Torrissi bill making purchasing fire engines, public works trucks easier for counties and towns signed by governor

Torrissi bill making purchasing fire engines, public works trucks easier for counties and towns signed by governor

Assemblyman Michael Torrissi

TRENTON, N.J. – Counties and towns are now able to more easily finance the purchase of new fire engines, which can cost more than $1 million each, thanks to a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Michael Torrissi that was signed into law on Tuesday. The measure extends the length of bonds used to buy public safety equipment and other vehicles.

“Residents rely on trash and snow removal, road maintenance and emergency responders and if there is a breakdown in equipment, towns need to be able to replace it as soon as possible,” Torrissi (R-Burlington) said. “Providing a little more financing flexibility under the local bond law so that essential equipment and vehicles can be purchased recognizes the financial pressures our towns are experiencing and ensures that vital services will not be sacrificed.”

The new law (A5567) allows counties and municipalities to issue 20-year bonds for the purchase of fire engines and related equipment, up from 10 years, and 10-year bonds for trucks that weigh more than 15,000 pounds, like garbage trucks, increased from five years. It also removes the bonding exemption for gas-powered passenger cars and station wagons, allowing those vehicles to be bonded for five years.

Additionally, the useful life of public works vehicles and heavy construction equipment will be extended if they undergo major repairs or reconditioning. Previously, only fire engines, ambulances and public safety vehicles were covered.

“Certain vehicles and equipment are essential to preserving life and property. Making it easier for towns and counties to maintain those vehicles for longer and replace them when the time comes, contributes to the quality of life in New Jersey,” Torrissi said.