Livingston Council Okays $1.4 Million in Expenditures Including New Fire Truck

Livingston Township Manager Michelle Meade explains the interlocal agreements with Madison, Berkley Heights and Springfield. Credits: Pat Kelley

LIVINGSTON, NJ – In a short meeting on Feb. 13, the Township Council voted unanimously on two resolutions allocating $1,374, 947 for a new fire truck and construction of a booster station which is the first step in the township’s master water plan.

The new gallons per minute (GPM) fire pumper truck with a closed cab will replace a 23-year-old truck with an open cab that doesn’t provide firefighters with protection in bad weather and isn’t large enough to hold all their equipment. 

The contract for the new pumper was awarded to Crimson Fire, Inc. and will not exceed $439,947. The funds for the truck were set aside in the township’s 2010 capital budget.

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“We have to support the volunteers,” said Councilmember Deborah Shapiro, referring to the township’s volunteer firefighters, adding that if the town doesn’t support the volunteer Fire Department, they won’t have a fire department.

Councilmember Rudy Fernandez added that the township’s 80 or so volunteer firefighters save the township “a ton of money.”

Mayor Steve Santola explained that replacement of the truck is part of a “game plan where trucks are rolled on or off” and “it’s time for the 23-year-old truck to go.”

The Mountain Ridge Drive booster station will cost taxpayers no more than $935,000 and, according to Shapiro, is the first step in a project that will eventually lower the township’s water rates with New Jersey American Water Co.

In other business, the Council voted to continue inter-local service agreements with Madison, Berkeley Heights and Springfield to provide animal control services as a back-up to their main provider, the township of Millburn. According to Township Manager Michelle Meade, Livingston first entered into the agreement at the end of 2011. The township also provides an animal shelter for the towns.

It’s a “win, win, win, win” situation for all the towns that participate, Meade said.

In addition, officials passed four resolutions allowing four cell phone carriers to lease a portion of the Force Hill Road water tank for the placement of wireless telecommunications, antennae and support facilities. The contracts with New Cingular Wireless PCS, Metro PCS New York, T-Mobile Northeast, LLC and Sprint Spectrum will bring in $215,826 in revenues to the township’s coffers each year assuming the lease negotiations are successful. Santola credited Meade and her staff with developing the agreements.

The Council also approved the 2012 fee structure for the municipal pool. According to Councilmember Michael Rieber, the fees went up because pool membership went down.

Early bird discount fees paid between now and March 29 are: $265 for a family membership; $130 for an individual; $137 for a senior couple; $95 for a senior individual. Guest badge fees are $9 purchased at the office and $12 purchased at the pool. The fee for lost badges is $17. The rates go up the later in the season the memberships are purchased.

Township essential services volunteers including auxiliary police officers, volunteer firefighters and members of the first aid squad will receive a 25 percent discount of the otherwise applicable membership fee.

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