- For the additional levy - 1,219 votes; 56.96 percent.
- Against the additional levy - 921 votes; 43.04 percent.
Voters leaving the polls Tuesday expressed mixed opinions about the levies.
"I voted for both 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 B.J. 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-mill replacement levy.
In Watertown Township, voters approved a five-year, 1.5-mill 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 issue, with 153 voters or 64.83 percent favoring the 5-year, 2-mill levy that will fund current operating expenses.
Finally, area residents were asked to decide 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 State Route 60, to serve wine, mixed beverages and spirituous liquor on Sundays between the hours of 11 a.m. and midnight.