TEMPERANCE - The Bedford Township Board last night agreed to pay its fire chief a regular salary and provide benefits to the position for the first time in department history.
Fire Chief John Bofia will be paid $52,000 plus a $3,500 stipend for not using the township's health insurance plan. The chief will receive the same benefit package for the job he has held on a volunteer basis for the last seven years.
The township board and the Bedford Township Fire Commission have spent months debating whether to hire a permanent, full-time fire chief as well as a fire inspector. The township board chose earlier this year not to fill the fire inspector position at this time.
Chief Bofia oversees a 65-person volunteer department operating from three stations, Lambertville, Temperance, and a station not yet completed along Lewis Avenue south of Sterns Road.
In other action, township officials opened 11 bids earlier yesterday as a rebid of the $3 million expansion of the Bedford Township Branch Library.
Township voters passed a 0.75-mill levy a year ago to expand the branch library from its current 15,000 square feet to its intended size of approximately 30,000 square feet. The project was bid in the spring and the township opened a temporary library facility in June, but the contractor who won the bid was unable to secure the proper bonding to allow him do the project.
Township Trustee Joyce Hagen said the rebids “were extremely competitive” compared to what was submitted earlier, allowing the township library board to keep several of the add-ons it bought from the other contractor.
The township board will review the bids and select a contractor within the next two weeks.