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Metuchen’s proposed municipal budget maintains borough services

METUCHEN — Two new garbage trucks, a new tree stump grinder, and milling and paving projects are proposed in Metuchen’s 2018 municipal budget.

Members of the Borough Council voted to introduce the $19.9 million budget at a meeting on March 19.

A public hearing and possible adoption is set for April 16.

Officials said the 2018 spending plan represents a 1 percent increase over the 2017 municipal budget.

“The proposed budget maintains the level of borough services while providing funding to purchase two new garbage trucks to replace outdated trucks in poor condition and also a new tree stump grinder for public works,” Borough Administrator Jay Muldoon said.

The tax levy for 2018 is $13.2 million and represents the amount of money to be collected from Metuchen’s residential and commercial property owners to support the municipal budget.

Officials said the tax levy is up $873,507 from 2017.

Muldoon said the budget includes a $1 million contribution from the Metuchen Parking Authority and anticipated surplus of $1.35 million.

Muldoon said the municipal tax rate is expected to increase from 1.23 cents to 1.28 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in 2018.

The average home in Metuchen is assessed at $201,798 and the owner of that home will pay about $2,581 in municipal taxes this year, which is an increase of about $100 from 2017.

Muldoon said Metuchen’s estimated total tax rate for 2018 is $6.027 per $100 of assessed valuation, which includes municipal taxes, Middlesex County taxes and Metuchen School District taxes. For a house assessed at $201,798, the total property tax bill will be about $12,156.

Muldoon said the proposed budget also provides milling and paving for borough streets.

“That (paving) will be in addition to the repaving of Route 27 by the (New Jersey Department of Transportation) and Main Street sidewalk improvements that are planned,” he said.

Muldoon said funding has been provided for pedestrian safety improvements on Grove Avenue near Metuchen High School and funding for continued engineering work on the New Jersey Avenue sewer pump project.

The proposed 2018 budget is posted on the borough’s website at www.metuchennj.org.

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