April 8, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 15
Further fee exemptions will be available to volunteers
by Frank J. McMahon Active fire department and ambulance corps volunteers may soon receive an additional incentive. The Franklin Lakes Council has introduced an ordinance that would, if adopted this month, exempt these volunteers and their families from the municipal portion of animal license fees issued by the board of health, specifically charges for horses and poultry. Qualifying individuals must have satisfactorily completed their organization’s probationary period and be in good standing within that organization. The volunteer’s property taxes or any receivables due to the borough may not be in arrears. Currently, volunteers are exempt from fees for recreation department programs conducted within the borough, and from the municipal portion of dog, cat, and marriage license fees, all of which are issued by the borough clerk. Volunteers are also exempt from the municipal portion of the fee for building permit applications, fence permits, and certificates of compliance or approval for a fire fighter or corps member’s primary residence, and from planning and zoning board application fees. These exemptions, however, do not apply to fees, licenses, and permit fees associated with any for-profit activity or late fees or delinquent charges. On or about Jan. 10 of each calendar year, the fire chief of the Franklin Lakes Volunteer Fire Department and the captain of the Franklin Lakes Volunteer Ambulance Corps must submit to the borough clerk a list of all residents who meet the definition of an active member in good standing, and whose property taxes or any receivables due to the borough are not in arrears. That list must be updated by the volunteer organization to add individuals who have completed their probationary status, and to delete individuals who are no longer members or who no longer meet the criteria for active member status. Each active member of these volunteer organizations must provide information related to their family status to assist municipal officials in determining eligibility for fee exemptions. All active members and their families must comply with registration procedures, including the completion of application forms required by the borough. Members of the borough’s fire department and ambulance corps also receive stipends for their service at the end of each year. Stipends of up to $1,500 may be awarded based on the volunteers’ responses to calls and their attendance at training sessions. The borough’s volunteer ambulance corps building is located on Bender Court and the corps provides ambulance service and first aid care to the borough and other municipalities without cost. The corps also provides standby coverage and first aid personnel when requested by the police or fire departments, in the event of a fire, disaster, civil disorder, and for functions held within the town. All volunteer members are certified emergency medical technicians and are required to complete 120 hours of initial training and 48 hours of training every three years to maintain their EMT qualifications and this training is free. Founded in 1924, the borough’s fire department has served the residents of the borough for over 80 years. The all-volunteer department responds to all fire and rescue calls within the borough and provides mutual aid to neighboring communities. The fire department protects nine square miles and a residential population of 11,000 and this mostly residential coverage area also consists of some industrial and commercial establishments. Fire department headquarters is located on Bender Court, and the Southside Firehouse is located on Franklin Lake Road. The current apparatus fleet consists of three engines, one squad engine, one aerial truck, one tanker, one air and light unit, one support vehicle and two command vehicles and the fire department responds to approximately 500 fire and rescue calls per year.
(continued from page 7) Niemiec said he agreed with the sites Goldman chose for the two towers. He said they are at the highest points on the applicant’s property. If the antennas were restricted to the 15 feet permitted by the borough’s ordinance, the radio frequency expert said Goldman would only be able to maintain transmission around town, and it would be inconsistent. “To eliminate the dead spots, you have to get up as high as possible,” Niemiec said, adding that the only way Goldman could receive emergency communications is with the towers he has proposed.
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