GIRARD — The Crawford County Commission finished up work on the county’s 2018 budget at its regular meeting Friday.

The commission discussed the budget in a work session during the meeting, as well as speaking with Crawford County Fire District No. 2 Chief Mike McLeod.

McLeod explained the district’s reasoning for requesting a two mill increase in its mill rate. The current mill rate is five mills, the increase would raise it to seven. One mill is equal to one dollar per every $1,000 of assessed value.

McLeod said with the current mill rate, the fire district is just breaking even. The increase would allow the district to begin saving and building resources for future repairs, projects and more.

The district needs to replace a vehicle with its cascade system in the near future, and is also looking to add a second station — hopefully somewhere on US Highway 69 near Crawford County EMS Station No. 2.

The additional station would allow better response time to homes in the district, as well as improve the rating for homeowners on insurance as they would be closer to a station.

With the increase in assessed value to the district, the five mill rate would raise an additional $4,000 over last year’s budget, while the two mill increase would raise $29,000 more.

“Just for perspective, $4,000 buys us only two sets of gear,” McLeod said.

The commission approved placing the two mill increase into the budget, however it will still be subject to a public budget hearing.

Commissioner Tom Moody said he will speak with Frontenac City Administrator Brad Reams about the possibility of putting a station near EMS station no. 2. He said it would be a help to homes on Highway 160.

The county approved publication of the budgets for all four fire districts and will announce the date for public hearings.

McLeod said he meets with the district’s board Tuesday and will report what he spoke about with the commission.

The commission hosted a work session to finish work on the county’s overall budget. The county will also publish this budget and announce a date for the public hearing.

County Clerk Don Pyle reminded the public that the published numbers in the budget are the maximum limit for funds, the actual budget can be revised into less, but not more.

Pyle also gave the commission information from a local coalition against allowing heavier trucks on roads.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.