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Milltown 2020 municipal budget reflects revenue, appropriation decreases due to pandemic, no proposed reductions in municipal services

MILLTOWN – Decreases in proposed 2020 budget appropriations and revenues are direct results of the novel coronavirus pandemic, borough officials said.

“It’s a tough budget year,” Council President Randy Farkas said, expressing appreciation for Business Administrator Jeanette Larrison and the council Finance Committee’s due diligence in putting together the 2020 municipal budget. “We have gone the distance on this, we stopped the bleeding, but we are not done.”

Larrison presented the $10.34 million 2020 municipal budget at a Borough Council meeting on July 13. The public hearing and final adoption for the budget are scheduled for Aug. 17.

Milltown officials will collect $6.68 million in taxes from Milltown’s residential and commercial property tax owners in 2020 to help fund the municipal budget.

The budget that was adopted in 2019 totaled $10.73 million and included a $6.51 million tax levy. From 2019 to 2020, the total budget is down $389,041.68, or 3.63%, and the total amount to be collected from taxpayers is up $169,790.35, or 2.61%.

The overall budget appropriations have decreased. Proposed salaries and wages, which total $3.91 million, will see a 6.16% decrease from last year, and pension obligation for employees have decreased $18,841 from $185,841 to $167,000.

Larrison said the projected municipal tax increase on a parcel with an assessed value of $163,207 is $61. There are no reductions in any municipal services and municipal infrastructure improvements are anticipated.

Municipal taxes account for a portion, 24.3%, of the total taxes that are paid by a property owner. The other taxes include school, county and library.

Milltown is expected to receive flat state aid of $387,169. Officials will use $338,000 from surplus funds (savings) as revenue in the budget in 2020; $70,690.32 in grants; and $321,401.78 through library property taxes.

Larrison said the borough saw revenue losses associated with the cancellation of a number of recreation programs and the Milltown Borough Pool.

In May, the borough’s Recreation Department announced the cancellation of all summer programs for 2020, which included the Milltown Borough Pool, the Milltown Summer School Age Child Care Program and the Milltown Albert Avenue Summer Recreation Camp.

In 2019, the Milltown Borough Pool brought in $125,000 in revenues and recreation brought in $92,000 in revenues.

In 2020, the borough is anticipating $50,000 in revenues from recreation, a 45.65% decrease.

The municipal budget includes the Water and Sewer Utility budget totaling $3.81 million and the Electric Utility budget totaling $7.55 million. The utilities are both self-liquidating.

Larrison said there are no rate increases or reductions in any services for water and sewer and electric utilities.

For more information visit milltownnj.org.

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