HomeMedford NewsMedford Town Council passes tentative budget to be approved by the state

Medford Town Council passes tentative budget to be approved by the state


After holding two budget meetings over the previous three weeks, the Medford Town Council officially introduced the 2016 municipal budget to the public at last week’s meeting.

There is no tax increase anticipated for this year, and all municipal services are projected to be at or above 2015 levels.

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While the council was pleased with the job done by Township Administrator Kathy Berger getting the numbers all within the township’s projected expenses, there were a few details they wanted to iron out before passing the budget and sending it to the state for approval.

The surplus stood out as a concern in particular to Councilman Frank Czekay. The township was over and above what it anticipated to bring in in terms of revenue last year by about $1.3 million. It also has about $1.1 million reserved from last year’s budget, as it anticipated spending $21.6 million and only ended up spending $20.4 million.

“So we’ve got about $2.4 million coming into 2016,” Czekay said.

Two years ago, council passed a resolution indicating it would hold a targeted 10 percent of the previous year’s revenue. It is currently at about 12 percent with this number.

“So the question is do we do something with that overage or do we just let it run into surplus?” Czekay asked.

Council was in agreement that the amount was not big enough to decrease the tax levy, but it could be put toward purchasing something.

“Instead of going out and borrowing money, why not use it to just buy some of the things we were going to borrow for?” Czekay asked.

“If possible, I would like to use as much of that as we could to defer borrowing money,” Councilman Chris Buoni said. “There are going to be some capital expenditures we have going forward that we could potentially use that money for.”

However, Mayor Jeff Beenstock said he was reluctant to reducing the township’s fund balance because it is nice to have for the following year’s budget. The fund balance at the end of 2015 was roughly $2.5 million, and the township is currently using a little more than $1 million of that as a source for this year’s budget.

Another concern of the council that was discussed was the $8.4 million budget for water and sewer when it has assembled $3.5 million in surplus over the past four years from this expenditure.

Czekay proposed the idea of having another analysis done to see if the township is charging proper water and sewer rates since it is building more than $1 million a year in surplus from what it is charging.

However, Deputy Mayor Charles Watson pointed out that this surplus could disappear quickly after a separate road study it is conducting is completed and it starts repairing some of the water mains that have issues under these roads, though he did agree with Czekay in regard to conducting an analysis of the rates in the township.

Beenstock acknowledged it had been about four years since the last analysis, and agreed with the consensus by inferring council would be moving forward with gathering a proposal for this process.

Council unanimously passed the preliminary budget and now plans to have a public hearing and adoption at its meeting on April 19.


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