Issue 49: Strongsville fire levy goes down by an 8 point margin

The levy would have paid for more firefighters to help speed response times.

Issue 49: Strongsville fire levy goes down by an 8 point margin
Strongsville, Prospect Rd. (Source: East 171 off St. Clair)

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio (WOIO) - Voters in Strongsville defeated a tax increase Tuesday that would have helped pay for additional firefighters and equipment.

The levy went down by a more than 8 point margin with 54.04 of voters casting ballots against the levy and 45.96 in support, according to preliminary Cuyahoga County elections results.

Absentee and early in-person ballots were both partially counted.

The city was requesting the increase to pay for more full-time fire fighters, according to Fire Chief Jack Draves.

Draves said that over the past five years the department had seen a 23 percent increase in the number of calls for service they received.

The city-wide response time for those calls has reached 6 minutes and 51 seconds, he said.

“The goal is to be four to six minutes,” he said. "And you want to be closer to the four minutes.

Draves said the department would have to do some soul searching in the wake of the defeat.

“We’ll have to reevaluate staffing and resources and funding and see if there’s anything we can do,” he said.

The levy was for 2.5 mill per one dollar of valuation, which would have cost homeowners about 25 cents for each one hundred dollars of home valuation.

The levy would cost an owner of a $200,000 home of an additional $175 per year, according to the city finance department.

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