Dear East Greenwich Residents,
On Sunday March 25th, please come out and support East Greenwich Fire and Rescue for their annual Pancake Breakfast between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm. This annual event is a long standing tradition in our community. The pancakes, with breakfast sausage supplied by our own Haines Pork Shop, will be served at the Clarksboro Fire House on Cohawkin Rd. Please come out and support our volunteers, thank them for their service, and check out the fire trucks on display.
I take this opportunity to provide an update on the future of our Fire Department. At the end of 2017, the EGFD, which is an entity separate from the Township, sold the fire house located on Mantua Rd in Mt. Royal. The facility was no longer active and its closing resulted in no negative impact on our town. The money from that sale was used to fund the first step in building a new fire house. The Township allocated $100,000.00 in our 2018 budget to pay for architectural design and engineering, in addition to the destruction of the Peaslee Annex Building located on Cohawkin Rd. The annex building dated back to 1925 and served as a school, our Municipal Building and Police Department. The building also housed the County ambulance until recently. Over the years, the building has suffered significant deterioration that would make it no longer viable without spending an enormous amount of money. The decision to eliminate the building was a difficult one but without a viable buyer, it made financial sense to donate the property to the Fire Department to build a new fire house.
The EGFD will self-fund the construction of the fire house. I applaud the volunteers in our Fire Department who possess the foresight to be financially savvy in investing now in a manner that will positively impact our residents over the next 100 years. I would like to recognize President Nelson Weist, Chief Rob Gould and CFO Mark Chapman, whose vision is fortifying our town’s safety. You and your entire team at the EGFD should be extremely proud of all your efforts.
Moreover, the Township Committee hired two new full time employees this year for our Public Works Department. Again, I will continue to remind everyone that our 2018 Budget was introduced for the third year in a row with a 0% Municipal tax increase. What makes these two employees so incredibly unique and valuable is that Matt Brown and Keith Wadleigh are also volunteers at the EGFD. These two employees, together with long time Public Works employee Bobby Mann, are able to respond to fire calls during working hours, Monday through Friday. Having these employees, close by all week decreases response times in case emergency calls go out during the day when volunteer availability is at its lowest. I am proud and honored that we could not only increase our staffing levels to increase productivity, but also added another layer of protection for our residents in their possible time of need.
Last, EGFD is made up of all volunteers. They are on call 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They do not hesitate when that call comes in at 2am on a Sunday. These brave men and women are dedicated and hard working. They all are willing to risk their lives to save yours. That is the ultimate display of bravery. They hold monthly hoagie drives, annual fund drives, and my favorite event, the Pancake Breakfast to generate funding for gear and training. I urge you to please stop by and enjoy a wonderful breakfast and take a moment to thank the volunteers, because they are truly heroes every day, waiting for that 911 call. Trust they will be there to help in your most desperate time of need.
If you cannot attend the breakfast, you can stop by any time and of course you can send any donations to help support the EGFD.
Happy Easter and see you at breakfast!!!
Dale L. Archer, Mayor of East Greenwich Twp.
P.S. Just a reminder to please ensure your house number is properly marked and easily identifiable from the street so our emergency responders can better serve you when a call comes in.