Princeton amends ordinances for firehouse repairs, fire truck

November 24, 1992

The Princeton Packet

Princeton amends ordinances for firehouse repairs, fire truck

By Adam Miller

Staff Writer

The Princeton Township Committee introduced two amended bond ordinances Monday night that if approved would provide funds for the joint purchase with the borough of a new fire truck and repairs to two firehouses.

The cost of the fire truck, a telesquirter, is $420,000. The cost of improvements to Engine Co. No. 1 and the Hook and Ladder fire-houses is $66,000.

Based on present arrangements between township and borough, the township would pay for two-thirds of the truck — $280,000 — and own half of it. The township would also pay for two-thirds of the fire-house repairs — $44,000 although the firehouses would continue to be owned by the borough.

Township Committee members expressed concern about the proportion of payment and the ownership issue. As a result, they amended the ordinances to reflect a maximum outlay of two-thirds of the costs on both ordinances.

That allows the committee to renegotiate both the percentage of township payments and ownership before the final vote without stall-ing the purchase or repairs.

Public hearings and votes on the ordinances are scheduled for Dec. 21. The unamended ordinances have already been approved by the borough.

According to Mayor Woodbridge, the borough would have to approve supplemental funding if negotiations change the formula for payment or ownership.

According to Township Attorney Edwin Schmierer, if the township pays for two-thirds of firehouse repairs, the borough will concede some of its ownership. During, the next month, the percentage the borough will concede will be determined, he said.

Mr. Schmierer added that percentage of payment is a more difficult issue with a long history that cannot be resolved so quickly.

Joint outlays by the municipalities are computed by a com-parison of ratables, the total property tax each town collects. The township’s proportion is about two-thirds of the total. A change in that formula has recently become a bone of contention between the municipalities.

The ordinance for the fire truck purchase was approved 3-2 with committee members Laurence Glasberg and Ellen Souter voting against.

Mr. Glasberg asked whether it would make more sense to rehabilitate the pumper the telesquirter is to replace, for $90,000 to $150,000. or to buy a new pumper, for an estimated $250,000.

Fire Chief Joseph Meyers said that neither rehabilitation nor re-placement would be cost-effective. He, Committeewoman Phyllis Marchand and Mayor Woodbridge recommended the telesquirter, which requires fewer firefighters, has a greater water capacity and can be used to fight chemical fires.

Mayor Woodbridge noted that West Windsor will be buying, two telesquirters in the near future and said that cost could be reduced by piggybacking on their purchase.

The ordinance for firehouse re-pairs was approved unanimously.

All of the committee members agreed that the houses are in dire need of repair.

Mr. Glasberg questioned whether the township needed both fire-houses since the opening of the Witherspoon Street location. But he agreed that even if the township was to sell the two older houses, repairs were necessary to maintain them.

Leave a Reply