(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex), Jerry Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union) and Annette Quijano (D-Union) to allow local units to enter into joint agreements to purchase fire equipment has been signed into law.
“Budgetary constraints have forced many municipalities to do more with less, but fire equipment is not something you ever want to cut back on,” said Coughlin. “This law will help equip fire departments with the necessary equipment to respond to emergencies and keep the community safe, while easing the financial burden on taxpayers. It’s a win-win.”
“Shared services is one way for struggling municipalities to reduce costs without sacrificing services and saddling taxpayers already feeling the pinch,” said Green. “This provides local units the chance to purchase essential fire equipment at lower costs through joint purchasing agreements. We should take advantage of every opportunity that allows us to provide a vital service and save money.”
“Firefighting is a noble, but dangerous profession. It is our responsibility to ensure that our firefighters have the adequate equipment so they can perform their jobs well and with no added risk,” said Quijano. “By allowing joint purchasing of fire equipment, we ensure that fire departments have the needed equipment to perform their jobs while lightening the financial load for taxpayers.”
The law (A-3263) will allow local units to enter into joint agreements to purchase fire equipment. Fire equipment, including critical and specialized items such as fire trucks, is among the more expensive items that local units purchase. By clarifying that local units have the authority to enter into joint agreements to purchase such equipment, this law will offer local units greater flexibility to lower costs and ease budgetary pressures.