Agreement in Works On Joint Ownership

January 24, 1968 (~estimated)

Agreement in Works On Joint Ownership

By Myrna K. Bearse

An agreement giving Prince-ton Township joint ownership of all firehouses and Fire Department capital equipment has been informally agreed to by Borough Council and sent to Township Committee for its approval. The agreement also provides that the Township will reciprocate by conveying joint ownership to the Borough of the four principal parks owned by the Township and administered by the Joint Recreation Board.

These are Community Park North and South, Hilltop Park, and Grover Avenue Park.

The agreement was hammered out b,y attorneys for the Borough and Township, with input from members of the governing bodies and administrative staff.

Borough Mayor Mayor Reed and Council members are hopeful that this interlocal services agreement between the two municipalities will meet concerns expressed earlier by members of Township Committee.

At present, the new Wither-spoon Street firehouse is the only one owned jointly by the two municipalities. The two other fire stations — on North Harrison Street and Chestnut Street — are owned by the Bor-ough. In November, some members of Township Committee expressed concern at having to pay two-thirds of repairs to firehouses in the Borough when the Township had no equity/ownership in them.

The agreement also confirms that the two municipalities will support the operation of the department on the basis of their respective ratables. Currently, the Borough contributes 34 percent and the Township 66 percent. Construction, maintenance, and repair of all fire-houses and equipment will also be funded on a ratable base.

Mayor Reed said the agreement affirms the principle of joint ownership of property and capital equipment when there is an operating department that takes responsibility for property. This definition, he said, applies both to the Fire Department and the Recreation Department.

The Mayor is waiting for concurrence from the Township before presenting the interlocal services agreement to Council for a vote. “Hopefully, we will both act at the same time,” he said.

Mayor Reed said he thought the issue of joint ownership of firehouses and equipment and the basis for cost sharing have been resolved between the Borough and Township. This, he said, left as the only outstanding concern whether the Fire Department should purchase a telesquirt truck.

He expects this to be discussed in the near future at a joint meeting of Township Committee and Borough Council.

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