HANCOCK COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - Multiple rural communities in Hancock County have partnered up to pool their firefighting resources.

For the last three years, Union Township in southern Hancock County has been looking to alleviate some rising fire fighting costs.

During the process they found a common need among other nearby communities. So the communities of Union Township, Van Buren Township and the villages of Mount Cory, Rawson and Jenera, have come together to form a joint fire district.

This allows a broader tax base for operations and the ability to pool resources.

The district will eventually hire a full time fire chief, but must first ensure the estimated $159,000 operating budget from the community through a fire district levy.

"The next step is to get it on the May ballot, that's our goal," said union Township Trustee Jeff Augustine. "And then we're down to the nuts and bolts. We've got to get a clerk hired and we've got to get the bylaws set. So, we've got a lot on our plate over the next 3 to 4 months."