CALDWELL, NJ – The average Caldwell home, assessed at $420,307 according to Borough Administrator Paul Carelli, will see a $41 increase in municipal taxes after the council adopted its 2017 municipal budget on Tuesday.

The total budget is to be approximately $7.5 million, with the biggest increases coming from health insurance and legal fees, according to Tuesday’s presentation.

After tabling the ordinance at the June 7 meeting, the Caldwell council passed one on Tuesday that allows greater borough regulation of retail pet stores. Prior to the vote, Larry Cohen of the Humane Society of the United States asked the board to act prudently on this topic.

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Council President John Cascarano said that he received new information about this topic and read about 150 violations that breeders had.

“Some breeders were cited with euthanizing dogs by gunshot to the head, unclean conditions where animals were kept and operated on,” he said.

Dassing added that she read that there is a finance company that leases pets.

“I want to write a letter to our senators and assemblyman asking for them to sponsor a bill that no living thing can be leased,” she said.

In other news, Borough Administrator Paul Carelli updated the council on the negotiations with the police health insurance. He relayed to the PBA that the plan being presented to them is better than the one they have now.

“This plan will save them 17.8 percent on contributions and co-pay will go from $15 to $0 with Horizon still being the provider,” he said.

The council hopes to hear from the PBA by July 15.

The council also celebrated the 100th birthday of Thomas Joseph Calandra. Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing and West Caldwell Mayor Joseph Tempesta presented Calandra with a plaque and a clock “for the next 100 years.” The presentation is pictured above.

During the mayor’s report, Dassing said that the Caldwell Public Library is now a historic site, the first landmark in the borough.

The next council meeting is scheduled for July 18.