Woolwich Introduces Budget with Two Cent Tax Increase

woolwich webWOOLWICH TWP. — At their meeting on March 19, the Woolwich Township Committee introduced their municipal budget, which contained a two cent tax hike.

Homes that have been assessed at Woolwich’s average of $288,000 would see an increase of $57.75.

Woolwich CFO Will Pine said the town kept down costs that they could control. Mayor Jordan Schlump thanked Pine and Committeeman Dan Battisti working on the budget. Battisti called it a “very fiscally sound” budget.

“The budget process was pleasant and handled professionally,” he added. “Good job by Pine and the department heads.”

In liaison reports, Battisti was pleased to mention that a School Resource Officer had returned to Kingsway High School. Budget issues had forced Kingsway to privatize its security forces last year. Deputy Mayor John Carleton pointed out that the Woolwich’s Officer Stephen Spithaler  returned to Kingsway on March 12.

“It’s wonderful that the SRO is back in the school,” Carleton commented. “SROs need to be in our schools and school security is everyone’s responsibility.” The Kingsway/ Woolwich agreement puts one SRO and private security officers at the high school for the rest of the school year.

The Committee adopted a resolution authorizing the agreement between Woolwich and Kingsway to provide an SRO for the remainder of the 2018 spring semester at $315 per school day.

Carleton reported that the latest New Jersey school funding figures were out, and revealed that Kingsway had received $479,957 in additional funding. The deputy mayor maintained that still Kingsway remains significantly lower than many New Jersey towns as far as being in compliance with the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 for the next fiscal year.

“We will continue the fight until Kingsway gets the funding they deserve.”

Carleton also mentioned that the Business Development Advisory Committee sent a letter to local businesses regarding their participation in a Business of the Month program, and had received five responses by the date of the meeting. He also noted that the first Christmas Parade meeting was likely to take place in April or May.

In his police report, Battisti listed 1,533 calls for service by the Woolwich Township Police for February. “That’s mind boggling for 28 days,” he said. For Parks and Recreation, Committeeman Vernon Marino said local sports fields were now open. He noted that opening day for the Little League would be April 7.

Elsewhere, Schlump reported that Woolwich had received three new home applications in March. The mayor mentioned that the local kayaking event would not be held this year because the person who ran the events in the past had retired.

For Trash and Recycling, Committeewoman Gina Santoro said Woolwich’s Curb My Clutter program is moving along. Woolwich now collects used clothing and electronics at residents’ doors. Pickups are scheduled for free.

In other news, the Committee agreed to accept a quote of $15,000 from Northeast Mechanical to repair damaged light fixtures at Weatherby entrances. Also, Director of Community Development Matt Blake announced that there would be another delay in New Jersey Department of Transportation construction work scheduled for the intersection of Rt. 322 and Kings Highway.

“It seems like every year there’s a different excuse,” Blake explained. “This year they said they’re waiting for a permit.”

The intersection sees thousands of vehicles passing through it every day, and has been the scene of numerous accidents in recent years. Traffic includes school buses coming and going from the Kingsway schools.

Blake also pointed out that there were microbreweries interested in opening up in the community. “One stand alone ordinance would provide all the parameters for breweries and such businesses in our area.”

Santoro supported the idea, saying, “I’m all for it. The towns that have them now are thriving.”

by Robert Holt

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December 4, 2022, 9:21 pm
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