The Plainsboro Fire District received voter approval for the 2017 budget at the annual election Feb. 18. All registered voters were eligible to attend and the final vote was 33-3.
Krishna Jagannathan and Theresa Byrnes were also each elected to three-year terms on the board of commissioners. The $2.62 million budget for 2017 represents a $482,000 increase from the 2016 budget. The increase is almost entirely due to the planned purchase of a new 3,500-gallon water tanker approved by voters last fall. The tanker will cost up to $450,000.
The fire district tax rate will remain at five cents per $100 of assessed value, the same rate for the past five years. The fire district tax rate did not go down last year despite a reassessment that increased the total rateable base by 22.8 percent to $4.643 billion.
Fire district Chairman Ted Wagner said the district is allocating surplus revenues for capital purchases, such as the water tanker as well as a $350,000 purchase of self-contained breathing apparatus equipment in 2018.
“The operating budget stayed the same,” Wagner said. “When there is an ratable increase like that, we maintain the five cents tax rate and it allows us to have a surplus and make these capital expenditures.”