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Berlin Township Fire District No. 1 {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Board of Fire Commissioners is responsible for fire prevention and suppression within its territory. Most fire districts contract with the local volunteer fire companies for the use of their building and personnel in the providing of fire services.Board of Fire Commissioners is a 3-year term.

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  • Candidate picture

    Kevin R. Johnson

  • Charles Madara

  • Candidate picture

    J. Mike Mc Gee

  • Joseph Mohan

Biographical Information

What do you consider the top priority(ies) in the next municipal budget and how will you minimize impact on taxpayers? Please discuss no more than three priorities.

What do you consider the most important issue facing the municipality today and how would you address the issue if elected to office?

What is your view on consolidation of municipalities and/or sharing services with neighboring municipalities?

What would you to to promote economic development and attract businesses to the municipality?

The top budget priority is to properly maintain the trucks and replace the gear and equipment. By replacing gear and equipment on a rotating basis over a number of years, we are able to minimize fluctuations in the budget and remain compliant with NFPA standards. Another priority is to continue the practice of including an allocation for new vehicles in each budget. This practice enables the fire district to have the resources to purchase new vehicles when necessary without raising the tax rate. A third priority is to continue the practice of not compensating the Fire Commissioners, which leaves more funds in the budget for updating gear and equipment.
The most important issue facing the fire district is having enough firefighters available to respond to calls 24 hours each day. A recently received FEMA grant provides funding for two Township and two Borough firefighters during the daytime hours beginning in January 2020. Those firefighters will respond to fire calls in both towns. This will supplement staffing of our 100% volunteer fire company when many of the volunteer firefighters are at their jobs or in school.
Sharing services is one of the best ways to reduce costs. The fire district currently reimburses the Township for fuel and payroll for the fire official and fire inspector. The saving results from bulk fuel purchases and no need to contract a payroll services company. Additional savings are achieved by the district combining with the Borough for grant applications. The combined applications are much more likely to be approved than individual applications. The last two grants received by the District were from combined applications.
Keeping the tax rate low while maintaining a volunteer fire company recognized as one of the best in the county can help attract businesses to the Township.
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My priority has been and will continue to be to supply the firefighters with the tools and equipment they need to stay safe and to provide fire protection to the residents of Berlin Township. While doing so, keep budget increases to a minimum which will keep tax increases to a minimum.
The implementation of the newly issued FEMA grant is a very important project for the Fire District. This grant will provide a four man crew, two Berlin Township firefighters and two Berlin Borough firefighters, to be in station and available during the busiest hours of the week projected for both towns. It is a joint effort between the two towns and it is the Fire Districts duty to oversee our portion of the grant.
I have long been a proponent of shared services. I had introduced and implemented many shared service programs during my 33 year tenure as the Public Works Director in Berlin Township. Currently there is a joint effort between Berlin Township and Berlin Borough being funded by FEMA. This project should start implementation early 2020.
The response, effectiveness and ability of the members West Berlin Fire Rescue is well known throughout the Township and the surrounding counties. Continuing to support the attributes of our firefighters and keeping the fire tax as low as possible will provide effective and efficient fire protection in Berlin Township. This should help attract residents and businesses to our community.
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