The Berne Township Fire Department is asking voters to approve a 5-mill levy May 8 to staff the department full-time with around the clock paramedic firefighters.
The permanent operational levy will bring in $670,000 to $695,000 every year, according to Ron Daniels, the township's fire chief. This will cost a resident of Berne Township $175 annually for a house appraised at $100,000. That boils down to about $14 a month and 48 cents a day.
Most of the money generated by the levy will be used for staff salaries. Daniels estimates the increased staffing will cost $648,000. The rest will be used for acquiring and maintaining equipment and gear for the fire department.
Daniels said he wants to hire six full-time paramedic firefighters to supplement the department’s current part-time staff.
There are 47 members at BTFD, 16 of which are part-time staff. Currently, two of the part-time employees work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.