Orange, Liberty Fire Departments Relying on Levies
Updated: Saturday, February 2 2013, 09:13 AM EST
DELAWARE COUNTY -- Fire fighters in Liberty and Orange Townships are just days away from finding out if voters will approve levies that will prevent drastic cuts to both departments.
Special elections will be held in each township on Tuesday. Liberty Township is asking for a 5-year, 5.6 mill levy, while Orange seeks a 3-year, 7.5 mil levy.
Each department has scaled back staffing ahead of the election, hoping to convince voters they can control costs without major cuts. Liberty's department has reduced its full-time staff to 42 employees and eliminated part-time positions.
If Liberty's levy fails, the department will close within the year. If the Orange levy fails, 21 fire fighters will be laid off and one of the township's two fire stations will close.
More than 12,000 people live in Orange Township, according to the most recent U.S. Census, while more than 30,000 reside in Liberty Township, which includes Powell.
Among the supporters of the Liberty levy is resident Marie Follmer, who told ABC 6/FOX 28 she relies on the township's EMS services to help ensure the safety of her daughter, Lyla, who was born with one lung.
"They know how to take care of Lyla, how to get her somewhere quickly, they've even talked about how to land a helicopter in our front yard if need be," Follmer said.
If the levies fail, Delaware County EMS will have to provide services to both townships.
Reporter: Jen French
Web Producer: Ken Hines