Mayor’s Column: Moorestown to offer benefits for firefighters and EMTs

Mayor Phil Garwood

Did you know that while Moorestown has the highest property values in our region, we have one of the lowest property tax rates in Burlington County?

One of the important ways that we are able to keep our taxes low is by staffing our fire departments primarily with volunteers. Our brave fire and EMS volunteers do a fantastic job keeping all of us safe, and are always looking for additional bodies to join their ranks.

To that end, Deputy Mayor Victoria Napolitano and I have been having conversations with township officials and our volunteer fire companies over the last few weeks to find ways in which Town Council can help with recruitment of more great volunteers.

Together we are pushing to roll out a number of discounts, fee waivers and other benefits to thank those who courageously serve our town, while at the same time saving taxpayer dollars and encouraging more Moorestonians to volunteer.

This concept is truly win-win, as our taxpayers will benefit by continuing to receiving affordable top-notch emergency services while Moorestown Fire and EMS are able to use these incentives to recruit new members that will keep their tradition of service alive for generations to come.

Some of the ideas we are discussing include free programs through the Department of Parks and Recreation, including sports programming, classes, theater and more. Also under consideration are waiving fees for pet licenses; free zoning applications; and working with the various private sports clubs in town to waive fees for families of volunteer fire and EMS personnel.

In the coming weeks, we will be announcing the final plan with our friends at the Moorestown Fire Department and Lenola Fire Company, and we anticipate that our colleagues on Town Council will join us in putting these ideas into action.

All of us can do our part to support the men and women who selflessly serve our community. If you are a member of a club or organization that would like to waive membership/participation fees as a part of this program, please e-mail me at PGarwood@moorestown.nj.us. Together, we can help our brave firefighters continue to keep our town affordable and give back to those who answer the call when we need them most.

Mayor Phil Garwood

To become a volunteer firefighter, visit www.LenolaFireCo.com or www.MoorestownFire.org. Applicants must be 16 years or older and live and/or work in Moorestown township.