MADISON, NJ - The Madison Borough Council decided Monday to reconstitute the recreation committee that will draw up a master plan that includes the turf fields at the forthcoming Madison Recreation Center.
“We are going to pull from governing bodies in town, for example, the environmental commission, the board of health, the board of education, the park commission, representatives from Drew University, etc., ” said Councilman Robert Catalanello.
The Madison Recreation project has been subject to its fair share of public scrutiny, with the public questioning the appropriation of $3.5 million dollars to the project and questions about the health safety of the turf material used on the fields.
Councilman Conley made it clear that the reconstituted body should strive to develop a master plan for the full 45 acre site, not just the 10 acres for the turf fields.
2011 Budget Discussion
The council produced a healthy banter on the proposed municipal budget on Monday night, with the most agreeable action perhaps being the low hanging fruit of eliminating select municipal services.
Borough Administrator Ray Cody suggested that the borough could save between $60,000 and $100,000 by asking residents to bag leaves for a weekly pickup and restructure garbage pickup frequency, especially in the winter months.
“If you don’t make these cuts the question is who do you want to lay off and who do you want to furlough because we are at that point,” Cody said.
The Council heard a proposed 2001 municipal budget from borough chief financial officer Robert Kalafut, whose worksheet distributed at the meeting suggested a 5.87% increase in taxes over 2010.
“We are going to have to make some cuts,” said Councilman Don Links Links. “It’s our responsibility, but I will not go though with the kind of increase that you have right here. It won’t get my vote.”
Kalafut said that the 2011 Municipal Tax Levy of $13,478,711 represents an increase of $747,521 or a 1.35% increase in the Total Tax Levy or $145 per household assessed on a home of 400,000.
Councilman Sam Cerciello suggested the board was not looking at the budget issues from the right perspective.
“We should look at it from the opposite end and ask how can we bring more money in to the borough,” Cerciello said.