Neepaulin resident says lake water was vital to fighting fire

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:47

    On June 6, the home of the Bimbi family was destroyed by a fire. At the same time Friends of Lake Neepaulin (FOLN) was conducting a children’s fishing contest at the Lake Neepaulin Beach. Within minutes pumper trucks and tankers came to the beach to draw water from the lake. As some FOLN members pitched in to help the firefighters at the beach, it was evident to us that the lake’s water was important for helping to bring this fire under control. Some of the firefighters even commented on the lake’s value in this situation. After the fire, however, township and fire officials downplayed the significance of the lake’s water in arresting this fire. Their position contradicts this statement from the minutes of the township’s public meeting of Nov. 12, 2007. “At the request of (then-Mayor Bill) DeBoer, representatives of the Wantage Fire Department and Sussex Fire Department stated that the presence of the Lake Neepaulin water supply represented a vital resource in their ability to conduct fire fighting within the Lake Neepaulin community.” As a Lake Neepaulin resident, I am mighty thankful that the lake is there. It is a very comforting and inexpensive form of fire insurance. But recently, the township committee has decided to rescind the ordinance which calls for an assessment of properties in Lake Neepaulin to repay the loan to repair the dam. Rescinding this ordinance opens the door for the DEP to drain the lake. If you live in Lake Neepaulin and believe the lake is important for fire protection, I strongly urge you to ask Mayor Space and the township committee not to rescind Ordinance 2008-16. The vote to rescind this ordinance is set for June 25th, so you must act immediately. Thomas Jable Wantage