Allen County looking at fire districts to improve safety, response
Residents across Allen County could soon be seeing their taxes go up. That’s because of a recent effort to combine various fire territories into fire districts.
On Friday, the Allen County Commissioners held their first public hearings on creating new and expanding current fire districts in the county in order to allow for more efficient emergency responses by county fire and EMS departments.
Jeff Bellamy, an attorney working toward creating these districts, said the plan is necessary to keep people safe.
“When there is trouble, we call 9-1-1,” Bellamy said. “We call them to come help us. So, this is our process to look into, how do we give them some procedural tools to yet govern themselves but still move into this modern era.”
The plan as presented, calls for creating a new fire district and adding onto three others already in the county:
- The creation of the Northeast Fire District consisting of the existing Northeast Fire Territory which contains the incorporated towns of Leo-Cedarville and Grabill as well as the unincorporated portions of Cedar Creek, Scipio and Springfield Townships.
- The addition of unincorporated Marion Township to the existing Southwest Fire District.
- The creation of the Northwest Fire District containing the incorporated Town of Huntertown and the unincorporated portions of Eel River, Perry and Washington Townships.
- The creation of Aboite Fire District containing unincorporated portions of Aboite Township or Aboite and Lake Townships
Bellamy is working with fellow attorney Paige Sansone, who said this plan will impact multiple different tax districts in the county.
"If we look at those that are already in a fire territory, For a $100,000-home value, it would be about a $51 increase annual,” Sansone said. “That’s about $4.25 a month.”
At Friday’s County Commissioners’ meeting, Sansone went into more detail about the impact on the tax districts:
- In Washington Township, for a 100,000-dollar home value, you’d see an annual increase of $43 or roughly $3.50 a month.
- In Aboite Township, for a $100,000 home value, you’d see an increase of $64 annually.
- In Lake Township, for a $100,000 home value, you’d see an increase of $76 annually.
- Cedar Creek Township, The Town of Grabill, Springfield Township, the town of Leo-Cedarville and Scipio Township are not expected to have any impact on their taxes from the new fire districts.
- Marion Township would see a 12.5 percent increase in its tax liability,
- Areas already in a fire district can expect an increase of $19 on a $100,000 property or an extra $1.50 a month.
- For a $100,000 property in Marion Township, expect an annual increase of $63 or slightly more than five dollars a month.
- For a 250,000-dollar property in Marion Township will see an annual increase of $465.
The Allen County Commissioners are inviting the public to weigh in on this proposal. You can give feedback by calling 260-449-7555.
Residents can also send an email to email@example.com through the end of business on Thursday, Dec. 15. The commissioners will consider and discuss the expansion and creation of the fire districts at the legislative session on Friday Dec. 16 at 8:30 that morning.