By ERIC SCHAADT
RAWSON — Union Township voters on Tuesday approved an additional levy that will help fuse two fire departments into one.
According to the Hancock County Board of Elections, a 1.5-mill, five-year additional levy passed by a margin of 161 votes in favor, or 52.6 percent, to 145 votes against.
Voting results are unofficial and include absentee ballots.
The levy will help finance a fire station that would combine the Mount Cory and Rawson volunteer fire departments under one roof.
The levy will bring in $67,163 annually, according to the Hancock County Auditor’s Office. A person with a home appraised at $100,000 would pay $53 a year, according to the auditor’s office.
Now on the books is a 2-mill tax that generates about $50,000 annually. That tax, which has been in effect for about 10 years, expires at year’s end.
Increased property valuations will allow the 1.5-mill tax to collect more dollars than the current 2-mill tax.
According to Union Township officials, the fire hall will be built on township-owned land near Cory-Rawson School.
The cost of the new fire hall has been estimated at $1.2 million. Township officials have been seeking grants to help fund the project. There is no time frame for construction.
The new levy will continue to provide funding for fire department equipment, too.
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