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10/21/2015 - Yaede Secures State Independent Expert to Study Consolidation of Fire Districts

Yaede Secures State Independent Expert to
Study Consolidation of Fire Districts

Following a meeting this week with officials from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Hamilton Township Mayor Kelly Yaede has announced that the Department’s Division of Local Government Services has agreed to her request for a State study regarding the consolidation of Hamilton’s fire districts at no cost to Hamilton’s taxpayers.

“Our goal is clear – how can we continue providing fire services to protect the safety of our residents while finding ways to achieve a cost savings that will benefit all of our taxpayers,” explains Mayor Yaede. “I want to thank the Division of Local Government Services and the Governor’s administration for agreeing to study the consolidation of our fire districts for no cost so that we can save taxpayer dollars.”      

Following the announcement of a petition drive to dissolve all but one of the several of Hamilton’s fire districts – which are separate governmental entities that are not under the control of Hamilton’s Municipal Government – Yaede asked the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to conduct a study of important issues that a proposed consolidation would entail, such as personnel costs, staffing levels, equipment levels, the number of fire houses needed to ensure public safety, as well as how to efficiently organize fire services.

This week, Mayor Kelly Yaede met in Trenton with State Division of Local Government Services Director Timothy Cunningham and Donald Huber, a Public Safety Liaison and Fiscal Monitor for the Division of Local Government Services.  Huber, who is also a retired Fire Chief, has assisted other municipalities in developing consolidation plans to merge fire districts.  In the near future, State Division of Local Government Services will reach out to Mayor Yaede’s Office to request preliminary information and document requests relative to Hamilton’s fire districts. 

Mayor Yaede has previously expressed her belief that petitions should be circulated in all of Hamilton’s fire districts.

“We need to have petitions circulated in all districts so that it will create a clean slate for a complete, township-wide study as to how we can achieve an efficient, cost-effective and safe fire protection service for our entire community,” says Mayor Yaede.  “And with the State Division’s acceptance of my request for an independent study, coupled with an ability for State officials to review all of the current fire districts in order to consider every possible alternative, I am very confident that it will lead to a concrete plan, with specific details, which is ultimately in the best interests of every Hamilton Township taxpayer.  Therefore, we can achieve the best service at the lowest cost for our hardworking families.”