MICKLETON — The East Greenwich Township Committee introduced their 2018 municipal budget at their meeting on Feb. 13, and it included no tax increase. This marked the third year in a row that the community’s budget included no tax hikes.
Mayor Dale Archer notes that in 2017, East Greenwich bought new vehicles for its police, public works, fire department and construction department, upgraded its telephone systems in the township buildings, and improved the lighting in its sports parks, all within its budget. Archer added that the town debt has been reduced from well over $20 million to below $18 million since 2014.
Highlights from the 2018 budget include replacing police vehicles every year, construction of two outdoor basketball courts at Thompson Park, adding full time employees to public works and the police department, a new rock salt shed for public works, and the building of a new fire house.
Archer mentioned that 2017 also featured the first water rate reduction for East Greenwich residents in five years. “We are setting the standard for other communities,” Archer said.
The mayor pointed out that East Greenwich’s anticipated surplus will be close to their goal of $2 million set five years ago.
Elsewhere, after a public hearing, the Committee adopted a bond ordinance that appropriated $2,280,200 for improving the township’s Well No. 3. East Greenwich shut down Well No. 3 about four years ago after testing found high levels of the unregulated chemical perfluoronananoic acid.
The Committee applied for a grant from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust program in 2017 to help with the costs of a filtration system to remove it. The NJEIT supplies funding and financial aid for New Jersey water related issues.
Under new business, the Committee discussed using a traffic study to lower the speed limit on Friendship Road. It is currently set at 40 miles per hour. Archer said the town’s Director of Traffic Safety wants to get that reduced because there have been a number of accidents on that road over the past few years.
Archer explained that the township engineer goes out on the traffic study for about a month and brings back his recommendations.
Also, the Committee accepted the retirement notice from Ronald F. Mertz Sr. as Building Inspector effective on March 31. “It’s a true loss for the township,” commented Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri. “He’s lived in the township for a long time, and served with us for a long time.”
— by Robert Holt