East Greenwich Committee work on proposed 2022 operating budget

EAST GREENWICH – The East Greenwich Budget Workshop took place on Tuesday, March 8, as a part of the township’s regular meeting. This workshop is one of many steps the township will proceed through in order to review departmental budget requests and create the East Greenwich Township Budget Plan for 2022.

East Greenwich currently boasts several different aspects of the township budget, including their sustained surplus and the fact that the township has not raised taxes in six years.

“I see a bright future for this township, for our surplus, and the future of our budget as well,” Jack Grudem, the township CFO said in his address to the East Greenwich Township Committee.

Sustaining the township’s surplus has been difficult this year, according to Mayor Dale Archer, as the budget for 2021 had been tight due to rising costs relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gas and health insurance were two items the mayor cited specifically. The township currently supports a police force of 22 individuals and 12 public works officials that have vehicles necessary to their jobs, making the near 45 percent increase in fuel prices throughout the nation particularly damaging.

“We had some large numbers [costs] that really impacted the budget this year where we really had to tighten our grip,” Archer said. “It was imperative for us to be able to strive and work very hard to get us to having another 0 percent [tax raise].”

Another important aspect of the 2022 budget proposal will be a 2.5 percent pay increase for all township employees. Although this may not be the rate of inflation for the year, Archer and the committee hope that the increase will at least “make a dent.”

The East Greenwich Township Police Department noted that, due to a change in schedule, they were able to decrease overtime on the force. In regards to the 2022 budget, the police department is hoping to prioritize updating their various software and required body cameras in addition to their traditional operating expenditures.

The township meeting also saw the approval of several resolutions by the committee members. One such resolution regarded changing the name of a portion of Jessups Mill Road to Gattuso Lane in order to ease confusion regarding emergency calls for South Jessups Mill Road, where emergency vehicles were being incorrectly dispatched.

The committee also authorized a traffic study to be conducted at the intersection of Jessups Mill Road and Cohawkin Road for the placement of a stop sign.

By Berry Andres

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