Fire District Referendum

Please vote for the Fire District referendum

Dear Plainsboro Township Residents,

As you have most likely seen the negative emails from the Plainsboro Township Committee, here are some points regarding the referendum on February 17th:

  • The Plainsboro Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners is requesting an increase of $1.5 million to support the hiring of firefighters over the next five years to ensure the safety of the residents and visitors of Plainsboro Township and to meet NFPA and state-prescribed staffing minimums. This increase constitutes about a $13 increase in your monthly Fire District taxes for the average household. Even after the proposed increase, we will have one of the lowest fire tax rates in Middlesex County.
  • In 2020, we responded to 558 calls for service. In 2021 we responded to 733 calls. In 2022 we responded to 789 calls. In 2023 we responded to 907 calls. At the time of this writing, we have already answered more than 90 calls for service, higher than any other prior year at this point. Calls for service are trending up and we believe they will continue to do so given the new development anticipated in Plainsboro Township.
  • Providing 24/7 firefighter coverage at the station allows our department to respond to most calls within 6 minutes from dispatch until arrival, a critical factor in an emergency, especially with the continual development in Plainsboro Township and the increasing call volumes.
  • The residents of Plainsboro enjoyed the cost-effective benefits of having a strong contingent of volunteer firefighters for almost 60 years. However, training, physical and time requirements for volunteer firefighters, as well as increase in the cost of living, has not allowed us to recruit or retain enough volunteer firefighters to maintain the required staffing levels. Recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters is a national concern. It also takes up to five years for a new volunteer to gain the experience to safely serve as a firefighter. In fact, all current board members serve as volunteers, so this decision has been difficult but necessary for the board.
  • The Board of Fire Commissioners, and career and volunteer firefighters have made as many cuts to expenses as possible and applied to all available grants to postpone an increase. However, the costs of equipment, firefighters and utilities have increased significantly over the last few years and we expect them to continue to do so.

In the interest of public safety, we ask the residents of Plainsboro Township to consider a YES vote for the upcoming referendum on February 17th. If you have any questions, please call us at 609-799-0492 or email us at bofc@plainsborofire.com  and we will be happy to address any concerns you may have.

Sincerely,

Bob Corriveau

Chair, Board of Fire Commissioners

 

Michele Holder

Vice-Chair, Board of Fire Commissioners

 

Ted Wagner

Board of Fire Commissioners

 

James Pedley

Treasurer, Board of Fire Commissioners

 

Tom Boland

Secretary, Board of Fire Commissioners

 

Matthew Collins

Chief, Plainsboro Fire Department