BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The final 2019 municipal budget is coming to Bridgewater Township, but it’s not done quite yet.
The Bridgewater Township Council held a public hearing on the budget April 15, although no one from the public chose to speak about it. The municipal operating expense for the budget is given as $44,526,977, while the sewer operating expense is listed as $14,336,566.
Last year’s actual budget came in at around $41.7 million in all.
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The budget is scheduled to come before the council for adoption at the May 6 meeting. The governing body’s agenda session for May 2 has been canceled, according to a notice posted outside the council chambers.
The council last week also unanimously approved a resolution for $10,490,622 in emergency temporary appropriations, or funds to keep the town and government running until the municipal budget is passed.
Last month, the council established a cap bank for the 2019 calendar year, which was not about spending, but is for in case the township requires it in the future. It also approved budget transfers of $328,000 in March, for appropriation reserves.
Also at the council’s most recent meeting, a resolution was passed that authorized the municipal Office of Emergency Management to accept funds from the New Jersey State Police Office of Emergency Management’s subgrant award of $10,000. Naples said that this is an annual occurrence, and the township both qualifies for and accepts that grant each year.
The council also authorized the expenditure of $322,305 from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to maintain the affordability of housing units in the project known as the Cross Roads Condominiums, located at Cain Court. The $322,305 consists of a grant for $183,714 and a loan for $138,591.
Township attorney William Savo said the Cross Roads condo board has been taken to court, and the condo residents are now in charge, although they do not have enough funding for emergency work. The resolution allows the township to save five or six market-rate residential units, and also prevents the need for additional construction.
The council also authorized a program to purchase extensions of affordability controls in certain “for sale” affordable housing units, by utilizing funds from the township’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, pursuant to the township’s approved Affordable Housing Trust Fund spending plan. Savo said that that flexibility had been built into the spending plan, while council president Matthew Moench said it will keep affordable housing units in the program, with no additional units having to be built.
The township had previously satisfied its Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) requirements, something that is mandatory in all New Jersey municipalities.