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WLB Council Budget Helped by 98% Collections

Mayor & Council thank retiring tax collector Charlotte C. Rolly for quarter century of service

West Long Branch:  The March 21 meeting was prefaced by the presentation to retiring Tax Collector Charlotte C. Rolly for her quarter century of excellent service to the borough.  Mayor Janet Tucci thanked her on behalf of the borough, and said tax planning for the year was greatly aided “by the awesome record of a 98% tax collection rate” thanks to Rolly’s diligence and hard work. Councilmembers thanked her personally, warm best wishes.

The municipal portion of the 2012 budget will reflect a small increase of 2.2 cents per hundred, Tucci announced.  For the average home valued at $471,322 it means an increase of $103.69 per year, or $8.64 per month. The public budget hearing will be April 18 at the next Council Meeting.

The mayor thanked the Chief Financial Officer Gail Watkins, Borough Administrator John Kennedy and the Department Heads for “their insights and diligence in preparing the report to the public.” She said the focus of officials “continues to be to provide a superior level of service to our residents with special emphasis in the areas of public safety and public works.” They have kept the municipal tax rate as low as possible without reducing services, she added.

Some departmental increases came about that are out of borough control, such as contractual obligations relating to court security, insurance and pensions and debt services.

On the revenue side, State aid has remained the same at $786,169, while courts revenues and funds from shared dispatch services with Oceanport increased a bit. Construction fees are off, but the borough gained by a boost from the Avalon Bay property on Monmouth Road.

Some revenue surplus monies, partly from the library fund transfers, will be used, leaving the Surplus balance about $60 thousand under the year before.

Capital budget provisions will cover street and curbs improvements, police and public works needs and provisions for the fire and first aid volunteer departments. Some funding comes from cost under runs from the past year projects.

The Poplar Avenue disposition remains a “Work In Progress”. Council approved hiring an architect to help determine what it will take to resolve the issues about demolition, and the separation from the adjoining library building.

The flooding and dangerous trees situation on Ridge Road will be taken care of with the assistance of the Monmouth County Mosquito Commission. DPW will assist the Shade Tree Commission by planting five small trees obtained free from Princeton Nursery. Long Branch DPW assisted with trucking the trees to the borough. The DPW completed their work on playing fields and other problems. Some work must be done by a private contractor.  

“Finally,” Councilman Steve Cioffi said, “the fallen wall at Franklin Lake Park will be fixed by the county bridge department at no cost to the town.”

Read more from: West Long Branch

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