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Miami Township

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Miami Township Fire-Rescue reviews 2023

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Interim Fire Chief Dennis Powell presented an overview of Miami Township Fire-Rescue’s 2023 operations at the most recent regular meeting of the Township Trustees on Wednesday, Jan. 17. The overview included data relating to staff, budget and the number and types of calls to which MTFR responded last year.

According to Powell, MTFR currently staffs 26 firefighters and EMTs and works with an annual budget of $1.4 million. Overall, MTFR was notified of 1,191 individual emergency incidents and completed a total of 1,061 runs in response to incidents, with 810 of those being EMS calls and 251 fire calls.

Powell reported the overall number of incidents as having decreased by 1.7% compared to 2022. He also cited MTFR’s average response time from the receipt of a call as five minutes, 18 seconds — a decrease from the previous year’s average of about seven minutes. Powell attributed the faster average response time, in part, to the fact that MTFR no longer serves nearby Bath Township.

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In 2023, MTFR transported 533 patients to a medical facility and treated and released 72 patients; 59% of transported patients were taken to Soin Medical Center and 32% to Greene Memorial Hospital, with the rest transported to other area medical facilities.

Later in the meeting, trustees noted that in order to remain up-to-date with payroll for MTFR, the Township would need to ask for an advance on local property tax revenue that has already been collected by Greene County. The County does not disburse tax revenue in full until April, and Miami Township has been granted an advance on tax revenue in order to cover operations costs in the past.

Trustee Marilan Moir noted that the Township would need total revenue of about $200,000 by March in order to stay on track with payroll. She added that Interim Chief Powell had worked last year to reduce MTFR expenditures by limiting personnel overtime.

“We’ve studied our budget more than ever,” Moir said.

With that in mind, Moir suggested that the trustees consider using funds previously received via the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, to shore up payroll this year ahead of tax revenue being received in April.

“The fact that we’re borrowing from a fund again and we’re going to use advancements to pay it back is disappointing to me,” Moir said, and suggested that the ARPA funds could help “right the ship,” so that the Township would not need to ask for a tax advance in early 2025.

Trustee Chris Mucher said he thought it likely, based on previous budgeting for the year ahead, that the Township would end 2024 with “a fairly good chunk” of revenue headed into 2025 without dipping into the ARPA funds.

Moir clarified that she did not expect the trustees to make a decision on the use of ARPA funds that evening, but asked her fellow trustees to consider the alternate course of action ahead of next month’s meetings.

In other Township business, Jan. 17—

• Interim Chief Powell spoke briefly on expectations from MTFR regarding the upcoming April 8 solar eclipse, as much of the state of Ohio, including Yellow Springs, will be in the eclipse’s path of totality — that is, the area in which the total solar eclipse will be fully visible.

Powell noted that Ohio officials expect “millions” of visitors during the eclipse, and that he projects “a pretty substantial crowd” of visitors to Yellow Springs specifically. That influx, Powell said, will likely result in increased strain on infrastructure and services in the village, including fire and EMS, police and local businesses.

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency has released a planning guide for local municipalities in the path of totality in the lead-up to the eclipse, which will help inform MTFR’s preparation.

The News will continue to report on the upcoming solar eclipse and its expected effect on the village in the coming months.

• Trustees approved the renewal of a contract with the Village of Clifton for Miami Township to provide snow removal services at a rate of $50 per hour.

To view the Jan. 17 Miami Township Trustees meeting in full, go to the “Community Access Yellow Springs” channel on YouTube.

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