FAIR LAWN, NJ — For the fourth 12 months in a row, the Borough Council has held the $55.5 million municipal funds to a 0% tax enhance, an achievement for any 12 months, however throughout COVID, it is much more of a feat.
The council unanimously handed the funds on March 16. Municipal taxes are the lesser portion of a property proprietor’s invoice, with roughly two-thirds of the invoice emanating from the colleges.
“The key motive why we have not needed to elevate taxes in 4 years on the municipal aspect is due to our concentrate on long-term planning,” Deputy Mayor Cristina Cutrone stated. “Yr after 12 months, we’ve made selections which have put us in an extremely financially sound place.
Deputy Mayor of Group Affairs Josh Reinitz highlighted this 12 months’s funds, not simply throughout probably the most earlier council assembly, but in addition in considered one of his current Fb posts.
“This 12 months, regardless of the pandemic, we have been once more in a position to maintain the road and never elevate Municipal property taxes,” Reinitz stated. “That is solely potential with the numerous hours of labor by our Borough Supervisor, CFO, and our division heads.”
Reinitz provided the next gadgets within the 2021 funds:
- 2x per week rubbish choose up expanded by 2 months (Might and September added)
- Summer season live performance sequence expanded by four weeks
- Plans to assemble a twig park and a canine park at Memorial Park
- Elevated stipend quantities for volunteer first responders
- Devoted funds for Group Policing program.
- A sergeant for Visitors Security Bureau
- Buy of physique cams for law enforcement officials
- Added crossing guards at troublesome intersections
- Funding in financial growth methods for downtown areas and native companies
Cutrone stated this 12 months, the borough refinanced its debt “at a a lot decrease rate of interest.”
“We additionally moved to a shared providers settlement with the county within the engineering division,” she stated. “As an alternative of hiring a brand new city Engineer upon the retirement of Ken Garrison, we determined to work with the county, and we have been in a position to discover a strategy to share that function since we’ve such an environment friendly and efficient Engineering Division.”
“We additionally made some selections this 12 months to not exchange some positions the place we had retirements however as an alternative have been in a position to do some restructuring with out having to rent extra employees,” Cutrone stated.
The borough has elevated the constructive aspect of its spreadsheet, as nicely.
“As a result of we’ve been so targeted these previous 4 years on growing our providers on the town, Honest Garden has grow to be [an] extraordinarily fascinating [place] to reside and to open a enterprise, which has led to a rise in our rateables,” Cutrone stated.
And whereas the borough has been the beneficiary of federal COVID reduction funds by means of the Cares Act, roughly $470,000, Cutrone stated the borough was “poised to have a funds with no enhance with out that cash primarily based on good budgeting.”
The plan for these funds has not but been launched.