Police, DPW Budgets Likely to Remain Steady
Barring any major storms over the next few months, both the police and DPW budgets should stay within their allotments for the rest of the year.
Between a mild winter and the addition of two new patrol officers, both the River Edge DPW and Police department budgets are currently within their yearly allotments. And barring any major weather incidents they could remain within budget, although DPW Superintendent John Lynch warned 2013 would be tight.
"This year for road maintenance we put down 86 tons of road patch," Lynch said. "This time last yeat we had put down 73 tons, so we're above and still have five months left in the year. We'll need to address this in the 2013 budget along with building and grounds due to the addition of the park buildings maintenance."
According to Lynch, his 2013 budget will also have to look for increased funding for maintenance to the fire department's chief's vehicles as the 2001, 2006 and 2007 vehicles for Chief John Mauthe, Assistant Chief Gregg Cariddi and Deputy Chief Eric Schultz all need additional work.
"In years past it was just the chief that had a car and both the assistant and deputy chiefs used their personal vehicles," Lynch said. "That changed in 2005 and 2006 so there is added maintenance and tires."
Lynch's budget is also taking a hit due to Rescue 1 from Company 2 was transported to Ruscon in Congers, NY for repairs over the weekend after it would not start. Normally, maintenance to the fire trucks are done in-house but one of two DPW mechanics is out with an injury and the other was away at the time.
But Lynch has been able to save money in the budget due to a large balance of road salt left over from this year's mild winter and finding leftover funding in the diesel fuel line items. He warned that any savings could be comprised by any major storms over the next few months though.
Following their completion of training with the River Edge Police, patrol officers Renata Sanchez and Anthony Roman have helped fill the department's "hemorrhaging" overtime costs. Similiar to the DPW's concerns of a major storm in the future, the police department could face a hike in overtime costs with one officer still recovering from a shoulder injury and the upcoming retirement of Sgt. William Haggis.
"As of the end of June, overtime costs were approximately $77,000," Police Chief Thomas Cariddi said. "Both April and June were in excess of $16,000 in overtime and July should be in the same ballpark due to waiting for an officer to return to limited duty and vacations coming up in August. The next two months will be tough while I wait for the officer to return and the upcoming retirement."
Last month the Mayor and Council approved Cariddi's request to seek one additional patrol officer to alleviate any upcoming increases in overtime. He expects to present potential candidates in the coming months.
The department is also in the process of replacing two patrol cars in the coming year as the Crown Victoria police cruiser model is being discontinued. Cariddi recently attended a police expo in Atlantic City were he reviewed a Chevy and Ford vehicles that are intended to service law enforcement.
"Both have something to offer but I'm looking at what equipment we currently have in the cruiser and if its interchangable from the Crown Victoria to a newer model," Cariddi said. "If we can do that, it would help save money if the funds are available next year for an outright purchase."
The Council previously heard from the smaller departments who all stated they should remain within their budget allotments for the year.