November 23, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain Council OKs fire levy

LORAIN — A 1-mill, four-year proposed property tax increase for Fire Department improvements will be on the ballot in November.

City Council on Monday night unanimously approved the levy proposal — Council member Brian Gates, D-1st Ward, was absent — which would raise $916,739 annually. Besides borrowing costs, it would pay for about $2.92 million in improvements.

The improvements would include:

  • Relocating Station 7 at 2111 W. Park Drive to a less remote location at a cost of about $1 million. A new site has not been determined.
  • Replacing Station 4, which opened at 401 Idaho Ave., in 1919, with a new location at the intersection of Garfield and Missouri Avenues.
  • Purchasing two new pumper trucks for $700,000.
  • Parking lot repairs at Station 3 for $125,000. Station 3 roof repairs for $100,000 will be paid for with borrowing unrelated to the levy.

The owner of a $100,000 home would pay an additional $31 annually if the levy is passed.

“It’s a reasonable request to our voters,” Councilman Mitchell Fallis, D-at large, said before the vote. “We’re not asking for any more money than we need.”

Council members rejected a proposal by Councilwoman Anne Molnar, D-at large, for an permanent levy. Molnar argued that a piecemeal approach to paying for fire department improvements was inefficient.

“What we’re doing here is just putting a Band-Aid on all the things that need to be done for the fire department,” she said. “There are so many needs even after four years with the deterioration of the buildings.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.