HomeMedford NewsTownship: Taxes may not increase

Township: Taxes may not increase

Medford Township taxes may not increase $122 per average assessed home of $330,013 as originally proposed, according to township manager Chris Schultz.

Schultz made the proposal at the Feb. 25 meeting.

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The council has since explored options at the March 2 budget workshop.

According to Schultz, council discussed how to handle the reserve on uncollected taxes as a solution to the proposed tax increase.

“They’re looking at the rut. They think they can reduce the levy to a 0 percent increase,” Schultz said. “At the end of the day it looks like they’re trying to reduce it.”

Council was preparing the budget for formal introduction at an additional workshop meeting scheduled for March 12.

“Their goal is to have the budget adopted on state deadlines,” Schultz said.

The budget was delayed last year due to the state. In 2011, the budget was delayed until October.

“Over the last few years they’ve tried to tighten it up. Last year we were ready to go but because it was a referendum, we were waiting on the state’s ‘blessing,’” Schultz said.

The objective is to have the budget adopted by April, according to Schultz.

In other news, concerns about the Pinelands Library Branch continued after Freeholder Leah Arter sent a follow-up letter on Feb. 22 to the township council.

Arter sent the township council a letter on Feb. 13 reviewing the “unacceptable offer” made by the council and outlined a proposal to refurbish the facility.

According to Schultz, the township council’s status has not changed and it remains interested in drafting an agreement taking care of the accumulating maintenance costs of the building.

The council is looking to close a one-year contract in which the township would receive $30,000 to reimburse the township for repairs, a detail acknowledged in the first letter sent by Arter.

The latest letter cites the township and county’s inability to connect and agree over the matter.

An ongoing point of contention between the township and the county is disagreement about the Medford Library Association, a now-defunct non-profit group.

“They are concerned with the MLA, and to get themselves reinstated,” Schultz said.

The association is in the process of updating its filings with the government, so this “concern” should be resolved very quickly, Arter said in the letter.

“Let’s get the agreement done and sit down with the county on changes,” Schultz said.

“By rejecting our offer, Medford Township will continue to be subject to the prior agreement, which does not provide for the $30,000 one-time maintenance and utility reimbursement for 2013 contained in the proposed agreement,” the letter said.

The council has since responded to Arter.

In other news, the new sign ordinance was adopted.

In 2012, the council reevaluated and reworked the wordage in the sign ordinance. Following review by the planning board, it was adopted on second reading, according to Schultz.

The next township council meeting will be held March 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Public Safety Building, 91 Union St.

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