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Extended bonds fueling firefighting: New Jersey smashes financing limits

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a bill allowing municipalities to sell bonds of up to 20 years to finance the purchase of fire engines and other public safety equipment. Previously, the maximum bond length was 10 years. The bill aims to help municipalities finance the purchase of expensive fire trucks and equipment, which can cost anywhere from $600,000 to over $1 million, by providing longer repayment periods and smaller annual payments. The bill also allows for financing major repairs to fire engines and other rescue vehicles over five years and extends the useful life of certain vehicles. Assemblymen Michael Torrissi Jr. and Clinton Calabrese sponsored the bill in the Assembly, and it passed with unanimous support in both chambers of the state legislature. The extended bond length is expected to provide municipalities with greater flexibility to fund critical public safety equipment and vehicles.

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