December 17, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
28°F
test

Avon Lake fire-EMS levy’s defeat confirmed

The results of the special election earlier this month that saw a 2-mill Avon Lake firefighter-paramedic levy defeated by a mere six votes have been upheld.

The Lorain County Board of Elections certified the results of a recount of the issue Thursday.

“The results were identical to those certified after the recount,” said Paul Adams, elections board director.

The final official vote total on the issue was 1,499 votes cast against the levy, and 1,493 cast in favor.

A recount is ordered anytime the margin of victory or defeat for an issue or candidates’ race is smaller than 0.5 percent.

The issue has already been certified to return for the November ballot, Adams said.

The 2-mill levy seeks to raise $1.65 million a year for five years to pay salaries and benefits for eight of the 28 firefighters in the Avon Lake Fire Department. The issue would also pay for paramedic equipment.

It would cost owners of homes valued at $100,000 about $61 a year.

The proposed levy is a 0.75-mill increase over the existing 1.25-mill levy, which generates $890,000 annually and costs owners of $100,000 homes $38 a year in taxes.

Fire Chief Glen Eisenhardt blamed the Aug. 7 defeat of the issue in part on it being a special election issue, which brought out fewer voters.

The issue was first put on the ballot and passed in 1977 when the city was among the first in Lorain County to offer paramedic services.

The increase in the levy was needed, according to fire Lt. Jeff Moore, because tax revenues generated by the current levy had been depleted in recent years for purchases of vehicles and equipment.

Failure of the issue again could lead to layoffs of the eight firefighters who are paid by the issue.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.