COURT HOUSE - Middle Township announced that it is considering consolidation of the municipality’s two fire prevention bureaus.
According to a release, the proposed plan would shift the designation of the fire code enforcement agency from the township’s fire districts to the Middle Township Construction Office. The purpose of the proposed restructuring would be to reduce costs, increase the uniformity of enforcement throughout the community, and better integrate the fire inspection protocols into the broader construction permitting process.
Currently, fire prevention and fire code enforcement are administered through two separate offices, operated by the fire commissioners in Fire District 1 (Court House) and Fire District 2 (Rio Grande). Fire District 1 provides fire prevention services for Fire District 3 (Green Creek) and Fire District 4 (Goshen).
“We appreciate the good work that both offices have done for the Township,” Mayor Timothy Donohue stated, "but as the township grows and the regulatory burden on projects and renovations increases, it is vital that we streamline our permitting and inspection processes and ensure that policies and enforcement are uniform throughout the municipality.”
The proposed changes are part of a broader initiative by Township Committee to restructure and improve the Construction and Zoning function by bringing all permitting processes, including sewer and fire prevention, under one roof.
“With the hiring of our new construction official, cross-training of staff, and upgrades in technology, we are working to remove any hurdles to responsible and sustainable development,” Deputy Mayor Ike Gandy stated. “By consolidating all permitting in one location, under the authority of the construction official, we plan to create a one-stop shop for our builders, developers and residents.”
Gandy, a supervising foreman in the carpenters union, oversees the Construction and Zoning Offices in the township.
“The proposed changes in fire prevention services would require a revision to the existing Ordinance 1206-05,” Gandy stated. “The township will be seeking input from throughout the community on the best practices to institute going forward.”