CAMBRIDGE, Ohio - The Finance Committee of Cambridge City Council met Monday night in Council Chambers. Cambridge Fire Chief Jeff Deeks approached the committee with a proposal to increase two of the department's levies which are up for renewal in November. The first levy is at 2.3 mills over a period of five years, the department is asking for an increase of seven tenths of a mill - to 3 mills. The second levy is currently at 3 mills and the department is asking for an increase of nine tenths of a mill - to 3.9 mills. Both levies are currently worth around $688,000 a year to the fire department. If both levies pass, Deeks says the department will receive approximately $200,000 more a year. Individually, residents with a $70,000 home are currently paying around $105 a year to support both levies. If both levies pass, a resident - with the same $70,000 home - will pay $169, an increase of just $64 a year.
Deeks said a loss of state funding and interest income has had a huge negative impact on his Department's bottom line. After being rejected in a number of requests for highly competitive state and Federal grants, and making numerous cuts at the Firehouse, Deeks said requesting an increase from the City's residents is the only alternitive available to the department.
The Chief says the fire department has many needs, including replacing their 1982 ladder truck at an estimated cost of $1,000,000, along with engine number #5, a 1992 model, at a cost of around $500,000. Some new turn-out gear is also needed by many firefighters.
The Finance Committee also approved a request from City Auditor Suellen Johnson to appropriate five large ODOT construction grants and a request to appropriate $30,000 into the Northwood Cemetery Capital fund. These, and other requests, now head to next week's full Cambridge City Council meeting.