The fire district elections are coming up in February, with elections being held among the four districts in Bridgewater for commissioners and a new budget.
In district two, which is the Bradley Gardens Fire Company, there are two open positions, and current commissioners Chris Ireland and John Marsigliano are running for re-election.
As of press time, no challengers were running for the commission.
As for the budget, the total appropriations are $487,633, with $453,953 to be raised by taxation.
This budget is within the 2 percent mandated cap on increases.
Residents in district two will vote at the Bradley Gardens Fire Department, on Old York Road.
In district three, which is the Green Knoll Fire Company, incumbents Anthony Carpiniello and Mark Hudec are running for two open spots on the commission.
There were also no challengers as of press time.
The budget for 2017 is set at about $906,000. According to fire district three commissioner Ed Smith, this is a 2 percent raise.
“We stay within the cap each year to keep up with everything else,” he said, referring to maintenance and equipment. “If we don’t we will never catch up.”
In addition, Smith said, there will be a question on the ballot regarding purchasing a new ambulance for the fire department’s emergency medical services provider.
According to Smith, this ambulance would be for EMS for firefighters on calls, not for the rescue squad.
“It is a medical division we have used for the last 20 years, and we are replacing their rig that we own,” he said. “It is 25 years old, so we are replacing it.”
Smith said the cost is about $140,000. They have the money, he said, they are just looking for voter approval to spend it.
Residents in district three will vote at the municipal building, on Commons Way.
Fire district four, which is the Finderne Fire Company, has one open position on the commission this year. Incumbent Allen Kurdyla was running unopposed for the position, as of press time.
As for the budget, it is set under the 2 percent cap, at $603,158. The taxable amount is $568,050.
Kurdyla said funding in 2017 will be directed to upgrading equipment, like the air packs used by the firefighters.
“They need to be replaced over a three-year period,” he said. “The budget supports this mandated update, which our plan is to do over the next three years.”
In addition, Kurdyla said, the department is experiencing an increase in volunteers, so they need to have funding in place to pay for gear and more.
“It is about $3,500 per member when you consider gear, radio equipment and more,” he said. “While we have existing equipment that we replace every year, we have the burden of new members that we need to address.”
Kurdyla set they have a maintenance schedule, with a couple sets of gear being replaced each year, about five sets per year to avoid replacing 40 sets at one time.
“That would just blow the budget,” he said. “We try to do things on a rotating basis.”
“When we talk about a maintenance budget, that’s what we are referring to, keeping people current with equipment instead of going out for a bond to purchase 50 sets of turnout gear or replace all air packs,” he added.
Kurdyla said they have gotten about half a dozen new volunteers recently.
Residents in district four will vote at the Finderne Fire House, on East Main Street.
The elections will be held Feb. 18, with polls open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Representatives from fire district one did not provide budget information by press time.
Check back here and in the March issue of The BReeze for results in the days following the election.