NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - The city council postponed adopting the 2019 municipal budget at Wednesday's meeting pending what City Administrator Daniel Torrisi said was a review by the State Division of Local Government Services.
The proposed tax rate increase of 3.4 cents results in an annual increase of $109.66 for an owner of a property assessed at $ 271,307.
During the meeting, Torrisi listed several roads and public works projects listed in the budget.
Torrisi, reading from a prepared statement, said that roadway improvements to Joyce Kilmer Avenue, Georges Road and the intersection of Easton Avenue, French Street and Spring Street are accounted for in the budget.
He also said the budget accounts for renovations to the interior and exterior of the public library and an improvement in technology in the municipal court.
"This budget continues the pursuit of the Parks Master Plan with citywide improvements including new playing fields, dog parks, fitness stations and additional water features throughout the city parks system," he said. "Residents will also look to enjoy a new soccer court in Harvey Street park, renovations to the Buccleuch Park Bandstand, update of the Memorial Stadium scoreboard and extended walking and jogging trails in Alice Jennings Archibald Park."
Torrisi also said that shared service agreements will save the city money and in some cases expand services. He said New Brunswick shares sewer infrastructure and animal control services with North Brunswick, health services with the county and youth services and public safety with the city's board of education.
One resident asked why body-worn cameras for the city's police were not included in the budget.
"Why won't the police director (Anthony Caputo) put this in the budget if he supposedly supports this policy and my understanding is the political leaders in the city also support it, they're just not funding it," he said. "Why not? It's been years since (there has been) expressed interest in doing this? Why can't we find the funds?"
"Well, as my father used to say, there's only so much coming in, therefore there's only so much going out," Council President John Anderson said. "We have to make obviously decision the best we can. Obviously, it's still up there, we would still like to see it sooner or later."
Capt. J.T. Miller, who was at the meeting, was asked if there was any chance money could be allocated for the body-worn cameras in the near future, he said, "The president said it best, budgetary concerns."
The $94.52 million municipal budget with a levy of $35.52 million was passed on the first reading in April.