FIRE DISTRICTS are becoming Eastern Ohio trendy.
Cumberland Trail has been in existence for years, meeting with much success.
Just recently, Shadyside and Mead Township joined forces, with the blessing of voters, to create the Ohio River & Western Fire District. OR&W is still in the formative stages.
Those two firefighting entities have sparked interest in the possible creation of a third local fire district. This one would feature the union of the village of Bellaire with Pultney Township.
Neffs Fire Chief John Driscoll broached that possibility with Bellaire Village Council last week. We believe it is an idea that holds much value and worth pursuing.
The village of Bellaire has contracted with the Neffs Fire Department since 2003. That came about after the Bellaire Fire Department was dissolved due to financial issues.
It was a sad and painful end to a dedicated group of firefighters that was in existence since 1860.
But financial hardships are the nature of the beast for local fire departments. If it weren't for frequent fundraisers and sometime grant awards, many more departments would cease to exist.
For that reason alone, fire districts make good budgetary sense. Moreover, staffing shortages are alleviated, as is the case with OR&W.
The Bellaire plan is still in the embryonic stages. To his credit, Driscoll is being proactive should a levy need be placed on the November ballot to help fund the district.
An exploratory committee has been formed to hash out the feasibilities of such a venture.
We believe a fire district would provide enhanced safety coverage for residents of Bellaire and Pultney Township while hopefully igniting support from voters.