Council conducted their final budget workshop to address the General Fund Budget for 2014. The current budget lowered the increase of the $99.45 for a house assessed at $65,000. This will make the municipal portion of property taxes (again, for a house assessed at $65,000) $2,776.80 for 2014. The increase brings the municipality to an increase of under $100; previously the increase was noted as $103.35.
There were further decreases in election costs of $8,160 , animal control of $5,925 , PERS (Public Employees’ Retirement System) by $326,867, and PFRS (Police and Firemen’s Retirement System) contributions by $42,418 OEM (Office of Emergency Management) were updated as well as increases in Improvements to Public Buildings and Grounds by way of a fire alarm for Borough Hall (among other things) for $37,000 and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) for $30,000 to update the department’s plan of action totaled a decrease of $16,370. Grants are still pending which could lower the budget even more, according to Ken Blum, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the borough.
The cost for a townwide revaluation – which would bring up assessed values for properties in line with 21st century market rates – is included for a budgeted cost of $500,000. The sources for the funding came from a sewer budget surplus amount of $350,000, a one-time sale of assets for $74,799.50, operating surplus funds of $50,000, and a trust fund assessment of $25,220.50. The budgeting of the revaluation taken from surpluses does not impact the budget and is a $0 increase in the municipal portion of property taxes.
Other budgeted items included the return of the Memorial Day Parade and payment for extra police security for the November General Election. What was not included was a second bulk pick-up, which would cost $9.10 – estimating a cost of $18,000 for the pick-up and another $22,000 for disposal. If a second bulk pick-up were included in the budget, the increase would be $108.55.
The Public Hearing on the municipal budget will be held on Thursday, May 1, 2014 during the regular Mayor & Council meeting held at 7 p.m. in Borough Hall. This will be a Public Hearing on the original budget with an increase of $103.35. The amendment which reduced the budget increase to $99.45 will be held on May 15th, which will also be the date of the vote and expected adoption of the 2014 budget.