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$200 Washer and Dryer Installation Questioned in South Amboy

By Joseph L. Kuchie—

SOUTH AMBOY — A questionable payment in the South Amboy bill list raised questions during last Wednesday’s council meeting.

Gene Reagan of Highland Street asked the council to explain a $200 payment for what was an engineering fee for a washer and dryer installment for the fire department. The same charge was questioned by residents during the October 3rd council meeting.

“You said that the washer and dryer had to be hooked up a certain way,” Reagan said. “I looked everywhere to find an ordinance that says you need an engineer to hook up a washer and dryer, when my grandmother can do that in her own house, and I couldn’t find it.”

City engineer Mark Rasimowicz addressed the question for the council, explaining that it wasn’t just a basic washer and dryer that anyone could hook up. He said that the machine cost upwards to $20,000 and was being used for the turnout gear in the fire department.

“It’s not a washer and dryer for your house, it’s two units that cost over $20,000 that is used for turnout gear for the fire department. In the past they would send the gear out to be cleaned after a fire…they never had the machine before,” Rasimowicz said. “It was listed as a washer and dryer on the bill list but it was much more then that.”

Rasimowicz also explained that the city applied for a grant from FEMA in order to get the washer and dryer in South Amboy. The grant paid 95 percent of the total price and the city was responsible for locating the equipment, which is now in the Enterprise Snorkel Fire Company on George Street.

Reagan also questioned the entire process of how the bills are reviewed and filed. At the last council meeting on October 3rd, councilmen Joseph Connors explained that the bills were already paid and they were simply filing them at their meetings, and he reiterated that during the past meeting.

“When we get the bills, they are already paid. Our CFO, Business Administrator, City Accountant, and Mayor Henry meet and go over the bills before our meetings,” Connors said. “We could question some of them but it is already too late because they are paid. We are just being made aware of what the bills are.”

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