In 2017 Governor Christie passed state law allowing Fire Districts to switch elections dates. In accordance with the law, the Mount Laurel Board of Fire Commissioners approved a resolution authorizing the Mount Laurel Fire District #l to shift the Fire District election from the third Saturday in February to the November general election date.
“Each year we do our best to inform residents about our election. Previous State statute mandates that all fire districts hold their elections and vote on their budget on the 3rd Saturday in February. This has been a struggle for years. Despite our best efforts to send out mailers, place yard signs around town and conduct social media blitz, we typically still only had a small percentage of the town coming out to vote. Our community has been very supportive of our operations and we are thankful for that, we hope by moving the election to November we will see more residents come out and vote”, said Fire Chief John Colucci.
With the switch, the fire district’s annual budget is not required to go to vote, unless the budget exceeds 2% property tax levy, which is similar to the state law to which the school districts must adhere. With the change, Board of Fire Commissioners will be elected each November.
The Board of Fire Commissioners adopted its 2019 budget in the amount of $11,199,316 at their December 17, 2018 board meeting. This represents an increase of $670,829 over the 2018 budget, setting the Fire District tax-rate of $0.175 cents per $100 of assessed value. The increase supports a staffing plan to hire additional firefighters consistent with nationally recognized safety standards to ensure adequate number of firefighters respond on the initial alarm. “As our community continues to grow, so does our call volume. We are an all hazards organization, responding to everything from motor vehicle accidents, gas leaks, extreme weather events, electrical hazards, technical rescues, medical emergencies, house fires and everything in between. Although most people only associate fire departments with FIRE, the fire service has evolved. Each type of incident or new threat requires specialized training and equipment. Most incidents require multiple trained personnel to perform them safely and efficiently. In Mount Laurel, we are blessed to have such dedicated volunteer and career personnel who take pride in what they do and care about our residents.” said Fire Chief Colucci.
The Mount Laurel Fire District is not yet in receipt of the state’s certified copy. However, residents can view the adopted budget by CLICKING HERE.