Toms River Fire Budget Cut

Photo by Chris Lundy

TOMS RIVER – After voters shot down the budget for Fire District No. 1, the Township Council had to make some cuts to it.

The amount to be raised by taxation would have been $5,497,530, an increase of $182,680 from last year’s $5,314,850. The budget went down 458 votes to 335.

At a recent Township Council meeting, there was a $75,000 reduction in the amount to be raised in taxation, chief financial officer Sharon Smith said.

However, the council also will be increasing inspection fees that the fire department performs, which will help make up that shortfall over time, Councilman George Wittmann Jr. said. What’s left is a balance between the needs of the department and the desires of the taxpayers.

Many firefighters were in attendance at the meeting. One thanked the council for not cutting anything that affected training or firefighting equipment.

Former chief Richard Tutela asked the new council members to get to know the firefighters and see all the hard work that they do. He said this in reference to some “misnomers” that were put out on social media encouraging people to vote against the fire budget.