Shrewsbury Mayor and Council Hear from Fire Dept on New Equipment - Passes 3-2
Shrewsbury: The Shrewsbury Council approved a resolution awarding its Fire Department a contract for the purchase of a Custom Rescue Apparatus in the amount of $221, 229. The bid passed by a vote of 3-2. The Fire Department was also awarded a contract for a custom chassis pumper in the amount of $371,004.
Chief Jerzy Chojnacki spoke on behalf of his Department. Chojnacki noted that a reassessment of the Fire Department’s needs had been done and it was determined that the rescue apparatus had reached the end of its life cycle. One vehicle had been taken out of service, causing members of the Fire Department to use their personal automobiles to retrieve needed equipment from the firehouse. Chojnacki offered that the Fire Department needed the right equipment in order for them to be able to do their job safely. He felt his department had been taking great risks which should no longer be expected of them. First Assistant Chief Peter Gibson also spoke on behalf of the Fire Department supporting Chief Chojnacki.
Fire Chief Jerzy Chojnacki First Assistant Chief Peter Gibson
Council member William Dodge voiced his uncertainty about passing the bid. Dodge’s primary concerns included the cost estimate, the suggested size of the apparatus, and the overall safety of the community. Dodge made it clear that he supports the Fire Department 100% and is thankful for their service. He further stated that his goal was to balance the needs of the Fire Department with the concerns of the public. He wanted to consider all of the alternatives before reaching a final decision.
Another member of the Shrewsbury Council, Peter Meyer, also voiced his opinion. “It is not about giving the Fire Department what they want. It is about providing them with what they need,” he said. Meyer also added that being unprepared for situations may come with a higher price than what it would cost to acquire the rescue apparatus. Meyer chose to abstain from voting on this bid.
Council President Thomas Menapace, as well as Council members Michael DeNofa and Anthony Pellegrino, voted in favor of the bid.
In Other Borough Business:
The Council reached a resolution hiring a part-time, fill-in dispatcher at the Police Department, effective March 1, 2012.
The topic of NEA’s Read Across America was discussed. Council enthusiastically endorsed the campaign and urged the citizens of Shrewsbury to take part on March 2, 2012.
The next Council Meeting will be held, March 5th at 7:30pm. At that time a formal introduction of the 2012 budget will be introduced.
Large group of supporters come out for Shrewsbury Fire Department at last night's council meeting