SPOTSWOOD–The Borough Council approved a resolution adopting a $15.4 million municipal budget to fund the various operations and services provided by the municipality.
Mayor Edward Seely said the total municipal budget amount is $15,462,738, which consists of two separate entities that include the current F=fund amount of $11,850,978 and the water-sewer utility amount of $3,611,760.
The 2019 total municipal budget amount was $14,879,570, which is a $583,168 increase, according to information provided by the borough.
“[The current fund] … budget provides for and maintains the same level of services that borough residents currently enjoy. The borough continues to aggressively pay down debt,” Seely said.
The council approved a resolution adopting the budget during the council meeting on May 4 via video conference. Seely delivered his annual municipal budget presentation.
Seely said the budget provides for personnel increases throughout the borough, including new personnel and anticipated contractual increases for existing employees. The use of surplus to offset taxes was increased by $30,625 and revenues anticipated were also increased in order to minimize the 2020 tax increase, which may impact future budgets, he said.
Seely said the costs the borough has no control over include the increase in recycling costs of $60,000 and the increase in reserve for uncollected taxes of $10,000.
Borough Administrator Dawn McDonald said the local tax levy is $7,413,575 compared to the 2019 local tax levy amount of $7,129,075, which is a $284,500 increase.
McDonald said the municipal tax rate is $1.00 compared to the 2019 municipal tax rate amount of $0.96, which is a $0.04 increase.
The amount of money from surplus being used as revenue in the budget is $1,170,519, which is a $30,625 compared to the 2019 surplus used as revenue amount of $1,139,894, according to McDonald.
McDonald said the total state aid amount is $715,651. Although state aid numbers have not been released, municipalities have been advised that no municipality will receive less than last year’s amount. The 2019 municipal budget’s state aid amount was $715,651.
McDonald said the average assessed home value is $255,913, which means residents will see an annual increase of $98.76 or a monthly increase of $8.23. The 2019 average assessed home value was $255,481, which is a $432 increase.
“The borough does not have any input or control over school, county or library taxes. There is an increase in our health plan costs related to the new full-time personnel being hired,” McDonald said.
Capital improvements are in the budget include a new ambulance for EMS; three police patrol cars; a new masonry dump truck for the Department of Public Works; diesel heated asphalt transporter hot box for Public Works; milling, resurfacing and line striping of Old Stage Road; various roadway improvements offset by a New Jersey Department of Transportation grant of $555,000; and the dredging of Devoe Lake funded by a $2.5 million state grant.
McDonald said the council authorized the hiring of an additional police officer in April. In addition, the former part-time Borough Clerk Assistant Alyssa Guglietti was upgraded to a full-time deputy municipal clerk retroactive to Jan. 1.
“Last, but not least, funds have been allocated in the budget to create two new part-time positions [that include] deputy municipal court administrator and a human resource officer in the mayor’s office,” McDonald said.
McDonald said the borough’s Utility Manager Fred Walter retired on May 1. This position has been filled by the borough’s current Utility Operator Kevin Busund.
None of the borough’s departments are being eliminated or consolidated.
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