Logan Adopts 2017 Budget with Zero Tax Increase

logan twpBRIDGEPORT — At their meeting on March 21, the Logan Township Council adopted its 2017 municipal budget, which did not include a tax increase.

The budget represented better days for Logan residents, as the average home in the area had seen a $500 tax increase in 2016.

The township was hurt badly last year when Logan Keystone Cogeneration Company notified Logan that they wanted to renegotiate their existing pilot agreement. The Keystone Financial Agreement had represented 20 percent of the community’s revenue for over 20 years.

Deputy Mayor Chris Morris expressed pride in the new budget. “We really took one on the chin last year, and this time we were able to put together one that contains no tax increase,” he said. “As a member of Council and a resident, I’m proud of that.”

According to Administrator Lyman Barnes, the council created the budget by making a few cuts, using some of the community’s surplus, and help with new ratables and increased revenue streams. “Barring something unforeseen, we should be in good shape for the next couple of years,” he observed.

“Last year we explained what took place, and I believe the majority of people understood,” commented Mayor Frank Minor. “I thank the people who stood by us and believed in us during last year’s difficult time. We’ve taken all the steps necessary to be fiscally responsible.”

Minor encouraged Logan’s townspeople to get involved in the budget process. “Your input is welcomed,” he said.

In resolutions, Council authorized the appointment of Margaret Smith as Logan Township’s temporary Chief Financial Officer. “You’ve certainly earned the title of CFO,” Minor told Smith. “We have all the confidence in you.”

Elsewhere, in other resolutions, Council authorized creating and establishing the position of Economic Development Coordinator for Logan Township. They also approved the renewal of the Bridgeport Speedway racing license for the 2017 season.

Another resolution saw Council appoint Ray Guy to the Municipal Utilities Authority to replace their newest Councilmember, Art Smith. Council also endorsed submission of a 2016 municipal recycling tonnage grant application to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Recycling.

In reports, Minor credited Public Works Superintendent Mike Riley and his department for “stepping up” during the snowstorm from late March. Riley said Public Works had spent much of their time cleaning up the township since the storm.

Councilmember Doris Hall reported that Logan Township had earned $2,925 from the Joint Insurance Fund for outstanding performance, and recognition of the employees’ safety accomplishments.

Logan’s police report for February showed 1,600 calls for service, 190 summonses issued, and two DUIs. Council gave special recognition to a situation from Feb. 25 when Logan Township Police Sgt. Bryan Haas and K-9 partner “Hunter” assisted Woolwich Township police on a motor vehicle chase. “Hunter” sniffed a car where narcotics had been taken, and apprehended the suspect who had attempted to flee on foot.

by Robert Holt

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