CALDWELL, NJ – The average Caldwell home, assessed at $420,307 according to Borough Administrator Paul Carelli, will see a $27 increase in municipal taxes if the 2017 municipal is adopted as it was presented at Tuesday’s borough council meeting.

The budget will be released to the public in full on May 25, prior to the public hearing on June 20 at 7 p.m. at the municipal building.

“This is great work by the finance committee and our borough administrator,” said Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing.

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Councilman Thomas O’Donnell said that creating the budget was a bipartisan effort with Councilman Frank Rodgers.

Meanwhile, Council President John Cascarano told his fellow council members that he spoke to the health department committee about a children’s health initiative.

“I would like to start this summer and some ideas I have include: planting a garden, cooking classes, etc.,” he said. “These would be activities that nursery/kindergarten kids and older can do with their guardians and we welcome any ideas citizens may have.”

During the mayor’s report, Dassing said that the fire department recently held a successful dinner at the Cedar Hill Country Club in Livingston, where awards were given to volunteer firefighters.

“Working in town, I had no idea how many times you hear the sirens,” Councilman Richard Hauser said.

Dassing agreed, stating that even at 3 a.m., “these volunteers get up, dressed and perform their duties and it was nice to meet the families at the dinner.”

Carelli told the council that his team has another meeting with the consultant representing the PBA on the health care plan that was proposed.

The borough administrator also explained to council members that a representative from the Essex Regional Health Commission visited the sewer plant and came away impressed with the steps the borough has taken.

Due to a recent fine from the Essex County Health Department issued to the borough for having a strong odor from its treatment sewer plant, Carelli announced on Tuesday that a representative from the Essex Regional Health Commission visited the sewer plant and came away impressed with the steps the borough has taken.

However, he also noted that the health department has not responded to the letter he sent regarding the fine and the council’s invitation to have a representative attend a meeting to explain it.

A concerned citizen asked the council to look into the matter of voting locations within the borough. Anderson Cole told the board that he volunteered this past election and saw notable differences from people who voted at Lincoln School versus the Community Center.

“I had people coming up to me asking why was our location moved,” he said. “People were frustrated with how long the lines were and then finding out that they were on the wrong line.”

Cascarano, who was also a volunteer this past November, said that the county runs the elections and where to vote.

Cole suggested that the location for elections be moved back to the middle school, but O’Donnell said that parents were concerned with voters entering and exiting the school during school hours.

The next meeting of the borough council is scheduled for June 6 at 7 p.m.