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Sea Bright Waiting For Sandy Grant Before Budget Approval

SEA BRIGHT: Sea Bright officials will wait to approve the 2014 budget, which tops $9.21 million and has a slight tax rate decrease, until state agencies agree on the amount of a superstorm Sandy grant the borough should receive. Borough officials are hoping to add $1.8 million in grants to the budget, but expect a decision in May.

The municipal tax rate would be $0.772 per $100 of assessed property, making the municipal tax paid by the average residence $2,847.73. Sea Bright Chief Financial Officer Michael Bascom said the average home in 2014 is assessed at $368,400, which is up from last year after Sandy destroyed a large portion of the ratables base.

The total proposed budget is $9,121,245.50, with the amount to be raised by taxation will be $3,610,896.41. That’s a larger budget and larger tax revenue than 2013, when last year’s tax rate was $0.775. The amount to be raised by taxation is up $139,739.06, while the budget is up by about $1,446,800 over 2013.

The budget impact of superstorm Sandy continues, with a lost ratable base, special emergency appropriations, a community disaster loan, and costs of rebuilding affecting various revenues and spending in the proposed budget. However, department budgets are stable over 2013, said Bascom.

Sea Bright applied for the maximum state Community Development Block Grant, specifically an Essential Services Grant, for $1.8 million, and with such a large grant possibly impacting the proposed budget, Bascom said this makes the proposed figures very “preliminary.”

“Because of the impact of Superstorm Sandy, the Borough of Sea Bright is dependent upon assistance through the CDBG Essential Services Grant Program," Bascom said. "This budget anticipates the maximum allowable funding under this program. However, the State has not yet determined what the actual share will be for Sea Bright."

“If the Borough is fortunate enough to receive the full share, than the numbers to be reviewed this evening will be accurate,” Bascom said before Tuesday’s council meeting. “If the state awards a different funding amount, this budget will be amended and a second hearing will be conducted prior to adoption.”



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