Oct. 25--The Village of Somerville's fire department may be dissolved if voters reject Issue 1.
The proposed 4 mill levy helps pay for operating expenses and equipment, according to Fire Chief Richard Robinson. He said his department "can't survive" if voters say no to the levy.
"It helps pay to keep our fire department afloat," said Robinson.
The median home value in the village is $50,000 according to Jane Robinson, the chief's wife who is also a volunteer firefighter.
Jane Robinson said it will cost the homeowner of a $50,000 house around $70 a year if the levy is passed.
"Our budget has been so minimal for the last several years...it keeps getting less and less, one of our last budget was under $10,000," Jane Robinson said.
She predicts the levy will generate between $9,000 to $12,000 for the fire department.
There are 15 volunteers who are not paid for serving, according to Jane Robinson and she's one of them.
"I'm very dedicated to serving the public," she said.
Even with the threat of losing the village's fire department, some voters still plan to vote no.
"I don't approve of it, people can't afford more taxes, the fire department doesn't really do anything for this town anyway," said Brenda Kimball, a village resident.
"I don't like it, they just keep raising and raising what are people going to do, you can only pay so much...it disturbs me," said Ramona Nelson, a village resident.
Jane Robinson said firefighting services could be contracted to another department or "will be absorbed into Milford Township."
"If it's absorbed by the township then the insurance companies could raise rates or even drop some customers," she said.
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