Proposed Budget Calls for $1.5 Million in Capital Bonds
The $14 million River Edge municipal budget will have an $142 increase on taxpayers
With an introduced $14 million municipal budget, the borough of River Edge is also looking at the highest bonds and interest amount to be included since the 1970s. The borough has proposed $1.5 million in capital bonds towards infrastructure upgrades to the municipal buildings.
"The total payment on bonds and interest is $1.5 million," Councilman Johnny Porco said. "It's the most it has ever been since the 1970s and our budget in 2000 was $10 million as opposed to the $14.3 million today."
"This council inherited an infrastructure that is falling apart at all of the buildings to to correct those wer need to spend money," Councilman Alphonse Bartelloni said. "It's unfortunate we have to do that but when you're facing critical infrastructure needs to be done. I think we worked really hard to get to the numbers we're at and hopefully we're turning a corner."
Among the numerous items included in the 2012 capital budget is the public safety/borough hall generator, replacing the roof at the public library and department of public works, tearing down the American Legion, new HVAC systems at the library and Borough Hall, a small generator at Fire Company 2, storm sewer rehabilitation on Voorhees Avenue and narrowband radios for the police and ambulance corp.
"The generator is 20 years old and has been exposed to several floods," Fire Chief John Mauthe said. The generator costs also include raising it above the flood level. "Company 2 usually goes underwater during major storms or hurricanes. The most recent technician to come in had difficulty getting the repair parts and most of them come used. My recommendation is to raise it by atleast 36 inches but it should probably go up 40 to 48 inches."
One item that had twice been rejected from the capital budget was the replacement of the DPW tree truck. It was later added back into the budget following concerns of diesel exhaust fumes entering the truck's cabin while employees are operating it.
"The truck is in need of numerous repairs which have been put off for the past two years," DPW Superintendent John Lynch said. "The fuel injectors, fuel pump and cables to move the pistons need replacement. It was also damaged during the October snowstorm."
For an average assessed home of $436,000 the taxpayer would see a $142 increase as part of their contribution to the $11.7 million tax levy.
Driving the increase in property taxes is a continued loss of revenue - approximately 5% this year. Outside of the tax levy, the borough's approximate revenue from parking lot fees, an interlocal snow removal agreement with Bergen County, police outside duty, and a reserve for sale of assets totals $65,000.
A public hearing on the municipal budget is scheduled for April 2, 8pm in Council Chambers.