Major Tax Hike In Logan’s Budget

logan twpby Robert Holt

BRIDGEPORT– During their budget meeting on March 26, the Logan Township Council introduced their 2016 municipal budget which, due to a renegotiated deal with Keystone Cogeneration Company and the Logan Generating Plant, will mean a large property tax increase for residents.

This will be a $500 tax increase for the average home assessed at approximately $188,000 per year.

Administrator Lyman Barnes explained that there had been a loss of revenue for the township resulting from a decline in gross revenues for Keystone Cogeneration Company and the Logan Generating Plant. Barnes and Solicitor Brian Duffield renegotiated Keystone’s pilot financial agreement.

The Keystone Financial Agreement has represented 20 percent of Logan Township’s revenue for over 20 years. Council decided it was in the best interest of the community to increase taxes by 25 cents to stabilize the Logan Plant.

The township also has placed a moratorium on capital projects for 2016.

At their meeting of April 19, the Council received an update on the quality of Logan Township’s water from source New Jersey American Water. Logan Mayor Frank Minor sent a letter to American Water requesting a report after the contamination situation that took place in Michigan.

All of Logan Township’s water was determined to be compliant, according to NJAW Director of Operations Carmen Tierno. “All sampling in Logan has come out meeting standards,” Tierno declared.

Tierno assured the Council that his company has resiliency. “We’ve made improvements ahead of time to keep the chemicals out of your water,” he asserted. “We’re always out there, but you don’t know we’re there.”

Minor questioned the life expectancy of the current water mains, and was told it ranged from 30 to 100 years. Tierno said there was more information for residents available on the American Water web site.

Minor emphasized, “We want to do everything we can to ensure that not even one child is affected by lead.” Lead levels in water that exceed Environmental Protection Agency standards could cause serious damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous system and red blood cells. The greatest risk is to young children and pregnant women.

In resolutions, Council approved payment of $34,481 to Levy Construction Company for recreational improvements to Township Line Park. Councilmembers Stephen Dougherty and Bernadine Jackson said they were impressed by the work done in the park.

Also, Council authorized a project by Think Pavers Hardscaping for Library recreation site improvements.

For Public Works, Superintendent Mike Riley reported that his department collected 150 tires to be delivered to landfill for Tire Amnesty Month in March. Public Works also replaced mulch at the municipal building, and began cutting grass at Township buildings.

Logan Township Police Chief Robert Leash reported that the local force answered 1,637 calls for service during March. Leash also announced that he had attended courses for additional training in his position earlier this year. He was promoted to Chief of Police at a Council meeting in January.

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