November 24, 1992 (~estimated)
Fire truck purchase approved
But township wants disputes settled first
By Laurie Lynn Strasser
The Princeton Fire Department’ will find a new telesquirt truck under its Christmas tree —provided a few conditions are met.
The Princeton Township Committee passed an ordinance Monday night to appropriate up to $280,000 so it can issue up to $266,000 in bonds to purchase a $420,000 telesquirt fire truck.
The Borough Council passed a parallel ordinance Nov. 24, appropriating $165,200 to issue $155,960 in bonds, covering about 34 percent of the joint purchase.
However, the township refuses to actually spend any money until the two municipalities settle ongoing disputes over common ownership and cost-sharing of the apparatus.
The cost question involves how township and borough shares are calculated on the basis of their respective ratables. The ownership question concerns who has title to what under the joint fire department being officially created.
The committee also intends to withhold the appropriation until its members see a detailed financial breakdown and a video demonstration of the truck in action.
The main point of contention is a $100,000 remote-controlled “articulating boom” that douses fires from above. The firefighters’ Board of Engineers contends that feature takes fewer people to operate and is safer because it is operated from a distance.
“Do’ we really need that Cadillac?” Committeeman Frederick Porter asked.
Yes, asserted Fire Chief Joseph Meyers, claiming the vehicle is “by no means” a Cadillac.
Frustrated after several years of requesting the truck, he said it will take a year between when it is ordered and delivered.