SPRINGFIELD, NJ - In a first reading of a bond ordinance at last week's Springfield Township Committee meeting, the township took the first step in approving a funding package that will include a new fire engine for the Springfield Fire Department and a new vehicle for the Springfield Police Department, among several expenditures.

In an ordinance passed on first reading, the township committee approved the spending of $1,182,000 to pay for the projects. The ordinance is by no means final, and the process will still take several more weeks to occur.

The main expenditure in the bond ordinance centers around the purchase of a new firetruck, to replace the oldest one currently in operation. That truck is from 2003, and is reaching the end of its lifespan.

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The township has sent it out for repairs, but has calculated that the estimated cost of $754,000 to buy a new truck will be cheaper than a long-term series of fixes.

After the meeting, Mayor Erica Dubois noted that the fix on the truck was long overdue, and that the bond ordinance was something she and the other committee members felt needed to be undertaken.

"Like I said during the meeting, there comes a time where certain things just have to get done, regardless of who's sitting up on the committee, "Dubois said. "Some choices just have to be made and money has to be spent, and this is one of those times. We have top-notch first responders here, and we have to keep them safe."

Dubois also noted that the members of the fire department would have to come back in front of the township committee before the purchase happens to get it approved.

Springfield Township is part of a co-operative financing agreement, which will allow the township to purchase the vehicle at a lower price than if they were to do so individually.

Several other projects are also part of the proposed bond ordinance, and break down as follows:

  • Sewer projects: $150,000 estimated cost
  • Improvements to public buildings: $188,000 estimated cost
  • New SUV for the police department: $38,000 estimated cost
  • Acquistion of new and replacement police equipment: $52,000 estimated cost.