‘It is a good budget’


Share post:

Hopewell Borough Council members have adopted a $4.3 million municipal budget that includes a 3.5-cent tax increase.

The budget which was introduced in early April funds borough operations for 2024.

- Advertisement -

Council President Krista Weaver, and Council members David Mackie, Samara McAuliffe, Sheri Hook, and Heidi Wilenius voted “yes” to adopt the budget at a Borough Council meeting on May 2.

Councilwoman Debra Stuhler was absent from the meeting.

“It is a good budget. We kept all of our services and added a few projects,” said Diane McDaniel, chief finance officer (CFO) for Hopewell Borough.

The tax increase of 3.5 cents increases the projected borough tax rate for property owners to 74.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

The owner of an average assessed home at $400,000 would pay $2,996 in municipal taxes.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s total tax bill, which also includes school taxes and Mercer County taxes.

The amount an individual pays in taxes is determined by the assessed value of his/her home and/or property, and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

Borough Administrator Doug Walker said there were some “pretty major” increases to the budget the borough had to account for this year.

The increases include a $73,000 increase for Hopewell Township police, an $11,000 increase to the Hopewell Township Board of Health, a $23,000 increase to Mercer County Recycling, a $23,000 increase for solid waste and a $18,000 increase for information technology (IT).

“We are out to bid for solid waste on May 22,” Walker noted. ‘We anticipate the price going up, so we estimated $23,000 for that,” Walker added. “We needed to do some work around our IT systems (cybersecurity). We are upgrading some of our equipment for internet and other items.”

Hopewell Borough’s municipal appropriations are expected to be $4.3 million in 2024.

Residential and commercial property owners support the budget appropriations through a tax levy.

This year’s total tax levy is projected to be $2.5 million.

For revenues, the borough proposes to use $630,000 from surplus as revenue in the budget, which is an increase of $30,000 from the previous year.

“Our fund balance is very healthy. We did use $630,000 in this budget for revenue, but I’m fairly certain that we will return that as we have in the past,” McDaniel said.

Other revenues include: $354,000 in sewer rents; $320,000 reserve for debt; $190,000 in state aid, which is close to a $10,000 increase from aid received in 2023; $172,344 from energy receipts; $43,000 in interest and costs on taxes; $25,000 from the Railroad Station rentals and $14,000 from fines and costs from municipal court.

Hopewell Borough’s budget covers the cost of general government, public works, salaries and wages, shared service agreements, and insurance.

For appropriations, the budget would fund $1 million in municipal debt service, $669,573 in shared service agreements, $264,107 to the Stoney Brook Regional Sewerage Authority, $255,900 for public works, $237,517 for insurance, $206,500 for sanitation, $132,254 towards maintenance of the Hopewell Borough Public Library; $105,000 towards the sewer system and $80,300 for utilities.

There were decreases in this year’s budget – a $37,000 decrease in salaries and $28,000 decrease in general engineering.

“Our general engineering is down,” Walker said. “What we are doing is making sure that we charge the engineering to the projects. We still need money for the general because there are things we still need to do that don’t fall within a specific project.”

The municipal budget also includes some project items such as the Newell Place water main replacement, Newell Place road reconstruction, replacing four water leaks on East Broad Street, systemwide water leak detection, 13 sanitary sewer casting replacements, Railroad Station exterior restoration and Public Works Facility Restoration.

Stay Connected


Current Issue

Latest News

Related articles

Hopewell Valley will remember the fallen

Unlike Veterans Day where people across the United States thank living veterans, Memorial Day takes on a more...

‘Make no mistake, the need is great’

With a snip of the scissors, Homes by TLC, HomeFront and developer Lennar celebrated the completion of a...

‘We are grateful’

The Watershed Institute has been awarded an American Water Charitable Foundation 2024 Water and Environment grant to expand...

Hopewell Township adopts 2024 budget with small tax increase

Property owners in Hopewell Township will experience a small tax increase after the Township Committee adopted a $27...