MONTVILLE, NJ – The municipal budget was passed at the April 24 Montville Township Committee meeting, following more than an hour of impassioned public portion speakers in the June Witty Facebook censure situation. (Read about the speakers’ comments here.)

Township Administrator Victor Canning said over the past five years, increases have averaged 1.9% and this year’s increase is even lower, despite eight departments with no increases in appropriations. Where there were increases, they were modest, he said.

Canning announced that the tax increase will be 1.8446%, which will be an annual change of $59.84 for the average-assessed Montville Township home of $528,522 including the library tax, and $57.48 excluding the library tax. Canning was proud of the fact that there is a budget surplus, which is at almost $4 million.

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“It shows a healthy environment, because we planned properly with our tax assessor for appeals and negotiated settlements, and as a result, we will retain our triple A bond rating,” Canning said. Township Attorney Fred Semrau announced that the township has had 55 appeals filed.

Canning said he was also proud of the fact that every year of the six he has been with the township, debt has been reduced and the township has not borrowed more money than it has paid off on older debt. Almost $24 million has been paid off, he said. He credited the situation to the governing body. He said the situation needed to be noted because it’s very important, and due to a team effort.

Some of the highlights of the 2018 budget, provided by Assistant Township Administrator June Hercek, include the following:

  • $1,250,000 cost to continue road and infrastructure improvements.
  • NJDOT grant money to pave a portion of Horseneck Road, which includes sidewalks and ADA accessible ramps in proximity to the high school.
  • A Morris County Community Development Block Grant to install ADA accessible crosswalks, sidewalks, and ramps near Valley View Elementary School. 
  • The Community Park Playground will be renovated with all new playground equipment and recreational apparatus.
  • Continued security upgrades at municipal facilities.
  • Upgrades to the water and sewer infrastructure, including replacement and/or maintenance of storage tanks which will incorporate the possibility of increased storage capacity.
  • Continued improvements to the sewer pumping stations, specifically, the Riverside Drive pumping station.

Other News from the Meeting

The township signed an agreement to continue as a member of the Municipal Pipeline Group and extend the retainer agreement with John M. Scagnelli, Esq. as legal counsel to the Municipal Pipeline Group, not to exceed $15,000. The township joined the group of 12 municipalities two years ago because “these pipelines may pose a threat to the infrastructure, these pipelines do not directly provide the public with necessities, and these pipelines are designed to transport a variety of materials, including hazardous substances which, if a discharge occurred, will result in environmental degradation to the environment, including the land, water and air” according to the resolution. Semrau called the group “efficient” and “helpful” at monitoring any developments with respect to the pipeline, “especially with changes to federal and state administrations.”

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