HOLMDEL, NJ - The Holmdel Township Committee will consider the adoption of their 2020 budget at the regular meeting slated for June 24th. Originally discussed during th May 26th meeting, the budget includes the annual expenses and revenues for the 10th largest town in Monmouth County with a population of about 17,000.
The budget document provides a clear view of the distribution of taxpayer funds. A public presentation by the Township Administrator in May also shows the relationship between the contractual reality of increasing costs and methods to address it. In Holmdel, a heavy use of the surplus fund has been key.
Surplus - In 2020 and 2019, the surplus fund was largely depleted. Specifically, in 2019 the municipality utilized fully 99.41% of the surplus. 2020 will see 80.94% of the surplus cash used to reduce the increase otherwise required.
Schools - Historically, the property taxes from the Bell Works location were paid to both the schools and the town and were one of the driving forces behind the development and support of Holmdel's top rated school system. Since redevelopment converted the method of payment to a PILOT, the township has chosen to not pay the schools as the law does not require it. Other towns have passed ordinances sharing the revenue but Holmdel does not. This lack of funding is reflected in the school budget instead. The school budget has become a political football in town. However, the board is required to provide a thorough and efficient education by law. In the event there is a shortfall, such as with the PILOT, the funding must be maintained if other cuts cannot be made.
Police - Other elements of the municipal budget (slated for discussion and adoption on Tuesday, June 24th) are contractual increases to labor agreements such as the police department. The Holmdel Police Department budget has an increase of about $100,000. The departments table of organization also shows five open positions to fill.
Debt - The town's debt service is up nearly $800,000 (a 55% jump from last year).
Fire - The Fire Department request for 2020 includes a request for planning and budgeting for a career division of the Fire Department. They shared concerns with the Township Committee that 'Holmdel continues to suffer from lack of adequate volunteers to provide standard fire protection."
The entire presentation can be read HERE.
Overall, the total general appropriations for 2019 was $24,409, 186. For 2020, total general appropriations, according to the introduced budget is set at $25,084,009.