BRUNSWICK HILLS TWP. — The township wants to beef up fire department staffing and replace Fire Station 1, and will ask voters in November to help with funding.
Township trustees Thursday approved placing a 4-mill renewal levy with a 1.2-mill increase on the Nov. 6 ballot. The levy on the books expires at the end of the year.
Township information indicates the 1.2-mill increase would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $42 a year. What the levy would cost overall and generate per year will be determined by the Medina County Auditor’s Office.
Fire Chief Anthony Strazzo has said Fire Station 1 does not have safety features for department operations, or room for personnel and equipment.
Updates would include more space for vehicles, office space, a training room, storage space, and an area to wash trucks.
A new fire station would cost an estimated $3 million to $4 million.
Floors in Fire Station 1 leak and are cracking, the walls are cracking and the doors do not always close. In addition, Strazzo said, the outside of the building needs work.
Concerning staffing, township officials are looking into hiring some full-time firefighters.
The department currently has 41 part-time members to staff the township’s two stations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Challenges the department face with a part-time staff is scheduling around full-time job and family commitments, trustees said.
“We’ve talked to people who have left (the department) and it’s primarily been for full-time positions,” Trustee John Witthuhn said. “Back in my generation … you worked two jobs, you know, in the safety forces. You did your main job and then your side jobs. It’s not that way anymore. Guys want one job and that’s it.”
Trustee Michael Esber added that many people today want one job with a good wage that will allow people to spend time with their families.
The deadline to file for the November election with the Medina County Board of Elections is Aug. 8.