Scio Township responds to voters saying "no" to the fire service proposals
The voters in Scio Township have given their answers to the fire service questions put before them on the November 7 ballot.
In the end, both failed with the operating proposal going down with 64.33 percent voting no to 35.67 percent saying yes while the capital proposal went down by similar numbers, 66.03 percent voting no and 33.97 percent voting yes.
The operating ballot language said: “Shall the Township of Scio be authorized to annually defray its costs of providing fire protection and emergency medical services, including maintenance of buildings, acquisition of apparatus and equipment, by special assessment pursuant to Act 33 of 1951, in an amount adjusted annually that does not exceed 3.75 mills ($3.75 on each $1,000 of taxable values) in any single year for ten (10) years, 2023-2032 inclusive?”
While the capital language said: “Shall the Township of Scio be authorized to annually defray its costs of purchasing property, constructing buildings, and providing apparatus and equipment for newly constructed buildings to provide fire protection and emergency medical services by special assessment, pursuant to Act 33 of 1951, in an amount adjusted annually that does not exceed 0.75 mills ($0.75 on each $1,000 of taxable values) in any single year for twenty (20) years, 2023-2042 inclusive? The authority under this Capital Question is effective only if both ballot questions are approved.”
Goals for the proposals aimed to create additional funding to help bring on additional staff and build a second fire station on Wagner Road.
The Sun Times News (STN) followed up with Scio Township officials to get their initial response to the outcome of the vote.
In a statement, Scio Township Manager Joyce Parker and Fire Chief Andrew Houde gave their responses.
“While we are disappointed that our proposals did not pass, we plan to seek feedback from Scio Township residents and collaborate with them on the best ways to fund improvements to fire service and response times,” said Parker. “We have done the research, developed a plan, and know that finally bringing our Fire Department up to current standards will take significant public investment.”
Houde said, “No matter what the situation is, our commitment to Scio Township residents and businesses will never waver, we will continue to offer excellent service while looking for ways to elevate our operations.”
STN further asked if this will impact fire services and will the second station be built?
Houde said, “Scio will see little impact on service level (either positive or negative). We will continue to staff one fire engine in the community with three firefighters on duty. There is an existing 1.35 mill assessment that will continue to fund current operations.”
As far as a second station, Houde said, “Unfortunately, there will be no construction of a second station unless we can identify outside sources of funding to build and staff it.”
Parker said the goals of a second station were to allow for better response times and additional staff support for fire and emergency medical services.