Springcreek Township Trustees discuss EMS contract, levy options


By Kathleen Leese

For Miami Valley Today

PIQUA — Springcreek Township Trustees met Monday, March 25, and continued to express concern about the city of Piqua Fire and EMS services contract signed the previous week and also discussed levy options for the township.

Thomas Hill, chairman of the trustees, explained, “I was a little hesitant on signing. Paul Oberdorfer (Piqua City Manager) could not promise me they would give me a paramedic on every run.”

Hill noted during the meeting he had to “think a little bit more” before signing the contract, which was already signed by trustees Dennis Engel and Mike Havener.

“Now it’s up to friends of Springcreek Township to pass a levy,” Hill said.

Springcreek Township paid $163,234 in 2023 for Piqua Fire and EMS services, will pay $171,396 in 2024. It will pay $256,034 in 2025 and $358,447 in 2026 under the new contract with the city of Piqua. According to the contract, those amounts are to be paid to the city on April 30 and Nov. 30 of each year.

Under the new contract, city of Piqua Fire and EMS services began on Jan. 1, 2024, and will continue through Dec. 31, 2026.

One sticking point for the trustees was the issue of fire and EMS insurance fees, which previously were returned to the township and now will go to the city of Piqua.

In a statement Oberdorfer provided to Miami Valley Today, “We discussed with the Trustees of Springcreek Township the continuation of emergency medical service insurance reimbursements from the city of Piqua. EMS transport fees average $35,355 annually for the township. The city-proposed model factors in total EMS transport revenues to offset the service cost. The city contributes an average of $670,568 in EMS transport revenue toward reducing the cost of service. The model is predicated on sustainability for all parties by increasing revenues and decreasing expenditures.”

Hill said, “Every time I’ve talked to Paul Oberdorfer and the city of Piqua, all I get is a ‘no.’” Hill added, “we’re paying full price here. Give us full service.”

Piqua’s interim Fire Chief Lee Adams told Miami Valley Today in a phone interview that of the 4,000 calls they received for EMS services in 2023, “probably 99%” had a paramedic on board and he added, “every first out (call for EMS) has a paramedic with that crew.” He explained it is a “small number” that ever leave the station without a paramedic.

“If we have a paramedic in the building, they are going on the call,” he said.

Adams explained all firefighters with the city of Piqua must obtain a paramedic license within three years or “they are no longer employed with us.” A paramedic license takes approximately one and a half years to obtain, while an EMT takes approximately two months, he said.

Adams also addressed the issue of fire coverage. He said Piqua Fire can respond faster, which “is huge.” The average response time by Piqua Fire to Springcreek Township residents is six to seven minutes.

The trustees also discussed the issue of an additional levy, as was discussed during their last meeting, with Fiscal Officer Bob Black stating the current 2.5 mill renewal levy needs to pass first. Currently, the renewal levy provides approximately $132,179 in revenue.

Hill said he is getting information from the county auditor and noted that a 4 mill levy will provide $309,000 in revenue. Hill told those present a 4 mill is “the light side” of what he thinks residents will need to pay. He added that he doesn’t want to use up the township “nest egg” for services. A 4 mill levy would cost $140 per year for a $100,000 residential property.

Hill explained, “5 mill could be worrisome with a 2.5 mill (renewal) in November,” a reference to the renewal levy set to appear on the November ballot. “We need to get rolling, get everyone thinking about this (the new levy).”

According to Hill, the new levy would need to be worked out 90 days ahead to get on the ballot.

Trustees anticipate waiting until next May to attempt to place a possible 4 mill or higher levy on the ballot.

In other action, the trustees discussed commercial marijuana sales/cultivation within the township, with no action taken. Black told trustees he understands a third marijuana dispensary is set to open on the west end of Piqua.

Trustees discussed revising a bid for curb work on Ridgeview Court, which is currently bid at $60,000 for all curbs.

The trustees learned street lights on Augusta Lane have been repaired.

The Miami County 2024 Asphalt Resurfacing Program is set to get underway with Havener noting Geiserman Road East is one of the worst roads in the township, “you would spend a lot” to resurface it.

Annexation agreements with the city of Piqua involving the Tom Baker property and Teeters Real Estate Investments was also discussed. It was noted that Teeters Real Estate Investments is expanding in Indian Ridge.

A 12-year-payout involving the annexation agreements will amount to almost $1 million, which Black said is now being returned to the township.

The trustees also noted they will make their second payment to Spirit Ambulance for the $161,000 they must pay them for the contract signed in January, although they will no longer use that service.

This was the last meeting for Black, who is the outgoing fiscal officer. Lori Wirt, who was elected in November, takes over the position on April 1.

The writer is a regular contributor to Miami Valley Today.

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