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Martins Ferry EMS tax levy approved

T-L Photo/SHELLEY HANSON POLL WORKERS Ezra McNickle, left, and Jo Ellen Kolvek check in Martins Ferry resident James Watts Sr., at right, before he votes during Tuesday’s election.

MARTINS FERRY — Martins Ferry voters on Tuesday approved a new 3-mill, five-year tax levy that will help continue operations for the Martins Ferry Emergency Medical Service.

According to unofficial vote totals from the Belmont County Board of Elections, 559 voted in favor of the levy while 451 voted against it.

The EMS has been having financial problems for the past few years because of cuts to reimbursements from Medicare for ambulance services, officials have said. The levy is expected to generate about $240,000 each year for the EMS.

EMS Coordinator Dave Snyder Jr. previously said the levy will be used for EMS-related operations including payroll, training, equipment and vehicles.

“I am thrilled and very satisfied with the outcome of the vote for the EMS levy,” Snyder said Tuesday night.

Snyder said he is thankful residents of the city voted to keep the EMS running since it has been hurting financially. He noted the levy money will not come immediately, but when it does it will help the EMS “drastically.”

“This is a wonderful time for Martins Ferry and our ambulance service,” Snyder said.

The EMS has four full-time employees and about 20 part-timers. Part-time EMTs make $10.27 per hour, while advanced EMTs, or those with more training, receive $11.15 per hour. Part-time paramedics make about $12.40 per hour.

For a person who owns a home valued at $60,000, the levy will cost them another $36.75 per year in taxes. For a home valued at $45,000, it will cost $21 per year. And for a house valued at $90,000, $68.25 per year.

Meanwhile, other levies considered by voters across the region included:

∫ Flushing Township, roads and bridges, additional levy — 49 against the levy and 45 in favor;

∫ Goshen Township, roads and bridges, additional levy — 129 in favor and 124 against;

∫ Kirkwood Township, fire protection, renewal levy — 41 in favor and 10 against;

∫ Mead Township, roads, renewal levy — 218 in favor and 111 against;

∫ Pease Township, fire, renewal levy — 384 in favor and 188 against;

∫ Wayne Township, roads and bridges, renewal levy — 24 in favor and 3 against;

∫ Wheeling Township, roads and bridges, renewal levy — 123 in favor and 49 against;

∫ Bridgeport Exempted Village School District, current expenses, renewal levy — 534 in favor and 399 against;

∫ Jefferson County Joint Vocational School District, current expenses, renewal levy — 78 in favor and 72 against;

∫ Flushing Village, fire, renewal levy — 128 in favor and 64 against;

∫ Holloway Village, fire, renewal levy — 38 in favor and 18 against; and

∫ Shadyside Village, current expense — 273 in favor and 129 against.

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