NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Board of Commissioners adopted a $40,597,138.75 municipal budget during the public meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco was absent excused.
They also included with the approximate $40.6 million budget, $1,275,613.25 for the minimum library tax.
Revenue and Finance Commissioner Thomas J. Evans said the township was able to secure $3,025,000 in transitional state aid. Nutley Board of Commissioners were able to cap the township tax increase to 2 percent this year. “Even though the aid was lower than what we asked for $4.1 million, we held to that commitment so there will be no tax increase other than what was originally programmed,” he said.
There will be no adjustment of the November tax bills. “It’s been a little bit of a wild ride, as you might think for a moment we did all of the upfront work with a lot of support from Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, leading the way with Joe DiVincenzo our Essex County executive and the full support of the Board of Commissioners,” said Evans.
According to Evans the township stayed at the $4.1 million transitional state aid through the state budget adoption, however, after the post-budget adoption the governor quarantined areas of spending which included the entire transitional state aid pool due to reservations and changes in the revenue stream. The pool is still quarantined, however Evans said Caputo and others helped make a compelling case for the governor’s office to assist the township. “After tonight’s meeting we would not be able to operate as a municipality because we would in fact run out of money and statutorily we cannot adopt or introduce another temporary budget which would in effect approve the entire budget for the year which we hadn’t adopted,” he said.
The Board of Commissioners cut spending to keep the township tax increase to 2 percent. The budget was introduced in the spring at 3.85 percent. Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci negotiated lower medical rates, reducing the cost by a $0.5 million. There was a water utility deficit amount included in the budget and that issue has also been resolved. The public safety budget was reduced by $150,000.
“As a board we have to demonstrate to the community that we can live within our means,” said Evans.
Cumulatively since 2014 the township has received over $24 million in transitional state aid. “We have to fight for, and justify every year, why we need that money. […] It saved [every homeowner] probably close to $2,500 since 2014,” said Evans.
Evans said what’s helped the township is the branding and rebranding of the Hoffmann-La Roche site. The site holds a Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University, Modern Meadow, and soon Ralph Lauren.
A public hearing was held on a budget amendment to reduce overall spending by approximately $1 million and includes the addition of the $3,025,000 in transitional state aid.
The next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1.
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