Englishtown introduces municipal budget

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By Mark Rosman
Staff Writer

ENGLISHTOWN – The Borough Council has introduced a $2.36 million budget to fund the operation of Englishtown this year.

Council members did not comment on the spending plan when they introduced it on March 23. Council President Greg Wojyn and council members Lou Sarti Jr., Cindy Robilotti, Lori Cooke and Maryanne Krawiec voted to introduce the budget.

According to Business Administrator and Chief Financial Officer Laurie Finger, the $2.36 million budget will be supported by the collection of $1.49 million in taxes from residential and commercial property owners. Other revenues include the use of $258,000 in surplus funds (savings) and $142,206 in state aid.

Englishtown’s 2015 budget totaled $2.4 million and was supported through the collection of $1.42 million in property taxes, $325,000 in surplus funds and $142,206 in state aid.

In 2015, the municipal tax rate was 59.1 cents per $100 of assessed valuation and the average home assessment was $300,000. The owner of that home paid $1,773 in municipal taxes.

In 2016, the municipal tax rate is projected to be 62.1 cents and the average home assessment is $299,716. The owner of that home will pay $1,861 in municipal taxes – an increase of $88.

An individual will pay more or less in municipal taxes based on the assessment of his property and/or home.

In addition to municipal taxes, a property owner’s tax bill also includes Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes, Monmouth County taxes and other assessments.

The only planned capital improvement for 2016 will be the reconstruction of Carriage Lane at a cost of $225,000, according to Finger. Of that total, $124,100 will be covered through a state Department of Transportation grant.

The budget includes the following selected appropriations:

• Police department, salaries and wages, $599,870

• Municipal debt service, $212,550

• Employee group health insurance, $211,580

• Garbage and trash removal, $140,000

• Municipal court, salaries and wages, $113,100

• Police department, other expenses, $105,200

• 911 emergency service contract with Monmouth County, $55,000

• Street lighting, $32,500

• Municipal court, other expenses, $15,650

Englishtown has 13 full-time employees, which includes seven police officers, and 21 part-time employees. Personnel costs account for $1.22 million of the borough’s $2.36 million budget for 2016.

A public hearing on the municipal budget has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 27 at Borough Hall, Main Street. Residents may comment on or ask questions about the budget at that time. The council may adopt the budget that evening.

In other news at the March 23 council meeting, Borough Clerk Peter Gorbatuk read a letter of resignation from Councilman Rudolph Rucker, who stepped down from the governing body for personal reasons.

Rucker’s resignation was effective that day. Gorbatuk said Rucker served on the council for more than 25 years.

“We thank Councilman Rucker for his service to the community,” Mayor Thomas Reynolds said.

The Republican Party in Englishtown will submit the names of candidates to replace Rucker to the council and the members of the governing body will appoint one of those individuals to the governing body.

Gorbatuk said borough officials are working with Monmouth County to determine the length of the appointment. The term Rucker was serving runs through Dec. 31, 2017.