Editor's Note: The article on the elections that ran in the February issue of The BReeze mistakenly listed the voting location for district #3 as the municipal building. Please note the voting location is actually the Green Knoll Fire Department on North Bridge Street.
BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The annual fire district elections will be held Feb. 15, with votes being requested for commissioners and budgets in the four districts in Bridgewater.
In district one, which is the Martinsville Volunteer Fire Company, there are three people running for two three-year terms on the fire district commission. They are incumbents Doris Zampella and James Kalafsky, and newcomer Bryan J. Bradley.
In addition, two people are running for one one-year term on the commission. Incumbent Jim Crowley is running against newcomer Steve Niederle.
As for the budget, it stands at $650,508 for maintenance and operation of the district, with $579,069 being raised by taxation.
Residents in district one will vote at Station 1, on Washington Valley Road.
In district two, which is the Bradley Gardens Fire Company, there are two open two-year seats on the board, and four candidates. Incumbents Chris Ireland and John Marsigliano are running against newcomers Kevin Kurzweil and Ronald Hazen.
As for the budget, it is set at $595,683, with $487,003 to be raised by taxation. According to Ireland, the budget is within the 2 percent cap.
District two residents will vote at the Bradley Gardens Fire Company, on Old York Road.
In district three, which is the Green Knoll Volunteer Fire Company, there will be two vacancies on the commission because Anthony Carpienello is retiring after 12 years as a commissioner, and Mark Hudec is retiring after seven years as a commissioner.
Commissioner Jeffrey Holtz said there are five candidates for the two spots, and four of them are currently active firefighters with district three.
The candidates are Theodore Bell, Rand Milton, Scott Hobbs, Mark Colantoni and Ryan P. Sullivan.
For the budget, in 2020, it will increase by 2 percent over 2019, to $973,081, with $971,581 to be raised through taxation. There will be no public question on the ballot this year.
Residents in district three will vote at the Green Knoll Fire Department, on North Bridge Street.
In district four, which is the Finderne Fire Department, there is only one seat open, and current commissioner, and township councilman, Allen Kurdyla is running unopposed for the one open three-year term.
The budget for district four is set at $656,247, with $621,139 to be raised through taxation.
In addition, according to Kurdyla, there will be a question on the ballot asking the voters to replace a 30-year-old heavy rescue truck.
“The important part of this project is that we have set up the budget so that we can replace our trucks without increasing the budget,” he said.
Kurdyla said the idea has been to create a spending plan that allows the budget to remain constant without the spikes normally associated with truck purchases.
“The budget supports the maintenance of our equipment, insurance coverage for our members and training for our members, in addition to providing new protective gear for our firefighters,” he said.
Residents in district four will vote at the Finderne Firehouse, on East Main Street.
Voting will be held Feb. 15 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Those who need an absentee ballot should contact the Somerset County Clerk’s Office at 908-231-7006.