GLEN ROCK, NJ – The Borough Council introduced its $19.25 million 2018 municipal budget, which includes an increase of $48 annually for the average homeowner.

The public hearing is scheduled for April 25.

“We realize taxes are a burden, of which the municipal portion is only 20 percent,” councilwoman and finance chairman Arati Kreibich said on March 28.

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The councilwoman said that while increases in the areas of insurance, police services, and Department of Public Works are “nothing new,” the increase is still less than last year’s, which was $57 annually.

For the average home assessed at $563,170, taxes will total $3,320 annually.

“A $48 increase is something to be proud of,” Mayor Bruce Packer said. “Especially with all the expenses we can’t control.”

Packer said $250,000 is included in the budget to repair lower Faber Field, a subject of controversy for residents who voiced their opinions at the work session on March 26.

“If the borough left the field as it is, it would be irresponsible,” Packer said.

The budget does not include funds for the proposed Dog Park. Representatives of the Park had asked if the borough could fund a survey needed before construction begins. The borough denied the request, one that could cost the Park group $5,000 if an appropriate survey is not already on file.

After one resident complained about the confusing process of budgeting, including “little to no background” on the numbers, Kreibich said she understood his frustration.

“I took classes on the budget,” she said. “I completely understand your frustration and I know you attended almost all the budget hearings.”

Kreibich said the council plans a mid-year review of the budget on June 11, which is different than years past.

“We’ve asked our department heads to prepare earlier so we’re doing things less last minute,” she said.