JUST IN: Voters approve Lakewood Fire Department capital improvement projects in Special Election (PHOTO)

The capital improvements for the Lakewood Fire Department has passed, officials say. The purpose of this Special Election was to seek approval of the voters to include capital improvement projects in the 2018 Budget, which budget will ultimately be voted upon at the Fire District Election on February 17, 2018, by the legal voters within the Township.

The capital improvement projects the Fire Commissioners sought approval of the voters for inclusion in the 2018 Budget were as follows:

  1. Fire apparatus in an amount not to exceed $975,000. This is a combination apparatus that can be used as both a fire engine to provide water to the fire as well as a ladder truck to reach the upper floors of buildings. The purchase of this one piece of equipment is a savings of over $1,000,000 when compared to purchasing both a fire engine and a ladder truck individually.
  2. Brush truck in an amount not to exceed $225,000. The need for this truck is overdue as it will be used to replace the present 1953 brush truck. Due the smaller size and maneuverability of this vehicle, it is necessary to access brush fires that are inaccessible to regular fire apparatus, especially those brush fires in close proximity to current as well as future residential developments and other buildings. Additionally, due to its off-road ability, this vehicle will be used to respond to emergency incidents in developments under construction as well as recreational and wooden areas where access by larger apparatus would not be possible.
  3. Chief’s vehicle in an amount not to exceed $65,000. The need for this vehicle is also overdue as it will be used to replace a current Chief’s vehicle that is over 10 years old. This vehicle will be properly equipped for use as an incident command vehicle which is critical to the establishment and integrity of the incident command system for ensuring the safety of emergency responders as well as the public.
  4. Lighting upgrades in an amount not to exceed $36,000. These upgrades are part of a continuing project to enhance lighting throughout the eight fire stations. The cost of these upgrades is supplemented through an energy grant and the electrical cost savings upon their completion are anticipated to be substantial and offset the expense.

The results were as follows:

1. 87 yes – 18 no

2. 88 yes – 20 no

3. 90 yes – 22 no

4. 86 yes – 22 no

The Board earlier stated, “It must be noted, all of the above figures are estimates and the actual costs may be less, however, in no event will they exceed the projects assigned dollar amount. In addition, the Fire Commissioners and Administrative Staff, along with District Professionals, work tirelessly to address fire service needs so as to efficiently and effectively maximize fire protection within the community. This continues to be accomplished within the fiscal constraints of the taxpayers. Voter approval of the aforementioned capital improvement projects for inclusion in the 2018 Budget is critical for the Lakewood Board of Fire Commissioners to continue to address the changing needs of the community and its expanding population and development.

The public will have an opportunity at a Public Hearing to ask any questions they may have regarding the 2018 Budget prior to the Board adopting the budget. The Public Hearing has not been scheduled yet; however, it is anticipated to be during the second week in January. Public Notice of this Hearing will be posted on the fire district website (lakewoodfd.org) and in the Board’s official newspapers.

Lastly, the Board of Fire Commissioners want to make it explicitly clear to the voters, contrary to information that has been disseminated by others, due to recent changes in the law they are required by law to hold a Special Meeting (Election) to obtain voter approval in order to place these projects in its 2018 Budget, which budget will ultimately be voted upon by the legal voters within the Township at the annual Fire District Election on February 17, 2018.  This is the reason why this Special Meeting (Election) on December 5, 2017, is so important. Without voter approval, the capital projects will not be included in the 2018 Budget.”

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  1. I voted…I know that everyone has busy lives, but it’s a shame that more people don’t come out to voice their voting opinions & exercise their democratic rights.

  2. Wow that’s a landslide victory! 100 ppl in this town voted. Amazing. There are 150 thousand people in this town and only a little more than 100 ppl voted. This a Fake Election!!!!!

  3. $225.000 for a brush truck in a town that has less and less tree’s each year. NJ Forest Service has enough equipment locally to handle one or two brush fires for free. Come on that money can be spend a whole lot better then a vehicle not needed.

  4. Last fire election on the budget was won with 85 votes. The only people voting for these things are the firefighters volunteer firefighter and their families.

    These votes are not well advertized, and take place in the firehouse on Madison and Route 9 only. It is also advertized as a neeting, so even if you see the advertisement, you wouldn’t know what it was for.

    The vote is wit paper ballots that you stick in a box. The firefighters themselves are the ones who supervise the vote.

    They could have had a vote for a $20 million increase and the outcome would have been the same, they would have won with 86 votesm

    • You vote. With the same machines as other elections. You also vote at the municipal building. It is advertised in app and also on the Lakewood Scoop . It is funny how after election you complain, did you vote? You can also vote absentee.

  5. Lakewood Alumni, I don’t know about the municipal building. The only place advertised was the firehouse.

    I went to the firehouse, I was one of the 22 that voted against the tax hike.They were paper ballots, the fireman were handing them out.

    Less than 150 votes. The town was clearly not aware of it.

    If anyone voted in the municipal building I would be shocked, because the box in the firehouse was packed, it likely had all 110 ballots in it.

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