MICKLETON — The East Greenwich Township Committee introduced their 2020 Municipal budget at their meeting on March 24. In accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act and due to the impact of COVID-19, this particular meeting was being broadcast electronically on Facebook Live. The highlight of this year’s budget was the fifth consecutive year that the Township had seen a zero percent tax increase.
Mayor Dale Archer said the Committee was proud to introduce a zero percent municipal tax in such an unprecedented manner in the state of New Jersey. “We will also be giving back to our employees a well-deserved five percent pay increase, and additional health care cost will not be forwarded to our employees but part of our budget,” Archer explained. “We will be purchasing new vehicles to continue to bolster our fleet for the Police Department, Fire Department, Public Works and Construction Department.”
In keeping with East Greenwich’s goal, Archer stated that the township plans to hire a twentieth police officer in 2020, along with a part time clerk. He said that funding for evidence locker software and body cameras were also included in the budget.
He noted that Public Works plans to complete projects of paving the East Greenwich Little League and soccer parking lots and the one for Kingsway Youth Football and Jessup Mill Road will be using grant funding from the New Jersey Department of Transportation for their work this year.
The mayor added, “The purchasing of new high-tech cameras for the municipal building, baseball, football, soccer and public works facilities throughout the township will provide an increase in security and safety.”
“We continue to be fiscally responsible with a prudent financial management plan that bolsters our surplus, strengthens our credit rating and reduces our overall debt.” Archer summed things up, “ I give an enormous amount of credit to our department heads, chief financial officer and township committee for their courage and grit in putting the residents first, but still ensuring the township has the tools, training and employees that are subject matter experts to provide the highest degree of customer focus and operational excellence.”
Elsewhere, the Committee approved a bond ordinance that would provide for various 2020 water and sewer improvements in the community. Archer pointed out that the ordinance was for the addition of more modern and updated water meters.
Another bond ordinance that was adopted allowed for various capital improvements. One more
ordinance allowed Timberline Road to remain a no parking zone.
In resolutions, East Greenwich adopted a COVID-19 Personnel Policy and amended its personnel manual accordingly. The Committee also authorized the execution of Office Business Systems, Inc. Maintenance Agreement authorization running April 19, 2020 through April 18, 2021 for a cost of $1,237.00. Archer mentioned that this was for the municipal building’s phone system upgrade.
Mayor Archer mentioned the local people who have been providing extra help during the pandemic, such as Deputy Mayor Jim Philbin, the Office of Emergency Management, the Police Department and the Fire Department. “It is important that we use social distancing, and sheer common sense when we protect our families and ourselves,” he observed.
Viewers were reminded that while the times were so hard all over, East Greenwich Township should be sure to support their local businesses. “Keep our economy open, and their lines open as well.”
— by Robert Holt