CLINTON: Fire divisions in the Village of Clinton and New Franklin began sharing resources long before the term “regionalism” became the buzzword of the day.
In 2008, Clinton residents approved by just two votes a levy that provided funds to staff a fire station 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in the community of just over 1,200 residents.
On Nov. 6, voters will be asked to renew the 3.75-mill levy that allows the department to respond quickly to fires and calls for medical help, Clinton Fire Chief Brent Frey said.
Approval of Issue 48 will not increase taxes.
The five-year levy, which expires at the end of this year, raises just under $100,000 annually, providing funds for full-time staffing of a joint fire station operated by personnel from both communities at 7717 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road. The departments also share dispatching services, Frey said.
“It’s the only way the Village of Clinton could ever consider having a full-time department,” he said.
The department operates on a $300,000 annual budget.
In preparation for the joint venture that benefits both departments, New Franklin paid for a $35,000 expansion to Clinton’s Station #2 to house an ambulance in 2007.
The village and the city each provide full-time personnel to cover a 7-square-mile radius of both communities and share the cost of running the station. Without the joint station, New Franklin firefighters and medics would need to travel 5 miles from the city’s main station on Manchester Road to reach residents who live near its western border, New Franklin Fire Chief Steve Leslie said.
“Our response time to the west side of the city dropped from 10 minutes to five,” through the joint venture, he said.
The staffed station, situated on the west side of the village, ensures emergency responders won’t be delayed by trains that run through town, nor perennial flooding that bisects Clinton’s downtown area during heavy rain.
Renewal of the tax will continue to cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $115 a year or less than $10 a month.
Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.