STONE HARBOR - Since 1912, the Stone Harbor Volunteer Fire Company has been protecting residents, as the borough’s fire service agency.
In recent years, the organization had difficulty maintaining sufficient personnel levels for all shifts due to “individuals not being able to afford to reside in the borough.”
This statement was part of the ordinance introduced at the Oct. 6 Stone Harbor Borough Council meeting. That ordinance would allow the creation of paid firefighter positions to “supplement the volunteer squad.” The ordinance doesn’t specify the number of such positions.
Stone Harbor, like many of the county’s island communities, saw property values increase beyond the ability of typical volunteer fire personnel to afford homes. A stipend system, which remains in effect, has not fully resolved the staffing issues.
The second reading and public hearing of the ordinance should occur at the Nov. 3 council meeting. The borough worked to provide easy public access to, and comments at, its virtual meetings.