2008-07-30 / Front Page

Fire dept. drive aims for new ladder truck

BY ERIN O. STATTEL Staff Writer

MATAWAN — The borough volunteer fire department will extend its annual fund drive for an additional month to help raise funds for a new ladder truck.

At the July 15 Borough Council meeting, a proclamation was read by Councilman Kevin Mendes designating Aug. 1 through Oct. 31 as the period during which the fire department will hold its Firemen's Fund Drive.

The fire department is currently undergoing a needs assessment and fire department Chief Joe Tamburello has gone before the council at previous meetings, stating that the borough's hook and ladder truck has not been operational in some time.

With the construction of multistory buildings at The Preserve on Route 79, some residents are expressing concern about the borough's lack of a ladder truck.

Frances Bucco, of Freneau Avenue, spoke during the public portion of the July 15 council meeting and asked whether a fire truck would be able to service the new apartment buildings next door to her home.

"Who is going to pay for the fire department to put out a fire on the third floor of those buildings?" she asked.

Mayor Paul Buccellato replied that the fire department is currently doing a needs assessment in order to budget for a new truck.

"So, who is going to pay for the truck?" Bucco inquired.

Councilman William Malley, who is up for re-election in November, said that Matawan's neighbors are willing to help out in the interim.

"We will receive mutual aid from Aberdeen and they will respond while we look for a hook and ladder truck," he said.

Bucco also questioned what happened to the $30,000 that developer American Properties donated to the town.

"American Properties gave us $30,000 over three years and it is designated to go into a general fund but we can move it to the fire department or the police department," Buccellato explained.

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