Voters approve fire budget

On Saturday, Feb. 16, voters approved both township fire districts’ budgets and elected two incumbents and two newcomers on both fire commissions, according to unofficial results.

Residents of Fire District №1 passed the budget by a margin of 103–44.

The budget calls for approximately $1.77 million to be raised by taxation for general operating expenses.

According to board chairman Karl Shelley’s letter, this year’s budget will see a $767 increase in total expenditures and an increase of approximately 4.9 cents per $100 assessed valuation.

He said last year voters approved $100,000 for the purchase of a new off-road fire vehicle. The cost of the vehicle is now being included in this year’s budget so the department can use current capital funds for the purchase, he said in the announcement.

Newcomer Bradley J. Kenney and incumbent Charles Schuster will serve three-year terms on the board. Both candidates received 126 votes.

Kenney is a long-time Moorestown resident, returning to his hometown after he graduated college. He joined the fire department three years ago and decided he wanted to run for a seat on the fire commission.

“I have a lot of motivation, a lot of eagerness, and a lot of commitment in serving the community,” Kenney said.

Moorestown Fire District №2 residents approved the 2013 budget by a margin of 106–16.

District №2’s budget will raise $702,612 taxation. An increase of $6,347, or a .9 percent increase from 2012, board administrator Elizabeth Booth said.

Residents also elected two fire commissioners, incumbent Jacqueline Grant and newcomer William Ruggiano.

Grant currently sits on the fire commission as vice president. She will serve another three-years.

Ruggiano, retired fire chief of 35 years, said he hopes to keep the fire district running at a steady pace.

“As former chief, I know quite a bit about the internal workings of the department,” he said.

Voters approved the repaving of Lenola Fire Station’s parking lot at no more than $70,000 for the 2014 fiscal year, she said.

Booth said the funding to repave the parking lot would come from reserved funds.

Voters also approved the purchase of a replacement vehicle for the fire marshal. The cost of the vehicle is not to exceed $38,000, she said and the funding will also come from reserved funds.

Since the township has recently gone through a town wide reassessment, the 2013 fire taxes cannot be calculated since the information will change, Booth said.