Shamong Township Committee has approved an ordinance after second reading and public hearing at its Oct. 4 meeting to purchase a new truck for the Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Company.
According to Mayor Tim Gimbel, the fire company will post a $100,000 down payment for the truck and related equipment; the township will be responsible for the remaining $677,379 cost over the next 10 years. The vehicle has long been sought by the company and discussions have gone on for about a year.
“This has been in discussions for quite a while right now … The Indian Mills Volunteer Fire Company has been in need of a newer truck for quite some time now, and it’s a very big expenditure for a municipality like us,” Gimbel noted in a previous interview with The Sun.
“The existing equipment that they have is really coming of age from an old standpoint, and there’s a lot of requirements from the state about how long you can use certain things before you have to retire them, regardless of the current condition of that equipment.”
Following passage of the ordinance – and thanks from a fire company member – Gimbel expressed gratitude to volunteers in attendance for the work they do.
“We appreciate what you guys do,” Gimbel emphasized. “This is a volunteer organization that’s been doing this for a long time, and sometimes it’s not easy. When people bring sticker-shock items in front of a town that doesn’t have a lot of money, it makes it hard, but we know what’s right and we know the value that you guys bring to this town, so we’re always here to support you.”
Delivery of the fire truck is not expected for about 18 months, so the wait goes on despite the approval of funds.
“We’ve talked with them (the truck maker) for a while now to explore different avenues of new or used vehicles,” the mayor added, “but we’ve finally come down to the point we’re at now, where they need the truck they’re asking for, so we’ve agreed to put out a bond to fund a portion of the purchase for them.”