WEST CALDWELL, NJ — Following a public hearing on the 2017 municipal budget for the Township of West Caldwell, which includes a $64.92 property tax increase for homeowners, the mayor and council unanimously voted to approve it.

Mayor Joseph Tempesta, Jr. began the hearing by thanking everyone who helped put together the budget together.

“We started this budget process back in September or October and it took a lot of time and effort to come up with the 2017 budget while still addressing all the same services we have been providing our citizens with over the years,” Tempesta said.

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Borough Administrator Adam Brewer highlighted some of the key details of the budget. In total, this year’s total general appropriations is $19,511,006, which is an increase of $400,577, or 2.1 percent. This is a result of increased health insurance, pensions and debt services.

However, the amount spent on salary and wages in the township is currently down by 1.7 percent, but is expected to increase due to a number of new hires anticipated, according to Brewer.

“We are expecting a number of new hires on the police department and other areas so unfortunately we expect that number to change,” he said.

The capital budget totals $2.6 million.

Brewer also reported that the approximately $64.92 increase is on the average property, which is currently assessed at $437,900.

During the public hearing, no residents came forward with questions on the budget.