Stafford Presents $49.6 Million Budget With No Tax Increase

With a 66-slide presentation specified by Township Administrator Matthew von der Hayden and Main Financial Officer Doug Gannon, Stafford Township publicly released its 2021 municipal spending plan, totaling $49.6 million, up pretty much 50 percent a million from 2020 but with no tax improve.
The price range will be formally launched at the April 13 council conference with a community hearing scheduled for May perhaps 11.
“This yr we labored very hard to place this finances together, with the finance committee (Councilmen Paul Krier and Anthony Guariglia, Gannon and von der Hayden). A ton of preparing and believed went into it.”
With COVID, “we experienced to refocus what we had been heading to do,” von der Hayden defined. All through it all, he explained, partnerships and sturdy communication with the law enforcement office and other companies and entities in the local community have been important.
Initially, he outlined some of the best hits of past year:
Making upgrades have been using area all over town corridor, to bring the growing older services up to day and enhance electrical power performance, as effectively as to put into practice COVID-19 protection functions and lively-shooter protections.
The city brought in $80,000 in Immediate Install rebates and incentives and a $12,000 grant for electrical car charging stations.
The parks have gone through maintenance and improve operate, many thanks to Stafford’s environment-class Public Is effective and Properties and Grounds team, whose talent sets conserve the city untold monies each and every yr in using on initiatives that in other municipalities would be contracted out.
When the bus shelter at Manahawkin Lake Park was changed last 12 months, the town partnered with the N.J. Department of Transportation and NJTransit to get new bus shelters in other elements of city, also, these kinds of as in entrance of the library and on McKinley Avenue. In addition to the NJDOT, Stafford has labored on building relationships with the NJ Turnpike Authority, to get some light-weight poles along the Parkway replaced, and with Ocean County, on street challenges.
In buy to support enhance the town’s bond ranking, von der Hayden has drafted a 10-calendar year funds approach and put other administrative insurance policies in area.
As for the year ahead, Gannon gave the home tax breakdown in a pie chart: 31% goes to the nearby university district and 10% to the regional district 20% goes to the county and a sliver goes to open space tax, leaving 39 % of the pie within the township’s handle.
The pretty much-100-page price range doc will be posted on the town’s internet site.
As for exactly where the town spends its dollars, Gannon defined the largest place of expenditure is public well being and protection (law enforcement, volunteer fire corporation, EMS, fireplace code official, animal regulate, other shared expert services). Up coming is coverage/health advantages/pensions, then general public is effective and landfill. Sixteen per cent goes to debt service.
In phrases of income, 5% is state assist, which has remained flat the previous 15 to 20 yrs, in accordance to Gannon. 9 p.c arrives from surplus. Property taxes make up 78% of the town’s profits.
In evaluating this year’s spending plan to very last, Gannon explained it’s up $443,000, of which $307,000 arrives from home taxes and the rest miscellaneous revenues. In the meantime, community health and protection expenses have gone up $516,000, typically because of to the interlocal arrangement with Barnegat Township dispatch services. Coverage and advantages are up $614,000 (half insurance coverage, half pension) and the personal debt provider and capital improvement money have gone down.
To the spending budget makers’ credit history, the price range comes in $661,000 underneath the state paying out cap and $1.2 million underneath the tax levy cap. Taxpayers will see no alter in the utility price, possibly.
The town’s total ratables are valued at $4.3 billion, the regular house fees $285,667, and the tax rate is 90.1 cents for each $100 of assessed assets price, similar as last year, with no dollar modify to the common home-owner, Gannon summed up.
The tax charge graph reveals a typically flat pattern about the final 8 or 9 years.
“One of the big objectives we have is to maintain that line secure,” he stated. “We never want to be all about the location and consider you on a roller coaster trip with your tax bill.”
In 2021, Stafford will shell out $8,272,000 on cash jobs during town: $1.5 million on roads just over $3 million on buildings and grounds (a ton of park updates) virtually $2 million on fleet/tools (DPW, PD) $1.2 million on the law enforcement section ($250,000 of that is for physique cameras) $60,000 on IT $90,000 on the fire firm (turnout gear and SCBA Air-Paks) $170,000 to EMS (communications process) and $250,000 to bulk scanning (document submitting for building office environment, clerk’s business). Yet another $6.34 million will be put in on servicing and advancement/rehab jobs in just the Drinking water and Sewer Office.  —V.F.

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