Sycamore Twp. trustees looking to save its fire department

SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - There was a packed house at the Sycamore Township trustee meeting Thursday night as tough times could mean the end of the fire department.

The board has announced they will look to contract out all fire and EMS services.

Sycamore Township will lose about $3.6 million in annual revenues from the state, which is 45 percent of their general fund.

"If you are looking for someone to blame, look at Columbus, we had nothing to do with it," said trustee Tom Weidman.

A decrease in property tax values adds up to another million dollar loss.

The fire department is currently operating at a $1.5 million deficit and recent cuts have trimmed the ranks from 16 to 14, with an additional 4 or 5 positions possibly eliminated.

"There is no money," said EMS and Fire Director, William A. Jetter.

One resident suggested cutting what he called wasteful spending by the department, referring to firefighters "just sitting around" on calls where it appears they are not needed.

On Wednesday, the Sycamore Township Fire Department was awarded a federal grant, but that money was already accounted for and will not make a difference in the outsourcing debate.

The trustees did not make a decision Monday. The will accept bids for contractual fire and EMS services through Feb. 29.

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