BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The fire elections in Bridgewater will be held Feb. 20, and each of the four districts will have commission candidates on the ballot and a budget to be approved for the next year.
In district one, which is the Martinsville Fire Company, there are two incumbents, Anthony Natalizio and Anthony Petullo, running for two open three-year terms on the commission.
As for the budget, the total appropriations are $513,658, with $507,219 to be raised by taxation.
“It’s a zero growth budget,” said commissioner Bill Rose.
Rose said the district is taking the 2 percent cap allowed by state statute, to be put aside from a future capital expenditure.
The district currently has a piece of apparatus ready to go into production, and when it was authorized, they were able to put a down payment that reduced the costs by 5 percent. This was possible because of the 2 percent increase in the budget.
“We are stocking money away so we can save a significant amount of money by making a down payment when we order our (next) vehicle,” Rose said. “We are being financially responsible.”
Voting for district one will be held at Station 1, on Washington Valley Road.
In district two, which covers the Bradley Gardens Fire Company, there are two open positions on the commission, and Joseph Langon, Jr., and Gloria Langon are running for re-election.
As for the budget, it is proposed at $476,799, according to Langon, who is the district two commission treasurer. It includes $433,119 to be raised by taxation, and total appropriations of $476,119.
“It is within the allowed 2 percent,” he said.
Voting for those living in fire district two will be held at the Bradley Gardens Volunteer Fire Company, on Old York Road.
In district three, which is the Green Knoll Fire Company, incumbents Ed Smith and Doug Larson are the only ones running for the two open three-year seats on the commission.
As for the budget, Smith said, it will be on the ballot for $899,007 in total appropriations, with $897,000 to be raised through taxation. That, he said is a 2 percent increase over the 2015 budget, as allowed by state statute.
Smith said there will be a second question on the ballot, asking voters for permission within the budget to increase LOSAP appropriations from $40,000 to $75,000 to account for new members in the company. Smith said the state does not allow for money to simply be moved in the budget to accommodate LOSAP payments, so it has to be approved by voters.
LOSAP is the Length of Service Award Program for volunteer firefighters.
“We are getting more young people in the company,” he said. “But we can’t just move money in the budget, we have to ask the voters.”
In district four, which is the Finderne Fire Company, the 2016 budget is proposed at $591,809, according to fire commissioner Allen Kurdyla. The taxable portion is $556,701.
In 2015, Kurdyla said, the budget was set at $580,694, with the taxable portion being $545,586.
Kurdyla said the increase is the minimal amount allowed by state law.
“The budget is primarily a maintenance budget with increases to cover insurance costs for member life insurance and injury protection,” he said. “Consideration in the budget also includes the cost of adding new members for training and gear.”
In addition, there are two candidates running for two open three-year terms on the commission, Anthony Ranallo and Paul Orloff.
Voting for fire district four will be held at the Finderne Firehouse, on East Main Street.
The ballots will be open 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