Letter in Support of 2016 Hopewell Borough Fire District Budget

The Hopewell Fire Department needs your help. My name is Joe Novak and I have the prestigious honor of being the Chief of the Hopewell Borough Fire Department. I am writing to request support on the 2016 Fire District Budget vote. Our department covers Hopewell Borough and is primarily responsible for a third of Hopewell Township, working alongside Pennington and Titusville. You will see a question on the ballot asking for approval of $675K to replace our rescue pumper. I wanted to give everyone a little insight behind this request.

We have worked hard to make sure this purchase had little impact on our capital budget. Typically, apparatus, such as this, are replaced at about the 20-year mark. We decided to stretch that out to 25 years. This is how old the truck will be once the new one is delivered. The reason for that decision was due to the timing of our capital payments. The quint was paid off this year which amounted to a payment of $56K (all payments shown are annual) and the special service truck is being paid off at around an $8K payment. So when you add them together that makes up $64K. Depending on how much of a down payment is made, the payment for the new rescue will be around $70K having a virtually unnoticeable impact to the budget.

The truck that is being replaced is a 24 year old rescue pumper. At the time that truck was originally designed, it met our needs well. However, as time goes on, the amount of equipment we need to cover the vast variety of calls we run greatly increases so the compartment layouts change and equipment is placed in areas just because it fits and not so much because it makes tactical sense. The current apparatus was also not designed to carry the weight we have added to it and, as a result, the frame has cracked twice and had to be repaired. So we have had to remove some of the equipment we would otherwise like to carry on the truck.

The new rescue will be a multi-purpose apparatus. It will be designed, with room to spare and with new technology, to carry all of the equipment needed to perform vehicle extrication and rescue calls. It will also be a fully capable pumper. As we all know, water is sparse in the Township. The current truck has 500 gallons. The new one will have 1000 gallons with a CAFS system (Click here for CAFS info) which will help us more efficiently fight fires in in our entire district.

These are just a few details and I would be more than willing to speak in more detail with anyone one on one if they wish. I can be reached via email at Jnovak@hopewellfire.com. The polls will be open from 2:00pm to 9:00pm on Saturday, February 20th. The Township Poll location is at the Municipal Building (201 Washington Crossing – Pennington Road, Titusville, NJ 08560) and Borough Polls are at the Firehouse (4 Columbia Avenue, Hopewell, NJ 08525). I am asking all voters to go out and vote and support the 2016 Fire District Budget.

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