CHATHAM, NJ - The municipal budget for the Borough of Chatham will cost taxpayers an additional $46.22 in 2014 for an average assessed home of $660,000, according to the presentation at Monday's council meeting.
Robert Falzarano, borough administrator, gave two thorough power-point presentations, indicating that the capital outlay for the borough in 2014 will be under $1 million at $942,140.
The total budget of $13,877,710 represents an increase of $215,717 or 1.58 percent. The tax levy is $8,360,434, representing an increase of $142,802 or 1.74 percent. The total tax rate is .406 and increase of .007 or 1.75 percent over 2013.
The 2014 budget will be formally introduced on March 10 and the budget adoption is set for April 15.
The borough recently announced a 10-year strategic plan to keep up with capital outlay projects while lowering long-term debt. One of those goals was achieved by keeping the capital outlay under $1 million.
Falzarano pointed out the challenge for future budgets will be to narrow the gap between taxes, which stand at $8.3 million and shrinking revenue, projected to be $5.5 million in 2014.
"The key is not to abandon the infrastructure, but rather focus on how to maintain it to the best of our ability," Falzarano said. "Because if you don't maintain the infrastructure, I can tell you that you can save money and tax dollars this year and next year. But, you will put this borough back into the same situation it was 10 years ago when we were spending $4 million a year on capital, $3 million dollars a year on capital because the infrastructure was not being maintained."
In other business, it was reported that the borough paid out $33,000 in overtime pay for snow removal during this winter's storms and another $25,000 in the purchase of salt. Robert Venezia, director of public works said that Chatham had no trouble getting its supply of salt. Deliveries usually arrive with two or three days, according to Venezia.
The borough has budgeted $65,000 in overtime pay this year and $30,000 for salt.