Spotswood council adopts $14.8M municipal budget for 2019

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SPOTSWOOD – The Spotswood Borough Council has adopted a $14.8 million municipal budget for 2019 to provide funding for the operations and needs of the municipality.

Mayor Edward Seely delivered his annual municipal budget presentation on April 15 during the council meeting.

Using slides and pie charts, Seely said this year’s current fund is $11.35 million and the water-sewer utility is $3.5 million. The total municipal budget $14,879,570, which is an increase of $493,212 from 2018.

Seely said factors impacting this year’s budget include Spotswood providing police services to neighboring Helmetta since 2018, which resulted in the hiring of three new police officers. The use of surplus funds (savings) to offset taxes has been reduced by $181,949.

Costs over which municipal officials have no control are an increase in pension costs of $57,000 and a $30,000 increase in the reserve for uncollected taxes, according to Seely.

Borough Administrator Dawn McDonald said the total tax levy for 2019 is $7.13 million, which is the same as 2018. The tax levy is the amount Spotwood’s residential and commercial property owners pay to support the budget.

The municipal tax rate in 2018 was 96.4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The municipal tax rate in 2019 will be 96.2 cents per $100, according to McDonald.
In 2018, the average home in the borough was assessed at $254,916 and the owner of that home paid about $2,457 in municipal taxes.
In 2019, the average home in the borough is assessed at $255,481 and the owner of that home will pay about $2,457 in municipal taxes – the same amount as in 2018.
Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Spotswood school taxes and Middlesex County taxes.
The amount an individual pays in taxes is based on the assessed value of his home and/or property and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.
In 2018, surplus anticipated as revenue in the budget was $1.32 million. In 2019, surplus anticipated as revenue will be $1.14 million, according to Seely.
This year’s state aid revenue will be $715,651, the same as in 2018, according to the mayor.

No new municipal employees are being hired and no municipal employees are retiring. No municipal departments are being eliminated or consolidated, according to McDonald.

Seely said this year’s total capital improvements cost a $50,000 down payment.

McDonald said the capital improvements will include road improvements to Adirondack Avenue, Phase I, which is offset by a New Jersey Department of Transportation grant in the amount of $542,200; renovations to the Main Street firehouse; the purchase of a new Quint Aerial firetruck to replace a 1991 Pierce Pumper; the purchase of a new backhoe/loader for the Department of Public Works; municipal building security upgrades; new flooring at the Office on Aging; improvements to sanitary sewer pump stations; and rehabilitation of the George Street water treatment plant.

For more information about the 2019 budget, visit www.spotswoodboro.com/borough-council

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.