Cherry Hill Township introduces 2019 municipal budget

Taxes will not go up, mayor says, but specifics about the plan have not been released

Cherry Hill Mayor Chuck Cahn introduced a municipal budget for the 2019 fiscal year Aug. 22 during the township council meeting.

Details on the plan were scarce, but Cahn said residents would not see a tax increase under the proposed budget. It’s the seventh consecutive year municipal taxes have not been raised, he said.

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“This budget holds the line on taxes for yet another year while providing for increased investments in our community’s well-being,” Cahn said during the meeting.

Officials declined to provide additional information and numbers related to the budget plan. Erin Gill, the mayor’s chief of staff, said a synopsis of the proposal will be made public Sept. 8 when it is published in the Courier-Post.

“It’s still a working document at this point,” Gill said following the meeting.

The budget is scheduled for public hearing and final adoption Friday, Sept. 21, at 5 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

Township council voted unanimously in favor of introducing the budget, and several members praised the plan.

“I am thrilled that I am part of an administration that’s been able to keep costs down for residents,” Councilwoman Carolyn Jacobs said.

Cahn said the introduced budget includes investments in the township’s road program, sports facilities, playgrounds, trails and Croft Farm.

“Maintaining the character and identity of the township is one of our top priorities in this budget,” he said.

The mayor also said the total assessed value of the township, also known as “ratables,” has continued to rise, although he did not specify the amount of the increase. Cahn credited the increase to the township’s ability to attract commercial development.

“Our commercial landscape is changing, but the character of our town is not,” he said. “Cherry Hill is built on families and neighborhoods that are diverse, vibrant and engaged.”

In other news, township council voted to give preliminary approval to an ordinance allowing bars, restaurants and licensed stores to sell alcoholic beverages earlier on Sundays.

Currently, alcohol cannot be sold or served prior to 11 a.m. on Sundays, but the proposed change would allow licensed bars and stores to start at 7 a.m. The move would bring Sunday in line with the other days of the week, when serving alcohol is banned from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Gill said the ordinance was prompted by the desire of bars and restaurants to open early on Sundays to show soccer matches and other sporting events held in Europe. Those games and competitions typically start in the morning due to the time difference.

She said officials view the measure as a way to allow establishments to open early for sporting events without having to get a temporary permit every time.

The ordinance is scheduled for public hearing and final adoption at the council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 11, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building.

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