Orange Township Misses Fire Levy Deadline By Two Minutes

If approved, the levy would have meant $7.6 million in annual funding for the department.(Photo: Orange Township)
If approved, the levy would have meant $7.6 million in annual funding for the department.(Photo: Orange Township)

Nearly two dozen fire fighters in Delaware County have been given layoffs notices after township administrators missed a filing deadline by two minutes.

In November, voters in Orange Township narrowly rejected a levy that would have meant about $8 million a year in funding for the fire department. The township faced a November 7th deadline of 4 p.m. to tell the county if they wanted to try again in February.

Fire chief Tom Stewart says trustees thought they could tell the board via email, but when they realized they needed a hard copy, it was 4:02 p.m.

“In life we follow rules, and rules are rules,” Stewart said.

“The Board of Elections had to make a decision, and they made a deicision to reject it based on the 4:02 time stamp on the hard copies.”

Stewart says he’s already given layoff notice to all 22 fire fighters, nearly half of the entire township’s employees. Stewart says trustees are still investigating a possible appeal and other funding possibilities including bond issues.

But if the ruling stands, he may have to close the fire department entirely.

Comments
  • Musicleader

    I live in Orange Twp and voted FOR the levy. It scares me to envision shutting down the Dept or laying off 1/2 the firemen/EMS staff. Although someone dropped the ball, there should be allowances made when peoples’ lives could be at stake.