MADISON, NJ - The Madison Mayor and the Council has unanimously approved the 2020 municipal budget during their council meeting on Monday evening, April 27th.
There are three major changes to the budget that was approved in comparison to the preliminary budget discussed back in March. The changes are the following:
- A 1% tax increase instead of a 2% tax increase. The council stated that this is important given the current economic uncertainly;
- $200,000 in additional operating funds which can be used on COVID-19 related expenses. This is partly due to the fact that Hartley Dodge is currently on restricted access and the Senior Center is closed. The Council stated that they didn't know what the future will bring, so they set aside funds in the budget as a just in case. The surplus allowed them to make these changes.
- An indefinite hold on proceeding with non-essential capital projects
The budget includes $7.8 million in capital dollars for 2020 and over $30 million for capital improvements over the next five years for roads, utilities and critical infrastructure. An electric dividend and a water meter project are included in this year's budget, as well.
To see the complete Madison Budget, click HERE
"Yes, we are approving the budget for 2020", said Mayor Conley. "But it is with a view to the outlying years. We settled on this budget because 2021, 2022 and probably 2023 will all be challenging years".
"We are ready for the long run", said Conley. "I think it's an extremely fiscally responsible budget and I congratulate my colleagues, both elected and the professionals for putting together such a strong budget".
Resident Pat Rowe voiced his disappointment that the council was passing the budget today.
"I am still disappointed that you are going ahead with passing the budget tonight", said Rowe. "I really feel having some time to understand what's going on with the finances in the community and seeing what the actual tax collections look like for the month of May before you set a final budget is something I would have pressed for."
"We still have the opportunity to make adjustments if COVID-19 places undue hardship on our community", said Astri Baillie, Council Liaison for Public Safety. "Madison is in great shape and I think we are continuing to keep it in great shape".
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