Tuckerton Buys New Ladder Truck for Fire Company

Feb 27, 2019
Photo by: Pat Johnson A sign outside the Tuckerton firehouse calls for volunteers. The next ‘sweet ride’ for fire company members is a new ladder truck.

The Tuckerton Borough Council on Feb. 19 approved an ordinance to bond $959,500 for a ladder truck for the borough’s volunteer fire company and also passed a resolution to purchase the truck for $1,010,000.

The truck is a “quint,” a fire truck that has a pump, hose, water ground ladders and an aerial device.

“The last ladder truck Tuckerton had was a horse-drawn truck. There have been many fires through the years resulting in complete residential and commercial losses that may have had a better ending if a ladder truck was at the front of the building,” noted a report by the fire company in support of the new truck.

“The ideal situation is to have a ladder truck arrive at a structural fire first so it can be placed in the best position. Ladder trucks are used for rescue, ventilation, firefighting water streams and also general access. The length of the ladder is chosen for reach, both horizontal and vertical ...”

The new aerial ladder truck is needed because of the height now required for new construction in the flood zone of Tuckerton Beach. Many new homes are building two stories on top of 13- or 14-foot-high pilings.

As the fire company states, “There is no guarantee that out-of-town help is going to show up in a timely manner these days. Also some of the nearby ladder trucks don’t carry as many ground ladders, as we would need to properly ladder a building on fire. This truck would carry two 35’ and two 24’ extension ladders in addition to 20’ and 16’ roof ladders, also having a pump, water tank and hose.”

The report also notes that Tuckerton Fire Co. operates on a budget far lower than the adjacent Little Egg Harbor fire districts. Tuckerton has a budget of just under $100,000 a year with the borough supporting the cost of insurance and fuel on top of the $70,000 appropriation and fundraising generating the other $25,000 to $30,000. “If the new truck is bonded for 10 years and the overall cost to run the department next year is $225,000, it is a relative bargain when you compare with the three local fire districts’ 2018 budgets: West Tuckerton, $613,177; Parkertown, $466,944; and Mystic Island, $716,186.”

In a related matter concerning the fire company, the borough has come to an agreement with the Dynasty Diner’s attorney to reconfigure the parking spaces in the municipal parking lot to reserve seven spaces for the volunteer firefighters, down one from eight.

In other news at the borough council meeting, Councilman John Schwartz, speaking from Florida via Skype, said the borough has received the go-ahead for the in-water work for the shoreline protection project on South Green Street. The shoreline protection includes a hard surface breakwater and beachfill along the west side of the road.

Council President Sam Colangelo, who oversees the public works department, said the borough has found a vendor to take covered electronics such as computers, printers and TVs,on a trail basis, so residents can take these items to the recycling yard on South Green Street. This new company will also take stereos, cameras and microwaves.

Councilman Ron Peterson said the Economic Development Committee is working on creating a “Restaurant Week” for the end of April. “Hopefully that will bring in more customers,” he said.

During the public session, Tuckerton Beach Association President Peter Gioiello asked if the last holdout in the project to increase the size of the peninsula off Little Egg Harbor Boulevard has been given notice of eminent domain.

Borough attorney Christopher Connors said the appraisal of the property has been done and the town is ready to make the property owner an offer. “If he can’t agree, then the town has the option of (imposing) eminent domain with the court.”

But, warned Connors, if the owner of the land goes to court, the town runs the risk of having to pay above market value.

A resident of Curlew Road asked when the borough is going to start replacing the water and sewer lines there.

Administrator Jenny Gleghorn said not only Curlew but also the reconstruction of Kingfisher Road is part of an application to the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank.

“It makes sense to lump these applications together as we have to pay bond counsel,” said Gleghorn. She intimated that the dredging projects would also be part of the application to NJIB. The NJIB offers low-cost loans to municipalities for infrastructure and typically forgives part of the loans.

The road projects would start in the spring of 2020.

A question arose about the bulkheading of Lanyard lagoon, a lagoon that discharges into Kingfisher lagoon and was once used as a dredge spoils site – unsuccessfully, as the mud leaked out around the bulkheading that was put in place and led to a bump of mud that impedes navigation. Gleghorn said the lagoon is owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and it does not want a new bulkhead there. But, said Gleghorn, the mud bump will be dredged out of the lagoon when the dredging projects begin.

— Pat Johnson


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