Fire budget approved

Fire budget approved

On Saturday, Feb. 16, voters approved the Voorhees Fire Department’s operating budget for 2013 by a margin of 479–337, according to unofficial election results.

According to fire Chief Jim Pacifico, this year’s total budget cost is about the same as last year’s. In 2012, residents approved the fire district’s $7,466,965 budget, which covered 4.7 percent of the residents’ tax bill, according to Mayor Michael Mignogna.

This year’s budget increased by $109,517, and residents approved $5,357,670 to be raised by taxation for the $7,576,482 budget.

Taxes for residents would be raised three-tenths of a cent per $100 of assessed property value from the 2013 fire district budget, Pacifico said.

Pacifico could not be reached for comment as to how the increase would affect residents’ tax bills.

Vaughn Vandegrift was also elected to serve a three-year term on the fire commission, but his opponent Gerard Slack closely followed in votes. Vandegrift received 448 votes, while Slack received 441 votes.

The township scheduled to recount the mail–in ballots on Tuesday, March 5.

Although the unofficial results show Vandergrift won the election by seven votes, he said he would not comment until after Tuesday’s recount.

Vandegrift, a long time resident of Voorhees, is a retired Voorhees firefighter with 37 plus years of experience.

Vandegrift has also spent time on various township committees and boards.

As for the budget, Pacifico said he was glad with the residents’ decision to pass the 2013 operating budget.

Voorhees is home to approximately 29,000 residents, two fire stations, volunteer and career firefighters and EMTs.

“I just want to thank the residents in supporting the fire district,” Pacifico said, adding without the residents’ help, the fire district would not be able to operate.