Marleen Mahler, the Union Township Trustee spoke to the County Council earlier this month to discuss the information John Grolich brought forth on the financial issues the area fire and EMS departments are experiencing.

Mahler said Union Township just purchased 16 new radios because their current ones were past their life.  She told the council they hadn’t received any new radios since Mr. Grolich applied for and received a grant that purchased new radios for all the departments in the county eight to ten years ago.  The cost of the new radios was $73,000.

Mahler said the biggest issue the fire department is experiencing is the lack of volunteers and the minimal payments they receive for a call and training. 

The Union Township Trustee said EMS has “went out of sight.” She explained that they were a volunteer EMS service eight to ten years ago and now we have a fully paid paramedic service.   Mahler said paramedics are not cheap and a full-time service is expensive.

Mahler said they applied to the state to try and get their levy because our budget has increased almost three times what it was, but we can’t raise the levy that much.  She said their expenses for a full-time paid service is going up much faster than we can raise our levy.  Mahler said they asked the state if there is a special way that they can get more levy but the only way that can happen is if the population is increasing, and it’s not, explaining that they don’t have as many families, that the population is getting to be more older citizens. 

The trustee said there doesn’t appear to be any way to raise more funds so the option may be a fire territory or to find help somewhere else, like the county.  Mahler offered to be on the Blue-Ribbon Commission to look at options.