Milltown Fire Department requesting amendment of residency rules


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Staff Writer

MILLTOWN — A nonresident living in the contiguous communities of the borough may soon be able to hold the position of fire chief of the all-volunteer fire department.

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Fire Chief Scott Janssens told the Borough Council at a meeting on July 11 that the department submitted a request to the council to amend the ordinance to reflect the proposed changes of residency of a chief officer.

“It has come time [for a change] with volunteerism [the way that it is and] trying to maintain [members],” he said, adding that fire officials have already approved and changed the bylaws preceding the request to the council.

“We have members who have been trying to find a home, but unfortunately have found a home right outside the borough and are still with Milltown by heart and still dedicated to the town and its residents,” he said.

Janssens said it was former Fire Chief Jack Bicsko, who started working on the request that came to him in 2014.

Bicsko, who is the current president of the department, said a person still has to be a resident to become a member of the fire department.

“To become a chief officer, it is an approximately 12-year process,” he said.

Bickso said at the time he spoke to various borough management officials including Denise Biancamano, chief financial officer and business administrator for the borough, then-Councilman Joseph Pietanza, who was liaison to the department, and then-Borough Attorney Peter Vignuolo.

He said he instructed the department’s membership and made the appropriate changes, which he said he presumed were handled and complete. However, the changes never were made to the ordinance.

Janssens said the changes would include that a member must live in the borough for six months once becoming a member and can stay a member if they move out of the borough to a town contiguous to Milltown.

A member must maintain membership by participating in 60 percent of all activities, fire calls, meetings, drills and special events, the ordinance states.

A chief officer is an elected position by the department’s membership.

The changes regarding the fire chief were not voted upon and are still pending.

In other fire department news, the council approved the bond ordinance appropriating $720,000 and authorizing the issuance of $684,000 bonds and notes to finance a portion of the costs for the acquisition of a much-needed new fire ladder truck and a canopy tent to temporarily shelter the truck.

In June, borough officials said the department’s ladder truck, which had been in service for 27 years, was deemed condemned.

Contact Kathy Chang at

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