GMFD Sustainability FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. Why is the Village considering merging it’s Fire Department with the Little Miami Fire District? The Little Miami Fire District approached Golf Manor about a potential administrative merger of the two departments back in 2015. As the Village works toward controlling expenses and ensuring the sustainability and quality of service and operations, this opportunity deserves consideration to ensure the long-term viability of maintaining our own independent fire department. Golf Manor Council has been discussing the issue while analyzing Village finances since then.
  2. Is the Village unable to afford keeping its own independent Fire Department? At the current time Village finances are stable. However, even though the Village ended 2016 with a balanced budget, future revenue and expense projections indicate the current structure of Fire Department funding is not sustainable for the future. This merger opportunity allows us to evaluate different methods of managing our needs and funding as well as plan for the future financial strength of the fire deparment and the Village.
  3. How can the Golf Manor Fire Department merge with Little Miami with there being so much distance between the two communities? Both fire houses would share management staff, personnel and equipment. Each house would continue to operate in their own geographic region and respond in the same manner as they do now.
  4. What will happen to the Firehouse on Wiehe Road if the department merges? The fire house will remain open and emergency response operations will continue as they do today. The same firefighters that currently serve the village will continue to respond as they always have.  The only thing that changes is the name on the trucks and the patches on their uniforms.
  5. If the Golf Manor station is out on a run will the firehouse in Fairfax have to respond?  No – if there is a need for back-up, the current arrangement  with neighboring communities to provide mutual aid will continue. The next closest fire department will be dispatched though the Hamilton County Communications Center as is done currently.
  6. What control will the village have over the fire department? The Village will have direct representation on the fire board that governs the fire district with two voting members. Each municipality that is part of the district has two members on the board.  Currently the Village of Fairfax and Columbia Township have two members each. Golf Manor residents will also be voting residents in the new combined district so that any District adjustment to taxes requires a vote of the Golf Manor residents as well as residents in the other jurisdictions in the District which are Fairfax and a portion of Columbia Township. Everyone together would vote as one District.
  7. Will this affect response times? The Wiehe Road Station will continue to be staffed at the same levels as they are now. No change in response time is anticipated.
  8. Will my taxes go up with or without a merger? If the Village joins the fire district, the current 6 mill fire levy will be replaced with the current millage of the fire district which is 12.05 mills. If the Village does not join the district, it is anticipated that there will be a need for additional millage to sustain operations, make capital purchases of equipment and continue to competitively pay the firefighters, EMT’s and paramedics. That additional millage could be anywhere from 6 – 10 additional mills.
  9. How will the merger move forward? When does this become effective? If Village council decides to merge, the Village would contract with the Little Miami Fire District through the remainder of 2017 and all of 2018. Since property taxes are paid in arrears, any tax increase would not be seen on the property tax bill until January 2019.
  10. What are the next steps?
    • Council will continue to discuss and debate options for moving forward with Fire Department operations for the future.
    • After considering resident input gathered at the two Town Hall mettings, the next logical step to move forward to consider a merger would be for the leadership of both Golf Manor and Little Miami to start having a detailed discussion about formulting a contract between the two entities.
    • After a contract is finalized and the details are clear, Council will consider the detailed proposal and vote to either merge the GMFD with the Little Miami Fire District or to take the steps necessary to move forward with other measures to sustain the current Fire Department structure.
    • If a vote to finalize the merger occurs, it is anticipated that another Town Hall meeting will be held to brief residents on how the new operations will work and answer any questions.
    • In either case, Council will continue to look for solutions that ensure that public safety and efficient operations are maintained at the best cost.

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