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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Shawswick and Guthrie Townships Might Establish First Fire Protection Territory? What is it?

BEDFORD - (February 20, 2022) - The Shawswick Township and Guthrie Township Trustees are considering a fire protection territory for its residents. This would be the first fire protection territory in Lawrence County if it passes the resolution following a series of public meetings.

(Shawswick firefighters battle a fire in Leesville)

A meeting will be held at the Shawsiwick Township Fire Station located at 1327 Sunny Acres Drive at 6:30 p.m. Monday night, to give residents an opportunity to find out what a fire protection territory is, and how it might affect their property taxes.

Other meeting dates and times:

  • Monday February 21, 2022, at 6:30 p.m.

  • Monday March 7, 2022, at 6:30 p.m.

  • Monday March 21, 2022, at 6:30 p.m.

What is a fire protection territory? The legislative bodies of two contiguous units may establish a fire protection territory for the purposes of fire protection, and fire prevention.

In this case the two legislative bodies are Shawswick Townshp advisory board and Guthrie Township advisory board.

In order to establish a fire protection territory, the two legislative bodies must adopt a resolution that is identical to one another desiring to become part of the proposed territory.

The resolution adopted after January 1, and before April 1, the resolution authorizes them to become a part of the territory. The resolution is adopted after the legislative body holds a public hearing and the public is allowed to give comment on the proposal.

The public hearing must be held 30 days prior to adopting the resolution and the public is notified of the property tax levy, property tax rate, and the budget of the proposed fire protection territory during the first year of operation for each taxing unit which will include both Shawswick and Guthrie townships.

In addition, the estimated effect of the proposed reorganization in the following years on taxpayers in each of the units that would participate in the proposed territory including the expected property tax, tax levy, expenditure levels, service levels, and annual debt service payments.

The residents will also be advised on the estimated effects on other units in the county in the following county on Local Option Income Tax, Excise Taxes, and property tax circuit breaker credits.

A description of the planned services, and staffing levels, to be provided in the proposed territory. In addition, a description of any capital improvement to be provided in the territory,

(Several fire departments respond to a large fire on Bryantsville Road in late 2021)

A public hearing in addition to adopting the resolution. A notice shall also include whether the resolution will require uniform tax rates, or different tax rates within the territory. The proposed tax rates for each participating unit shall be made available.

The resolution shall include the boundaries of the territory, identify the provider of the territory.

A proud sponsor of the Lawrence County Zephyr

A fire territory is usually when township governments decide they would like to combine fire protection responsibilities, a fire protection district is usually established by the County Commissioners and County Council.

A proud sponsor of the Lawrence County Zephyr

Any questions or comments can be made during the public hearing at the dates and times listed above.


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