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Miami Township budgets ambulance

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• Sidebar: MTFR performs rope rescue in Clifton Gorge.

Miami Township Trustees will vote on the approval of the Township’s annual tax budget at their meeting Monday, July 6, at 7 p.m. at the fire station/Township offices. The 2016 budget includes funds for the purchase of a new ambulance and a command vehicle for the Miami Township Fire-Rescue squad.

The Township’s $1,511,192 2016 budget includes a healthy carryover of $500,000. The excess cash was generated in part by an accumulation of the final year’s collection of estate taxes, which were discontinued by the State of Ohio in 2013, according to Trustee Chris Mucher in an interview last week. The trustees formerly allocated estate tax revenue for the greenspace fund, but dissolved the fund upon learning of the pending tax legislation. That year, the Township received an unexpected windfall of nearly $500,000 in final estate tax collections and saved it for future needs.

In 2016 some of that cash is being allocated for various potential needs. For example, $179,231 will go to the road department to cover the $30,000 in anticipated repairs to township roads in 2016 with excess for future years. And for the potential purchase of property for a new fire station, the trustees allocated $151,000 in the capital outlay fund. According to Mucher, the trustees hope that both the sale of the current fire station property and a public bond would offset the cost of the new construction project enough to eventually reimburse the Township for the real estate investment.

Nearly half of the 2016 budgeted expenses are for the Fire-Rescue department, which derives its revenue from a fire levy as well as approximately $120,000 a year in emergency service fees. Out of the $537,000 levy budget, $195,000 will be used to purchase a new ambulance to replace one of the department’s two medics. An additional $25,000 will be spent on a new Ford SUV command vehicle, or “chief mobile.” According to Fire Chief Colin Altman last week, the department also hopes to purchase a hydraulic power cot for each medic. The new cots collapse and stand on their own power, protecting the EMTs from injuries, he said. The cots cost $33,000 each, but the Township has received a $10,000 donation from the family of one of the volunteers and plans to purchase the second cot with insurance funds.

The Township’s general fund budget of $130,000 in 2016 includes administrative salaries for the clerk, the zoning inspector and the trustees, as well as some cemetery maintenance. The road and bridge budget of $76,800 covers salaries and road repairs.

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