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The Suburbanite
  • Early results show defeat of Canton Township fire levy

  • Fire service is expected to be reduced for Canton Township if a 3.5-mill levy is defeated. With about 40 percent of the votes tallied late Tuesday night, the issue was trailing 52 percent to 47 percent.

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  • Township fire service is expected to be reduced if unofficial election results hold and voters reject a 3.5-mill levy. Township residents also are expected to be charged for ambulance service if the issue goes down.
    As of 1 a.m. Wednesday, the issue was trailing by a mere 68 votes — 3,029 for the issue and 3,097 against. That’s about difference of 1 percent. That doesn’t include paper ballots cast on Tuesday, some absentee ballots and provisional ballots.
     Fire Chief Scott McKibben could not be reached for comment late Tuesday night.
    More funding would allow the department to replace a truck and two ambulances. Township residents are not charged for ambulance service.
    Levy failure would lead to more cuts, according to the fire department, including the use of outside agencies, such as private ambulance companies. Fees are expected to be charged, both for the outside service and township ambulance service, Capt. Scott Johnson had said prior to the election.
    Levy money would be used only for daily operations, he had said.
    Fire officials have said the department has lost roughly $250,000 in state funding and $300,000 because of current and future property tax cuts.
    With the levy, the Meyers Lake station would be staffed full-time. Currently, crews come from the Sherman Church or Waco stations to Meyers Lake.
    Levy approval would have resulted in better response time for that area, according to fire officials. The department also had said passage would keep the North Industry station open.
    Passage also would have brought back firefighter/medic positions that were cut after the failure of the March levy request.