Written by Elizabeth Q. Herlihy
The Point Pleasant Beach Council settled its debate over the replacement of an engine for local firefighters and approved the purchase this past week.
The agreement came two weeks after a debate over the replacement took place at a May council meeting.
Reminding the council about the fatal fire at Mariners Cove Motor Inn less than two months ago, Councilman Bret Gordon had made a motion to take the initial ordinance off the table and propose a bond ordinance for the replacement of the fire engine.
At the earlier meeting, a dispute ensued between Mayor Vincent Barrella and Council President William Mayer that resulted in Mayer temporarily walking away from the meeting.
Gordon has noted the council has obvious concerns with the ordinance because it was tabled on the first reading, and not placed on the agenda.
Councilmen Andy Cortes, Stephen Reid, Thomas Toohey and Mayer all had voiced concern about the cost of the engine.
Earlier in the month, Cortes said he spent time researching fire trucks and found lower costs than the $725,000 projected replacement price. Mayer claimed he spoke to other senior firefighters who voiced their opposing opinions about purchasing another truck.
Fire investigators noted that firefighters struggled with finding a water supply when battling the March blaze, which collapsed the roof of the motel where about 40 people were staying and killed four people.