We as a group of volunteer firefighters AND citizens of Bensalem Township have a few unanswered questions we would like the government of Bensalem (which has so far refused to answer ANY of our questions), to FINALLY Respond to the Following Questions, HONESTLY:
· Where is the plan for the seventh fire department? We have asked repeatedly how you intend to pay for it besides taking money from us. When we approached the Township Council about this question, they have repeatedly told us they are not told anything. How can you approve a budget when you don't know what is going on?
· Why was it formed in violation of Township ordinance 6? When we asked about this, the Director of Public Safety and one member of the Township council referred us to Ordinance 7. THERE IS NO ORDINANCE 7!
· Where is the Township emergency operations plan? We have been asking for copies of the plan so that we can respond properly in case of a disaster. NO ONE in the Fire Marshal's office has a copy of the plan! Even though it is required by law that it be available to the public, IT IS NOT AVAILABLE TO THE EMERGENCY SERVICES.
· We checked the Township 2011 budget. It states that the Township received $750,000.00 from the U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Grant program in 2010 and spent the money in 2010. We checked with the program. First, the U.S. Coast Guard does not HAVE A PORT SECURITY GRANT PROGRAM, secondly, we checked with the agency responsible for the program in this area and NOT ONLY DID THE TOWNSHIP NOT RECEIVE A GRANT IN 2010 THEY NEVER APPLIED FOR A GRANT THROUGH THAT PROGRAM!
· When is the Township going to receive $5,000,000.00 from the state for us rebuilding the intersection of Mechanicsville road and Galloway road? The members of the Bensalem council told us when they took on this project that the state would reimburse the money we spent. We have checked with the state. They never authorized the construction or agreed to pay back the money!
· When are we going to be able to use the new gym at the high school? The $2,000,000.00 given to the Township by the outgoing Governor in 2002 was supposed to be used for a community center. The Mayor decided not to build the center because he would have to hire people to staff it. Considering we can only use it when the children are not using it, the school district would have to hire additional staff. When is this supposed to happen? Didn't the school district just attempt to charge the Catholic schools in our township for using the facilities?
· Why does the Director of Public Safety and the Mayor refuse to discuss the SAFER grant with the fire service in Bensalem? What are they hiding?
· Why have the issues with the Township training center (it is no longer being called a fire school by the Director of Public Safety and key personnel within the Fire Marshal's office)been ignored by the Director of Public Safety? This is a $5,000,000.00 project that failed to deliver on the "in Township training program for the fire service" that would no longer require us to travel outside the township for training.
· What other grants has the Director of Public Safety claimed in the township budget that is not true?
· Where did the ambulance that was housed at the Cornwells Fire Company go? We have not heard it respond to a call in four months? Why do we keep giving more tax money to the ambulance company which reduces it service to the community and take money away from the volunteer fire companies that have been required to increase their EMS service to the community at no extra charge to the taxpayers?
· Why were the paid members of the newly created fire department required to join the one fire company in the township that has the MOST employees in the Fire Marshal's office?
· When will the Township replace the Fire Marshal that was let go without an explanation to the citizens of Bensalem or the fire service in the township in 2010? We asked the former Fire Marshal and he replied that he was forced out without any explanation.
· Why has the Director of Public Safety refused to discuss the Fire Service Assessment that he paid to have done with the fire service?
· Why is the volunteer fire service in Bensalem required to make cuts due to reduced funding?
· Why won't the Fire Marshal's office release building inspections to the volunteer fire service to help with commercial building pre-planning?
· Why has the Council of Bensalem not asked the Mayor to address these issues? Or at least call a meeting of ALL the fire companies (not just the one) and address our concerns?
· We are sure they will toss a "political bone" as we get close to election time. The last election the Mayor sent the Fire Marshal's office to tell us to vote him in, it will be the last time he runs for Mayor.