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Committee Approves Plan to Bond for $2.1 Million for New Vehicles, Equipment

Committeeman Leonard Morano votes no, saying township shouldn't bond for purchase of police and public works vehicles

Despite objections from one elected official, the Barnegat Township Committee today passed a resolution allowing the township to seek bids on a $2.1 million bond ordinance to fund new vehicles and equipment.

Township Committeeman Leonard Morano said he supported the purchase of a new aerial fire truck and turnout gear for Barnegat's volunteer fire departments, but said he objected to the fact that the bond would also cover a range of other purchases and expenses, from new police vehicles to computer upgrades. 

The vote to fund new public works and police cars with one big bond – the township's first since 2006 – "should never have happened," Morano said. Such expenses should come out of the budgets of the township's various departments on a year-to-year basis, he said. 

"I just can't see spending $2.1 million when people are losing their homes and losing their jobs," Morano said. "Our grandchildren are going to have to pay for this."

Leadership from the Barnegat Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 were in attendance to hear the vote, and emphasized the importance of the biggest line item covered by the bond: a new $900,000 ladder truck.

The township hasn't had a new aerial truck since 1988, said fire company president John Cowie. Barnegat has used Stafford Township's ladder truck in recent years when conducting roof operations and fighting fires from above, "but you can't always rely on another department all the time."

Also covered by the bond would be $300,000 for firefighting protective gear and safety equipment, including air packs, turnout gear, communication equipment and rescue operation tools. Gary Brown, who will take over as president of the fire company in 2012, said Barnegat's volunteer firefighters don't come to the township with their hands out very often.

"When we ask for this stuff, we really need it," he said.

Township attorney Jerry Dasti said it won't be clear how much the bond payments will cost the township in interest until offers start coming in. 

"When we know the cost, there will be a vote to approve it," he said.

But township adminsitrator David Breeden said that with interest rates so low, it's a good time to bond. "The cost of money is at an all-time low," he said, "so if you need to borrow money, now is the time."

The other side of the story January 14, 2012 at 02:07 PM
It seems as though one side of the story is being told about incidents involving the Barnegat Fire Company. the call that is being referred to is this...The driver of the truck and his crew were accused by Mr Lightbody as being drunk. This complaint was made before it was even known at the fire scene who was on the truck. The fireman driving is a 30 yr respected member of the fire company whose strongest drink is coca cola. His crew had not been drinking either. The police did respond to the firehouse after the fire call and questioned the member and deemed the complaint as unfounded. As far as being 2 miles away from the call..this is an exaggeration. The GPS unit in the fire truck showed a connecting street to the address of the call...2 blocks away but that street was a paper street. The yelling over the radio was from the officer on scene.. Mr Lightbody was not told by the chief to leave the company. That can't be done by one person. There are guidelines for that action and proper channels must be gone threw. It is a positive thing that the chief is sometimes in the position as a police officer to be able to inform the fire company of the status of a call before they get there and are able to take over the call. The chief does not drive or operate the fire trucks...many have and still do but their job is to run the fire scene. Thank you to the people of Barnegat who support the Fire Company. They might not be perfect...noone is..but they are dedicated to serving .
John B Taxpayer January 14, 2012 at 02:57 PM
They original thread was about Paying for these vehicles not the people that operate them. The only ones not speaking here is the people that pulled this little stunt to begin with. And secondly do we REALLY need this type of firetruck?
Bob Wise January 14, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Funny how the editor banned and removed all of Mr. Lightbodys comments while nothing is done when when a different poster on other stories made criminal accusations against someone (and used their name). This same poster then used vulgar language and even that did not result in action by the editor. Mr. Lightbody you were not treated with a consistent, fair editorial policy. Actions much worst are condoned here. It would seem that if you speak out about anything regarding the township you will be removed, but if you attack the BOE (the current enemy of those in power) and make false criminal charges against them, that is ok with the Barnegat Patch. These are indeed sad times for Barnegat.
Bob Wise January 14, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I stand corrected. The editor has indeed taken action against the vulgar poster I spoke of above. Although they were not banned like Mr. Lightbody, and that is puzzling. This person made the worst kind of attack and are free to do so again, while Mr. Lightbody's voice was taken away.
Sean Conneamhe January 14, 2012 at 03:53 PM
"Budget and save, do not bond and borrow, no matter how low the interest rate."

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