After heated arguments at the Sept. 20 town committee meeting, it looks as if West Deptford fire departments will get new fire trucks after all.
On Thursday, Sept. 27 the Sunoco Foundation pledged to donate a total of $750,000 toward the purchase on new fire trucks for the township. The money will come as two payments of $375,000 within a year of each other.
The money will go to both the Verga and Colonial Manor fire companies and will be used to purchase new fire engines and fire rescue engines.
“We are committed to providing first-rate service to our community, and this money will provide us with newer and up to date fire apparatus to meet that commitment, which will benefit all the residents of our township,” said Chief Kevin Nordaby.
Fire trucks in West Deptford have become the new topic of political debate in West Deptford, after Committeeman Samuel Cianfarini accused Committeewoman Denice DiCarlo of taking a lesser cash settlement from Sunoco, instead of one that would include new fire trucks for the town, for personal glory.
Cianfarini stated at the town committee meeting on Sept. 20 that Sunoco had offered to include $1 million worth of new fire trucks in the Eagle Point tax appeals settlement, but said the settlement was scraped by DiCarlo who wanted to put her own name on the deal.
“Denice put her own needs above the needs of the community,” said Cianfarini.
DiCarlo defended her role in the Sunoco settlement, saying that nothing on fire trucks was ever finalized by the attorney. She maintained that she was told the fire trucks could not be papered and that the attorney said they must go for cash.
“I appreciate your absolute and unfailing lies,” DiCarlo retorted to Cianfarini following his accusations on Sept. 20.
DiCarlo referred to the June 14 closed session minutes, which show there were talks of fire trucks, but no final resolution. DiCarlo says that along with bringing unfounded the attacks on herself, Cianfarini’s comments also brought the fire companies into the mix.
“Our firefighters should not be pulled into the political stream,” said DiCarlo.
Yet with all arguments aside, DiCarlo maintains it was a bipartisan effort and gives credit to Mayor Raymond Chintall for his work on the Sunoco settlement.