GENEVA — The Northwest Ambulance District is seeking a replacement of a two-mill levy in November Election.

Robert Russell, chair of the NAD Board, said the levy makes up just under half of the district’s levy funding. Northwest Ambulance District has three levies, the two-mill levy that is on the ballot in November, a 1.25-mill levy, and a one-mill levy, Russell said. The three levies currently bring in the equivalent of 3.88 mills, and replacing the two-mill levy will bring that number closer to four mills, Russell said.

NAD provides ambulance service to Geneva city and Austinburg, Geneva, Harpersfield and Trumbull townships, Russell said.

The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $70 per year. According to the Ashtabula County Auditor’s Office, the levy would generate around $674,777 per year for the district.

Russell said the replacement of the levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $9 to $10 more per year, compared to the current rate.

The levy is vitally important, Russell said.

Without the pandemic, Northwest Ambulance District would probably not be requesting the renewal, Russell said.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused increased expenses for the district, with increased costs for increased amounts of personal protective equipment, sanitization and staffing, Russell said.

“Every business experienced that — we’re not alone,” Russell said.

Because of the pandemic, ambulances had to be completely disinfected after almost every call, Russell said.

“In essence, to make things simple, one ambulance call turned into two, because we had to call in a crew to stand by while the current ambulance was being disinfected,” he said. “It was an interesting process that, unfortunately, we’re still going through.”

The levy was last replaced in 2010, according to Ashtabula County Board of Elections records.

“Historically, our residents have supported us,” Russell said. “The board, nor the employees, take that support for granted. And when we ask for more money, it’s not something that we want to do. We have a long discussion about asking for more money.”

The board looks at finances to try and save money before asking taxpayers for more money, Russell said.

“None of us are happy that we have to ask for more money,” he said.

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