Jason Neal of Lodge #87 explained that the award is generally given to one firefighter, but they decided to give it to an entire department this year. “This is an entirely volunteer fire department,” observed Neal, an East Greenwich resident. “But that doesn’t make the dangers they face any less real.”
“I’ve said many times how proud I am of our fire department,” commented East Greenwich Mayor Dale Archer. “They are on call 24/7, 365 days a year, and these people ensure that your children and families are protected.”
“It takes a team effort to make all of this happen,” said Fire and Rescue Chief Rob Gould. “This couldn’t be done without our whole crew.”
“Their main objective is to assure our residents are safe at the end of the day,” Archer added. A $100 donation was included with the award presentation.
In resolutions, the East Greenwich 2017 municipal budget was officially adopted. “The state of New Jersey finally approved it,” said Archer. “It has a zero tax increase and a $1.5 million surplus.”
The mayor noted that East Greenwich has been able to tighten its expenses and still been able to add a fire truck and police vehicles and hire more police officers. Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri pointed out that the township had to get permission from the state to borrow money a few years back.
“Our employees agree with our philosophy,” Bottiglieri mentioned. “We now have the same debt level that we had about seven or eight years ago.”
Elsewhere, the Committee designated a representative to make an application to the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust program. The NJEIT supplies funding and financial aid for causes relating to New Jersey water.
Archer said that the town’s Well #3 has been shut down for four years because of extremely high levels of perfluorononanoic acid(PFNA). “We need a filtration system,” he explained. “We are hoping that NJEIT will supply a grant, and subsidize some of the costs.”
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has blamed Solvay Specialty Polymers of West Deptford for contaminating the state’s water with PFNA. New Jersey does not have a firm threshold for allowed levels of the chemical.
“We have an obligation to our residents to provide safe water,” Archer declared.
In other resolutions, the Committee granted alcoholic beverage license renewals to the Mount Royal Inn, to EG Whiskey Mill, and to Ronald E. Zeck, Jr. They also awarded a bid to Neptune Technology Group Inc., for water meters, registers and parts.
The Committee also discussed the merits of electric supply alternatives. Solar panels at the municipal building and the East Greenwich School District save the township $25,000 a year on solar prices and cost the taxpayers zero dollars, according to Archer.
by Robert Holt