[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Township Council) of the Township of Eastampton 12-12-1955 (Ch. 10 of the 1974 Township Code); amended to delete Fire Department provisions which are now contained in the Administrative Code (Ord. No. 1983-01). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Establishment. A single Board of Fire Commissioners, consisting of five Fire Commissioners, is hereby established and hereinafter shall be referred to as "Board" or "the Board." The Board shall administer the fire district and shall be known as the "Commissioners of Fire District No. 1" in the Township and shall have the powers, duties and functions within the fire district as provided by N.J.S.A. 40A:14-70 et seq. and by this section.
Initial election of Fire Commissioners. The Township Clerk shall conduct the initial election of five persons as Commissioners to the aforesaid Board of Fire Commissioners. The election shall be conducted on an election-district-wide basis and in accordance with the statute and consistent with all applicable laws of this section.
Nomination of candidates. Candidates for election to the Board shall be nominated by verified petitions. Each such petition shall be signed by no fewer than 10 qualified voters and shall be filed at least 28 days prior to the date of the election to which the petition relates.
Chairman of Board; terms of office. At the first meeting of the initially elected Board, the Board shall choose a Chairman of the Board and shall fix the time and place for the annual election. The members of the initially elected Board shall, at the first meeting of the Board, divide themselves by lot into three classes: The first shall consist of two members who shall serve for terms of one year; the second shall consist of two members who shall serve for terms of two years; and the third shall consist of one member who shall serve for a term of three years. Upon the expiration of the respective terms, their successors shall be elected for terms of three years.
Board vacancies. Any vacancy upon the Board shall be filled by the remaining members of the Board until the next succeeding annual election, at which election a person shall be elected for the unexpired term.
Commencement of initial terms. Persons elected to the initial Board shall assume the responsibilities of their elected offices on a date to be specified by a resolution of the Township Council.
Election of Fire Commissioners. An election shall be held annually in the Township, on an election-district-wide basis, for the election of members of the Board according to the expiration of terms as determined at the first meeting of the initially elected Board. The date, time and place of the election shall be determined by the Board, and the notice thereof and of the closing date for the filing with the Clerk of the Board of petitions of nominations for membership on the Board shall be published at least once in a newspaper circulating in the Township at least six weeks prior to the date fixed for the election.
Voting upon budget. At the election held annually for the election of members of the Board, the voters thereat shall vote upon the budget proposed by the Board for the ensuing year and such other matters as may be required.
Notice of election. The Township Clerk or the Clerk of the Board of Fire Commissioners, as the case may be, shall cause a further notice of the holding of the initial election and of the annual elections to be published at least once, not later than one week prior thereto, in a newspaper circulating in the Township.
Conduct of balloting. Before the opening of the polls, a public proclamation shall be made by the Township Clerk as to the initial election of the Board, and by the Chairman or the Clerk of the Board as to each subsequent annual election, or his or their representative, as to the purpose of the voting. Two tellers for each polling place shall be appointed by the Township Clerk for the initial election of the Board and by the Chairman or Clerk of the Board for each subsequent annual election, and there upon the polls shall be opened and the balloting shall continue without recess until the closing of the polls. Immediately after the close of the polls, the Clerk and tellers shall forthwith canvass the votes and certify the results. The Clerk shall publicly announce the results.
Assessment and collection of money for the Board.
The Board shall certify the amount of money voted at the annual district meeting to the Township Assessor, who shall assess the amount thereof against the taxable property in the same manner as municipal taxes are assessed, and the amount shall be assessed, levied and collected at the same time and in the same manner as other municipal taxes.
The Collector of Taxes or the Township Treasurer shall pay over all moneys so assessed to the Treasurer or Custodian of Funds of the Board, 1/2 on or before July 1 in the year for which such taxes are levied and other half on or before January 1 of the following year, to be held and expended for the purpose of providing and maintaining means for extinguishing fires in the Township.
The Board may also pay back or cause to be paid back to the Township any funds or any part thereof paid to the Treasurer or Custodian of Funds of the Board by the Collector of Taxes or the Township Treasurer representing taxes levied for fire district purposes but not actually collected in cash by the Township Collector or Treasurer.
Additional officers. The Board shall designate, from among its members, a Secretary and a Treasurer for terms of office of one year.
Compensation of Board. Members of the Board may receive as compensation such amount of money as the Board may fix, subject to the review and approval of the Township Council.
There is hereby established within the Township a single fire district, which shall be known as "Fire District No. 1 in the Township of Eastampton, County of Burlington," whose territorial boundary shall be coextensive with the territorial boundary of the Township.