Washington Township fire department

The 62-year-old Washington Township fire department, also home to its roads department, will be replaced if voters approve a bond issue on the May 4 ballot. (Washington Township Fire Department photo)

WASHINGTON TOWNSHP -- A new $9 million home for the Washington Township fire department and roads department is planned if voters approve a bond issue on the May 4 primary ballot.

The 2.4 mill, 30-year bond issue would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $84 annually, according to longtime township Trustee Bob Entenmann.

In return, he said, township residents will have a new, larger facility on about 15 acres at the corner of Vanderbilt Road and Ohio 13, across the street from Peoples Baptist Church.

It would replace a 62-year-old structure at 2480 Possum Run Road, directly across from Wal-Mart and in the midst of a heavily traveled, restaurant/retail area at the I-71/Ohio 13 interchange that grew up around it.

"It's good for the residents of Washington Township, it's good for fire personnel and the road crews and it will bring us all up to date," said Entenmann, in his 18th year as a township trustee.

The trustee said the current facility is antiquated and does not meet current EPA standards, though it was "grandfathered in" when the environmental standards were created.

"We are really not up to do date in a lot of areas determined by the EPA," Entenmann said. "For example, when firefighters come back from a call, the equipment and the clothes must be cleaned. We have to be able to protect the firefighters from potential cancer-causing material.

"The new building will allow us to do that," Entenmann said.

"We also have a huge issue with our current location since Wal-Mart and all of the restaurants came in," he said. "Even though this location would be a few miles further south, it will save time by being able to get in and out quicker without all the traffic."

Entenmann said the new structure would have living and sleeping quarters for fire department members, something the current firehouse does not provide. Response times for the all-volunteer department could be greatly enhanced if firefighters could stay at the firehouse 24/7, he said.

The new structure, which Entenmann said would encompass 18,000 to 21,000 square feet, would have five drive-through bays for fire apparatus. He said it would have more space for the road department than currently available in the old structure.

Other issues on the May 4 ballot in Richland County:

-- The City of Mansfield has two income tax renewals -- the PRIDE tax and the Pothole Haters tax. Both are 0.25 percent income tax issues and each is for four years.

-- The Village of Plymouth is asking voters to renew a 6-mill, five-year tax levy for current expenses.

-- The Village of Shiloh seeks approval for the renewal of a 2.5-mill, five-year tax issue for current expenses.

-- The City of Ontario is asking voters to consider forming a charter commission, which would draft a proposed charter form of government for voter consideration at a subsequent election.

-- Kingwood Center Gardens seeks approval for Sunday alcohol sales in Mansfield Precinct 4B.

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"