Milford to see 5.2 mill levy on 2006 ballot

In an effort to continue funding for emergency medical technicians and services, the Milford City Council has passed a measure to place a five-year, 5.2 mill replacement levy on the Nov. 7 ballot.

The levy, which was voted and agreed upon in Milford council chambers Aug. 1, would help maintain the fire department’s two $90,000 ambulances, the necessary fire fighting equipment, the firestation and headquarters on state Route 50, and the more than 60 full-time salaried staff members.

According to Milford City Fire Chief John Cooper, the fire department responded to almost 1,700 emergency calls in 2005 and that that amount of ambulance runs is greater than in previous years.

“In the past couple of years, ambulance runs have significantly increased,” he said. “The five-year levy that expired in December of last year generated $780,000 a year for the emergency medical services and equipment in the city. The cost of providing quality EMS services increases every year and since we operate on five-year tax levies, the time has come around again to pass another levy.”

According to the Clermont County Auditor’s Office spokesperson Chris Mehlman, the replacement levy would generate an estimated $916,000 a year by raising the taxes of a $100,000 homeowner from $135.00 to $159.00.

The replacement levy, if approved by voters in November, would run through 2010.

Harry Steger, the Milford City Director of Finance, said that if the levy fails, the fire department may only be able to provide emergency services for about one more year because of the dwindling funds in reserve.

“Voters need to approve this replacement tax,” he said. “It will be extremely difficult to continue providing the outstanding medical and emergency services that the Milford community has come to expect without it.”