By ERIC SCHAADT
Fire protection levies were approved Tuesday in two Hancock County fire districts, according to unofficial numbers from the Hancock County Board of Elections.
The new Southwestern Hancock Joint Fire District won voter approval of a 1.5-mill levy for five years for fire protection services in Union and Van Buren townships. The levy was adopted, 380 for and 205 against.
The fire district includes Rawson, Mount Cory and Jenera fire departments.
According to the Hancock County Auditor’s Office, the levy will generate $123,823 a year. A resident of the fire district with a home appraised at $100,000 will pay $53 a year under this tax.
The joint fire district was created in November and was effective Jan. 1. The district will be responsible for fire protection beginning April 1, 2019, when funds will be available from the levy.
The joint fire district is expected to save money, reduce duplication of equipment, and provide an equal tax base for fire services.
Residents of Union Township now pay a 1.5-mill levy for fire protection, which benefits the Mount Cory and Rawson fire departments. Rawson residents pay a 1-mill levy through the village to help pay for fire protection.
According to the joint fire district board, the Union Township trustees and Rawson village officials have agreed that they will halt their current fire levies once collection of the new levy begins.
In another election outcome Tuesday, Washington Township voters approved the renewal of a 1-mill, five-year tax for fire protection by 226 tallies for and 78 against.
Funds will be used to replace a pumper truck and for general operating expenses.
The levy generates $55,785 a year. A person with a home appraised at $100,000 pays $31 a year.
Absentee ballots were included in these vote results.