Parkland Press

Thursday, October 17, 2019

New fire department leader hired

Thursday, October 10, 2019 by SUSAN RUMBLE Special to The Press in Local News

South Whitehall Township Manager Renee Bickel has reported Chris Kiskeravage was selected for a full-time position as fire commissioner.

At a recent meeting, Bickel said Kiskeravage will be paid from the fire tax which took effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

“He will be a liaison between the township and the fire companies,” Bickel said. “He will provide consistency and oversight.”

Kiskeravage, who will join the staff in November, will work out of the township building, and will report to Chief of Police Glen Dorney, Bickel explained.

In another matter, Acting Woodlawn Fire Chief Barry Search requested permission to start writing up specifications for replacement of the fire company’s 1998 pumper, Truck 3212.

Search recalled commissioners asked Woodlawn to hold off pursuing the new pumper until funds would become available.

Board member David Bond remembered the situation before adoption of the fire tax.

“We asked the fire companies to stretch replacements out until some funds accrue,” Bond said.

Proposed at budget time in November 2017, the 0.47-mill fire tax was conceived in response to increasing costs of equipment and other necessities associated with fire protection.

Although added to residents’ real estate bills, the fire tax income is kept separate from the general fund and used only for fire-related purposes.

Under the 2017 assessments, the tax would bring in $1.1 million for fire equipment and services.

Search said Woodlawn held off as long as it could with the pumper but is putting a lot of money into it to keep it safe and operable.

“It takes over a year to build the truck,” Search said.

He noted if they start listing specifications for the new unit now, it will probably take until 2021 for the truck to be ready.

The board agreed Woodlawn should proceed with preliminary work for the new truck.