LIVINGSTON, NJ – On Monday night, the Livingston Town Council officially adopted this year’s municipal budget. Just as she did at the March 23 meeting, Township Manager Michele Meade presented amounts that would be allocated to each department, along with a comparison to 2014’s figures.

According to Meade, many of the items remained unchanged from the March hearing, including the budget’s objectives, which are to “provide quality services at an affordable price, while enhancing our [Livingston’s] long-term fiscal stability.”

As noted in the March 23 article, some highlights (with minor corrections) included:

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  • A $48,095 increase in allowable pension contribution
  • An increase in spending by about $647,000, or 1.9 percent
  • A decrease in the total budget by $818,507, or 1.9 percent
  • Net change in all non-tax revenues, (mainly attributed to surplus and debt-service reimbursements) decreasing by $1,796,739
  • An increase of $978,232, or 3.1 percent, in the property tax levy

This year’s municipal tax rate will equal 3.57 percent, as a result of the additional 0.45 percent coming from tax appeals on lower property assessments. With the average value of a home in Livingston being $604,123, this represents an approximate $95.20 increase per residence. 

Ordinance Updates Including One Regarding Edgemere Road

Ordinances 6-2015 through 10-2015 were all passed on Monday night, with the first three including bond ordinances toward community improvements (such as sewage utility and water) and the latter two being budget-related.

Ordinance 11-2015, which makes the stop sign at the intersection of Scotland Drive and Edgemere Road a permanent item, was passed unanimously. Coincidentally, last week, an accident occurred in that vicinity between Northfield Avenue and Edgemere Road. However, it is not yet clear where exactly the accident took place. Mayor Michael Silverman mentioned that the Council is currently waiting for copies of the police report.

Ordinance 12-2015, which increases the price of certified birth transcripts (from $15-$20) among other documents, was passed four votes to one, with Councilman Shawn Klein dissenting.

Proposed Ordinance 13-2015, which would permit the sale and consumption of beer for the 79th annual Fourth of July festivities on the Memorial Oval, was voted to a Second Reading on May 18.

Saint Barnabas Agreement, Other Resolutions Passed

Resolutions 15-121 through 15-128 were approved, including 15-127, which allows the Livingston Planning Board to improve Saint Barnabas Medical Center by adding a four-floor parking garage and a five-level west wing.

Resolutions 15-125 and 15-128 were removed by the Council.

Sewer Utility Employees Honored

Since May 3-9 is Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), governmental employees at all levels are being recognized for their service including those in Livingston.

This year, the Council honored the 11 employees of the Sewer Utility including the department superintendent Joe Greco, Jim Cooney and Mike Covello.

Silverman expressed his appreciation for all of those individuals in the unit.

“As I told the second graders that were here a couple of weeks ago, when you turn on your water and the water shows up, that’s a good thing,” said Silverman. “That’s what we do in Livingston and that’s what you guys do down at the plant. I thank you for everything you do every day.”

Street Construction

Walnut Street, from Eisenhower Parkway to South Orange Avenue, will be repaved beginning at the end of May. The exact date is yet to be determined.

Save the Date

Essex County’s Recycling Day for computers and electronics will be on Saturday, May 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 125 Fairview Avenue (next to the Old Hospital Center) in Cedar Grove. Residents must be prepared to show proof of residency. For more information, call 973-792-9060 or visit www.ecuanj.com.

The 2015 Essex County Job Fair will be held at the Essex County College Gymnasium in Newark on Thursday, May 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Registration can be completed online on or before May 18 and must be done on-site after that date. Those seeking more information can call 973-395-8415.