MICKLETON — The East Greenwich Township Committee introduced its municipal budget during their meeting on March 12, and it showed some familiar news. For the fourth straight year there was no tax increase included for the community.
Township CFO Kate Coleman reported that the budget came in at about $8.4 million, and East Greenwich will be spending about $100,000 less than they did in 2018. “Everyone did an outstanding job,” commented Township Mayor Dale Archer. “There is such a bright light here as we continue to move into the future.”
Archer said one project included in the new budget was the continued bolstering of the East Greenwich Police Department. “Funding is included to add two new full-time police officers, and two new police vehicles,” Archer noted. The town would be purchasing a new Chevy Tahoe and a “stealth police vehicle.”
Archer said East Greenwich would also be purchasing a Chevy Tahoe for the construction officials and a new tractor and heavy duty pickup truck for Public Works. “Along with that, the mayor said each East Greenwich employee would be receiving a two percent pay increase.
According to Archer, other 2019 projects included the installation of a beach volleyball court at Thompson Family Park by Public Works, next to the basketball court, and painting of the light structures at the football field.
Archer pointed out that East Greenwich was getting help from New Jersey with other plans. “We recently received a $50,000 Community Development Block Grant from the state”, he announced. “That money will be used at our football field, and we’ll be adding additional handicapped parking space at our ballfields to enhance the experience for our seniors,” Archer added.
Archer also highlighted the three warehouses that had proposed entering the community last year, saying that two of the three had already received approval from the Township Planning Board. He added that a fourth warehouse that has not yet been announced is expected to face the Planning Board in April.
The mayor credited employees, department heads and the other Committee members for their hard work. But despite being pleased with the budget result, Archer observed that reaching the flat budget this year had not come without snags.
“East Greenwich experienced a nearly 25 percent increase in sewer treatment charges that cost us $120,000 in unanticipated expenses,” Archer revealed. The enormous volume of rain has triggered many residents’ sump pumps to discharge into our streets and sewer, driving this increase in costs.” East Greenwich also had to cover a large increased payment to the Public Employee Retirement System and a significant increase in recycling and waste tipping fees, according to Archer.
“We were able to save a lot of money as well by doing a lot of the work ourselves,” Archer maintained. “We continue to set the example and raise the bar. I hope people appreciate the magnitude of what we’ve accomplished here, since East Greenwich Township remains one of the fastest growing towns in New Jersey.”
Elsewhere, the Committee accepted the resignation of Violations Clerk Desiree Rose. At the beginning of their meeting, the Committee paid tribute to Louis Marshall, the chairman of East Greenwich’s Senior Services Commission, with a moment of silence. Marshall passed away on March 4 at the age of 95.
Marshall received a proclamation from the Committee in 2016 for his Senior Services work. “He’s done a lot of work for the community,” Archer praised.
by Robert Holt