POINT PLEASANT — During their meeting on Thursday afternoon, the Mason County Commission approved the reading of a proposed levy to be placed on a special ballot during the general election in November.
The proposed levy is to provide funds for the fire departments of New Haven, Mason, Point Pleasant, Valley, Leon and Flatrock, the Mason County Emergency Ambulance Service and the Mason County Public Service District (PSD).
The timeframe for the levy will be July 1, 2021 through July 1, 2025.
The levy’s ballot language, in part, states, it is “…for the purpose of providing financial support to the New Haven, Mason, Point Pleasant, Valley, Leon and Flatrock Fire Departments in the amount of $104,000 to each department for general funding; Mason County Emergency Ambulance Service in the amount of $104,000 for general funding; and, Mason County Public Service District in the amount of $32,957 for fire hydrant installation and maintenance.”
During the meeting, Commission President Rick Handley reminded everyone the commission has plans to fund some fire hydrants.
The levy further states: “The levy shall be on Class I 2.25 cents of assessed valuation (this represents $2.25 in tax dollars for every $10,000 of assessed valuation); on Class II 4.50 cents of assessed valuation (this represents $4.50 in tax dollars for every $10,000 of assessed valuation); on Class III 9.00 cents of assessed valuation (this represents $9.00 in tax dollars for every $10,000 of assessed valuation) on Class IV 9.00 of assessed valuation (his represents $9.00 in tax dollars for every $10,000 of assessed valuation).”
Handley said that to pass this levy, all departments are going to have to work together. Handley said the commission is “fully behind” the levy.
Speaking on behalf of the county commission, Handley later told the Register, the proposed levy came about due to several factors, including, increased costs related to equipment, training and operational expenses placed on fire departments and EMS, while the need to maintain the current level of services remains. Also, Handley said increasing fire hydrants adds to public safety and can affect premiums for homeowner’s insurance.
Beth Sergent contributed to this article.
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Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.