HomeMedford NewsMedford Council gives update on 2016 budget, no tax increase proposed

Medford Council gives update on 2016 budget, no tax increase proposed


After receiving the proposed 2016 municipal budget on Feb. 12, Town Council came to the public with an update at its March 1 meeting.

According to Mayor Jeffrey Beenstock, the budget originally given to council proposed a roughly one-cent increase in the tax rate, which is equivalent to a total of about $300,000. After council went through it and proposed changes, the township is now looking at no tax increase.

- Advertisement -

The total budget as it sits is $20.5 million, with $12.3 million raised through the tax levy. The 2016 budget is roughly $600,000 less than last year, and the amount of the levy is the same. The largest driver of that decrease, according to Beenstock, is the debt service that has decreased this year by about $400,000.

“As a result, we are able to keep the levy flat,” Beenstock said.

One part of budget is surplus, which is excess money from the prior years not used. Council decided it did not want to use more than 10 percent of the township’s total budget amount from surplus. According to Beenstock, he believes council is going to accomplish that this year and is actually using less surplus this year than last year.

The services the township will be providing will be at or above 2015, Beenstock said. The budget provides for the hire of a new police officer and the possibility of hiring more contractors for snow removal, with the idea that the township could hopefully take over snow removal duties from the county for county roads.

Beenstock also spoke on the township’s capital program. Financed through the issuance of bonds, it is required to include 5 percent of those bonds. Included in the budget is a capital improvement fund of $140,000 that would be available for down payments. If the township uses the full amount, this would allow Medford to issue roughly $2.8 million in bonds for capital improvements.

Items council is considering as capital improvements, but are not finalized are: $1 million toward Medford’s road program, which was $700,000 last year; the purchase of fire trucks, specifically a tanker and a pumper; the purchase of a dump truck for neighborhood services; completing funding for a new turf field; and the purchase of some equipment for police, primarily body and mobile vision cameras.

According to township manager Kathy Berger, there are only two outstanding issues to discuss, which are preliminary expenses for a municipal building/library and a long-range roads program. Berger suggested if council were interested in doing these items this year that it provides funding in the budget as part of capital improvements.

Preliminary expenses for a municipal building/library, which includes a rough idea of what design, development and schematic design might cost, are about $105,000. Berger said there is $40,000 already budgeted for the municipal building/library as a capital line item, but an additional $65,000 is needed.

As a long-range road program was one of council’s goals, a proposal from the township’s engineer’s office to put that entire program together would cost about $24,000. Berger said there is $11,600 from past road programs to use, leaving $12,632 to fund.

“The program will allow for (the township engineers) to go out and inspect every single road in the township, (which will take an estimated) 27 days. They would come up with a rating and a color-coded map of the condition of the roads, so we’ll have something for the future to use as reference,” Berger said.

Berger suggested adding these items to capital improvements rather than bond for them. Funding from these projects could come from the surplus, and there is some wiggle room from rough calculations. According to Berger, this is not going to change the township’s zero tax increase.

After another budget meeting with council last Saturday, the 2016 budget will be introduced at the next council meeting on March 15, and if approved, council will have a public hearing and adoption at the second meeting in April.


Stay Connected

- Advertisment -

Current Issue