Budget passes for Cinnaminson Fire Department

The proposed budget called for an increase in the amount to be raised by taxation of $70,521 or 2.2 percent. This equates to a $7 increase for the average homeowner.

Special to the Sun: The Cinnaminson Fire Department on Riverton Rd.

Over the last 13 years, the Cinnaminson community has shown up in droves to vote in the  fire district election. The trend has continued into 2020, as the Cinnaminson Fire Department’s budget once again passed. 

The proposed budget called for an increase of $70,521 in the amount raised by taxation, or 2.2 percent. That equates to a $7 increase for the average homeowner. 

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According to Fire Chief William Kramer Jr., the department has been able to keep the increase low through shared services and contracts to provide services to other government entities. Kramer believes the small increase is critical to maintaining superior emergency response services. 

“The budget allows us to continue to provide our services,” Kramer said. “We’re certainly very happy that out of all of the votes we received, we were overwhelmingly supported. That makes the members feel what they do — which is many things above and beyond just fire services — is appreciated.

“Our men and women are dedicated to this community,” the chief added. “They live in this community and love this community. It’s great that we have been able to pass the budget for now 14 years in a row.

“We have clearly had a long history of community support.”

Despite that support, there were several dissenters to the budget. According to  preliminary numbers, 314 residents voted yes and 208 voted no. 

“It’s disappointing that 208 people voted no, especially when we didn’t receive any comments, questions or input at the public hearing,” Kramer noted. “I am perplexed that over 200 people would vote no without informing themselves on the budget itself.

“We always are welcome to questions, comments and even inviting people or organizations in for presentations,” he added. “Of course, what we have been doing has worked, but it’s a bit disheartening that over 200 people would just say no.” 

According to Kramer, the fire department must get in contact with voters who turned down the budget to discuss and explain where every tax dollar goes and what it takes to run the unit. 

For example, the 2.2 percent increase in the current budget is due to the increase in routine expenses, but also to support of career personnel, raises, health insurance and petition contributions. What kept the budget to only a $7 increase for the average household however, are the partnerships and shared services to which Cinnaminson has recently agreed. 

As recently reported, these agreements include a shared service with Beverly City for fire code enforcement and a public/private partnership with Palmyra Ambulance Association that will enhance EMS services and eliminate duplicate expenses in other partnerships and agreements. 

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