Council to discuss fire house upgrades

Department seeks improvements to building, ventilation system


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BY Alley Shubert

— A bond ordinance to purchase new firefighting equipment for the Byram Township Fire Department was a topic of discussion at the July 1 town council meeting.

The bond ordinance appropriating $600,000, and authorizing the issuance of $565,000 in bonds, is to be used for various improvements or purposes authorized by the township.

The fire department is in need of a new pumper truck and is seeking improvement for the firehouse, including a ventilation system.

Councilman Scott Olson was the first to say that he would be interested in learning more about what the fire department truly needs before making a huge capital purchase.

“We should do a study,” Olson said. “I don’t want to spend the money without the knowledge.”

He also said that he would like to have a sub-committee meet with the fire department.

“We are all in agreement with a sub-committee,” said Byram Township Fire Chief Chuck Putz. “My concern is what we need now.”

Putz was referring to the 1988 purchase of Engine #104, which caused a spill on Tamarack Road only a few years ago.

Town Manager Joe Sabatini said the insurance on the truck picked up on the cost to get the truck repaired.

“The engine is at a bare minimum,” Putz said.

Olson wants to see what other communities nearby are buying and mentioned regionalizing with them.

Assistant Fire Chief Todd Rudloff said they already regionalize with Stanhope to save money.

Rudloff told the council that a tank is something you can’t regionalize.

The council agreed on having a sub-committee meet with the fire department for educational purposes.

The bond ordinance only releases the bond, but it does mean the township needs to make a purchase with it.

The matter is scheduled to be discussed at 7:30 p.m., July 15 at Byram Town Hall.

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