Newtown Township Moves Forward With Plans to Assess Newtown Borough a Monthly Fee for Use of Its Paid Newtown Emergency Services Department | Newtown News of Interest |

The board of supervisors [at its July 14, 2021, PUBLIC meeting] put Newtown Borough on notice that it intends to begin charging it $300,000 a year for full-time fire service.


In a 4 to 0 vote with supervisor Dennis Fisher absent, the board directed its solicitor to draft an amendment to the township’s fee schedule that would levy a fee on Newtown Borough of $25,000 a month for fire services retroactive to Jan. 1.


UPDATE: At the August 11, 2021, BOS meeting, the supervisors tabled a final decision on moving forward after the Borough Council solicitor indicated that "we were authorized to begin drafting a cooperative agreement with Newtown Township for fire protection services, in order to keep negotiations moving forward, so we will be working on the issue in the coming weeks.”


The supervisors took the action after behind-closed-doors negotiations between the township and the borough failed to yield a negotiated fee and an intergovernmental agreement.


During those talks, which supervisor John Mack termed “difficult,” the borough offered to pay up to $118,000 a year, less than the annual cost for one paid firefighter, which equates to about $150,000, said Mack.


“We were willing to come to a lower number than $300,000, but (Dennis) Fisher and I felt they were unmovable,” said Mack. “They kept going back to the number of calls and they had a complicated formula that to me seemed just like a way to stall. They weren’t willing to compromise beyond the $118,000. That’s why we broke off the discussions.”


Under the proposed fee schedule revision, Newtown Borough would be responsible for paying the township $300,000 a year for fire service in the borough.


The cost breaks down to $25,000 a month and is based on the amount of time firefighters spend in the borough on alarm calls, according to township solicitor David Sander, who will be drafting the amendment.


After the amendment is drafted, the board of supervisors will then vote on whether to move forward with the revised fee schedule.