BAZETTA TWP., Ohio (WKBN) — Voters in Bazetta Township will be asked in the upcoming election to decide on an additional levy that would help fund the fire department.

The effects of inflation hasn’t excluded first responders.

“Every one of our expenses has increased dramatically,” said Rob Wasser, public information officer with Bazetta Township department.

Wasser says in the past, the department has had to borrow money from the general fund to make it through the first quarter. The department has also taken other measures to save money, including reducing overtime, doing simple repairs themselves and watching utility usage.

“But it’s still not enough, and there’s really no margin for any additional savings in addition to what we’ve done,” Wasser said. “That’s the reason why we have to come to the community and ask for their support.”

A 2-mills additional levy for the fire department will be on Bazetta ballots this May. It would cost the owner of a home with an assessed value of $100,000 an additional $70 per year.

“We haven’t asked for a new levy like this since 2008 — the closest thing that we’ve had to that was in 2020 when we did a replacement on an old levy from 1994,” Wasser said.

If the levy passes, it would generate a little more than $300,000 a year for the department.

Firefighters say this is a last resort.

“We’re essentially operating on a 14-year-old budget, and the addition of this levy is going to help maintain the services and the equipment and the personnel that we have,” Wasser said.