LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In Lordstown Thursday night, about 15 people showed up to a town hall meeting to discuss a proposed income tax levy.

Fire Chief Travis Eastham explained the additional half percent income tax would benefit fire and EMS.

If passed, it would allow the department to hire full-time fire and EMS personnel and maintain the existing part-time staff. It would also replace trucks from 2001 and 1991 and replace an ambulance from 2016 in the future. They could also buy new gear and renovate the station.

Chief Eastham says the closure of the General Motors plant has severely impacted their funding.

“If you add up all the employees that we have over there at those three facilities alone, we haven’t even filled one shift of what General Motors had. We struggled when we went down to one shift, the village did. They struggled to keep things on an even when we went down to one shift at General Motors,” he said.

An income tax levy was chosen because the department answers a lot of calls to businesses.

Chief Eastham says they would like to see the workers pitch in on some of the cost.

Village council approved the levy in January. If the state does, it’ll appear on the May ballot.

Domenic Weser contributed to this report.