NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Board of Commissioners held a teleconference public meeting Tuesday, April 21. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the public meetings for the remainder of the 2020 year have been moved online through Zoom until further notice. All five commissioners were present via the phone.   

Revenue and Finance Commissioner Thomas J. Evans announced that the township has secured the commitment for the transitional state aid to allow for the commissioners to confidently move forward and introduce the municipal budget on May 5.

Nutley is receiving approximately $2.8 million in state transitional aid. The township requested $3.25 million and is still trying to receive the rest of the $0.4 million in aid from Trenton.

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“I am expecting 3,250,000; 85 percent of this has been approved and the remaining 15 percent is pending final approval. The zero increase on the municipal levy is based on the 85 percent,” said Evans.

With this year’s aid, the total Nutley has received since 2014 is $28 million. “Having the aid has really strengthened our negotiating posture when it comes to the decisions that we have to make with the redevelopment of the Roche site […] and second it allows us to actually make other investments that otherwise we would not be able to make,” he said.

Normally transitional aid only covers the municipal portion of the tax, however Nutley has been receiving full dollar coverage since 2014, which includes with the municipal, school and county taxes.  “[…] $14 million of that has been able to go to our schools for the benefit of our children [which] otherwise would have created a hardship, and could have [caused] layoffs of teachers. We also have been able to make important investments in public safety…,” said Evans.

Evans is in talks with Trenton about the stability of the aid. “The aid is transitional, we have been negotiating with the state to make it permanent, and we are very close to move forward on that… The transitional aid has been very important to us and to our budget.”

According to Evans, the board has been preparing for a crisis and due to those preparations there will be no tax rate increase to the 2020 municipal budget. He said in order to not have an increase the commissioners had to each figure a way to absorb $2.5 million collectively. “I don’t do that alone, that’s something this entire board does, and we work together every year on the budget to make sure we can manage our way through that,” he said.   

Evans said he has been in talks with the county, and he believes there will also be no increase in Essex County taxes.

The 2020 municipal budget will be introduced at the Tuesday, May 5 Board of Commissioners virtual public meeting. However, although not finalized, the school budget is reflecting a 2.2 percent increase.

The next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 5 via Zoom.

To gain access to the meeting go to Password: 876956. For those without computer access or mobile device you may dial into the meeting at:  (number based on your current location) US: +1 929 205 6099; +1 312 626 6799; +1 301 715 8592; +1 346 248 7799; +1 669 900 6833; or +1 253 215 8782. Meeting ID: 988 0592 1694.

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