WESTFIELD, NJ — Town Administrator Jim Gildea gave a Power Point presentation on Westfield’s proposed $38,671,928 municipal budget for 2014 to the public at Tuesday night’s town council meeting. (See photos, above.)

Among the budget’s highlights:

  • Proposed hiring of one additional firefighter and one additional police officer.
  • $200,000 budgeted for the capital improvement fund to be used for down payments on improvement projects, such as fixing sewers, re-turfing fields and especially fixing roads (up from $5,000 last year).
  • An increase of spending of less than one percent over last year.
  • Total salaries and wages to remain below 2006 levels.
  • Health insurance costs for town employees will be reduced for the second year in a row as employees continue to contribute more.

Gildea noted that Westfield has the highest property values in Union County, which also means that Westfield residents pay the highest amount of taxes to Union County. While Westfield residents pay high tax bills, he said, less than 17 percent of that goes to the Town of Westfield.

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A public hearing regarding the proposed budget will be held May 6. Mayor Andy Skibitsky said that any questions about the budget can be emailed to Budget@WestfieldNJ.gov. The presentation will be posted in the near future at www.westfieldnj.gov.

More on this town council meeting to come.