MICKLETON — East Greenwich Township is on track to introduce its 2018 budget in January, according to East Greenwich Mayor Dale Archer. Archer made the announcement at East Greenwich’s Committee meeting on Dec. 12.
East Greenwich introduced its 2017 budget in March. If the January submission happens, it is believed to be the earliest budget introduction in the community’s history. East Greenwich came into existence in 1881.
A budget workshop meeting was scheduled for eight days after the Committee meeting.
“We are setting the standard for other communities,” Archer asserted. “By introducing our budget in January, it shows we have confidence in our ability to handle our budget and our finances.”
The mayor added that indications were that the 2018 budget would be the third year in a row with a zero percent tax increase for East Greenwich.
The community had a surplus of less than $16,000 for 2014, and it rose to about $1.5 million by 2017. Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri pointed out that along with building the surplus, East Greenwich has also paid off millions of dollars of its debt at the same time.
“This has been a testament to the hard work of the Committee and the employees,” Bottiglieri said. “I’m proud of the efforts they have put in.”
Elsewhere in new business, the Committee adopted an ordinance that amended its Water Service System code after a public hearing. This measure added two tier rates between minimum usage and average figures, and allows residents to see a two percent water rate reduction.
Archer has said that 65 percent of East Greenwich residents use 20,000 gallons or less per quarter, and most users would be seeing a more significant saving.
In resolutions, the Committee adopted a resolution that would execute an architecture contract on a new firehouse. East Greenwich and Mt. Royal want to sell the Mt. Royal station. “Our intentions are to look into building a new firehouse,” Archer explained. “The majority of the cost will be funded by the fire company.”
The Mt. Royal firehouse has not been an active station for over four years now. Archer insisted there would be no interruption of service because of the sale.
Another resolution awarded a four year maintenance contract on Water Tower No. 2 to Utility Service Company, Inc. on a bid of $23,414.00 per year. Also, the Committee adopted a resolution authorizing the township clerk to advertise internally to hire two full-time public works employees.
The Committee also authorized the purchase of four 2014 Caprice police vehicles. Archer explained that a previous measure that allowed for the purchase of two Ford Explorers would be rescinded with this resolution.
In November, the Committee approved the purchase of two 2018 Ford Explorer SUVs, but was able to get a better price on the Caprice vehicles. The Explorers cost $88,000, while the four 2014 vehicles were $20,000 each.
East Greenwich included $100,000 in this year’s budget for the police vehicles. “The four Caprice vehicles were sitting in a lot in New York, and have about ten miles on each of them,” noted Archer.
Archer remarked that the township’s Christmas Tree Lighting at Thompson Park the night before the meeting had been outstanding. “According to the police department, an estimated 2,200 to 2,500 people attended the event.
The mayor observed that the Public Works Department and the local police had things well organized, and went “above and beyond the call of duty.” Archer also pointed out that everything that went on at the lighting came from donations or grant money. “Just an overall phenomenal event,” he added.
by Robert Holt