Public Vote for Tabernacle (NJ) Fire Apparatus Rescheduled

A public vote in Tabernacle (NJ) on a new fire truck has been rescheduled for the fall.

The Fire District has decided to set the date of the special election for Oct. 12 from 2 to 9 p.m. at the Medford Farms Volunteer Fire House.

Voters will be asked to approve the district spending $650,000 for a pumper truck and equipment.

“The board chose the week of Oct. 12 because it is (National) Fire Prevention Week, and we hope to provide as much information to the public as possible,” said John Burger III, chairman of the local Board of Fire Commissioners.

The board originally intended to hold the vote July 6, but had to cancel it because of a problem with the posting of the special election.

Unlike a typical election, which would require the Fire District to post signs in 10 places 10 days before a vote, special elections mandate that the postings be done 21 days beforehand. By the time fire officials learned of the requirement, it was too late to rectify the situation.

Regardless, the need for the truck hasn’t changed, so the district chose to proceed with its own election.

The pumper truck would be equipped with a compressed air foam system that stretches a 500-gallon pumper to 1,500 gallons when air and foam are added.

That’s a crucial component in a town that has no hydrants, according to Chief Dave Smith.

If voters approve the purchase, the Fire Department will move its existing engine to the emergency services building across town to provide better protection to the eastern side, and also decrease some residents’ homeowner’s insurance costs by as much as $300 a year.

Commissioner Nancy Freeman said the purchase of the pumper truck will not increase fire taxes since $1.6 million in bonds will be retired in November.

The district plans to enter into a lease-purchase agreement for the truck to spread the payments out over several years.

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