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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 , replacing the roof at the and , , new HVAC systems at the and , a small generator at , storm sewer rehabilitation on Voorhees Avenue and narrowband radios for the and . 

"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.

Alphonse Bartelloni March 06, 2012 at 06:36 PM
The article is incorrect. The present debt service is a little over $1.5 million dollars a year or approximately 10% of the total budget. The 2012 budget calls for $1,000,000.00 in capital improvements with $800,000 of that on just four items. $300,000 to replace the HVAC system in Borough Hall, $250,000 for a tree truck- replacing a 17 year old vehicle, $150,000 to repave roadways and $100,000 to alleviate flooding on Voohees Avenue. Originally, our departments came to the Council with 2.3 million in requests and the list was reduced to the essentials.
Alphonse Bartelloni March 06, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Revenue to the Borough from surplus, grants and state aid, etc., was reduced by almost a $1,000,000 from 2011 to 2012. So even though there is a 2.23% reduction in the budget from 2011 to 2012, $14,551,737.99 to $14,262,064.93 there is an increase in the tax levy. Had it not been for an increase in the fees from the Bergen County Utility Authority over $105,000, or emergency appropriations for Hurrican Irene and the October snow storm of $174,000 from last year, the budget could have been almost $280,000.00 less. This budget is still $500,000 less than the Borough budget in 2008.
Michael Barry March 07, 2012 at 02:42 PM
It figures...as soon as we get a Democrat Mayor taxes go up and they argue against the much needed reassessment. HOPE AND CHANGE, River Edge style.
GGT March 07, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Mike: The residents voted for the fell good candidates, who deny River Edge has serious problems. The Republicans who ran on a platform of fiscal discipline and making the hard choices that need to be made, only to cave in when there is residents opposition. And so the madness continues. Just remember there was a time when we had one of the lowest property taxes in the county, now we have one of the highest.
Michael Barry March 07, 2012 at 03:35 PM
That's my point. This new Democrat mayor was and is against the reassessment. My house was over valued by over 80,000 dollars and he said we didn't need a reassessment. Now his first major act in office is not to cut the fat from government and LEAD but to raise taxes more and chase more seniors and families out of town. I'm sick of it!!!
GGT March 07, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Mike: Agreed, Leave, that is what I am doing.
River Edger March 12, 2012 at 05:05 PM
That's an ignorant statement. We had a Republican mayor for 12 years. Did your taxes go up in those 12 years? I'm guessing they more than doubled.
Michael Barry March 12, 2012 at 07:40 PM
You call me ignorant but you don't have the courage to leave your name. I'll change it for you from "RIVER EDGER" to plain old COWARD.
commonsense March 12, 2012 at 08:09 PM
The Council controls the budget. The Mayor is only the tie breaking vote. Currently and for the past few years the Republican party has controlled the Council and therefore the budget. There are 4 Republican council members and 2 Democrat council members.
Michael Barry March 12, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Thank God there's only two Democrats on the council, but we also have that Democrat mayor who argued against the reassessment. Taxes are horrible now; could you imagine the taxes we'd be paying if tax and spend liberal Democrats were in the majority! These school referendums are killing us.
GGT March 12, 2012 at 10:23 PM
TEST
River Edger March 13, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I called your statemnet ignorant, not you. And I'll call myself whatever I please, thank you.
All4one March 13, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Actually, prior to 2010 the River Edge council consisted of 6 democrats. It was only in Nov 2009 did two democrats lose their seats. Jan 2010- Dec 2010 it was still a democratic majority...4 democrats and two republicans. It was Jan 2011 when republicans took the majority of the council, 2 republicans defeated democrats in the Nov 2010 elections. So it was NOT a republican majority for a "few years" as you have stated...it has only been 1 yr and three months! You are correct in saying the mayor has only the tie breaking vote....let"s not forget it was a republican mayor with a democratic majority for the 10 years prior to 2011, in which she had NO vote.
Michael Barry March 13, 2012 at 08:36 PM
I guess we see what the Democrats did to this towns fiscal health when they had six Democrats on the council. I am told that River Edge had one of the lowest tax rates in Bergen County. Now we're among the highest, yet the Democrats will blame the Republican majority who are FINALLY trying to undo the damage they wrought for so long.

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