The Deptford Township Council recently introduced the 2019 township budget. The township looks to appropriate approximately $36 million for the budget, which is about $2 million more than the previous year.
Mayor Paul Medany is confident the township will put the budget to good use this fiscal year.
“The 2019 budget introduction means that our financial plan remains solid,” he said. “We have a very healthy fund balance, our bond rating is an excellent AA, our debt is very stable and well below borrowing capacity, and our yearly audits are excellent.”
He also explained how the council reached the number it did.
“The slight increase in this budget is necessary due to salary and benefit increases and utility costs,” said Medany. “We keep our yearly increases to zero when we can, and when we have to raise funds, we keep it to a minimum so the local tax burden also remains stable. The local tax increase will probably amount to $5 a month per the average household. We like to explain that the local municipal tax levy per month is less than the average cable bill for most households. Keep in mind that on the tax bill we collect taxes for the county, school district, fire district and library. In other words, the local tax levy is usually on average only 24 percent or 24 cents on every dollar on the tax bill.”
The next council meeting is a work session on April 15 at 6 p.m.
The council also approved an ordinance to appropriate $350,000 from the capital improvement fund for various roadway improvements.
Medany shed light on where the townspeople could see the first improvement site.
“The $350,000 is earmarked for paving the recreation center parking lot,” he said. “It is now approximately 25 years old and needs resurfacing.”
Medany also gave a hint that other roads would be getting a much-needed makeover.
“We will be appropriating another $1 million for various roadwork around town, which is what we spend on a yearly basis,” he said. “As we appropriate spending, we have a plan to pay down debt so it remains relatively stable.”
In other news:
The council honored multiple individuals at its recent meeting, including: Bobkat Liquors as Business of the Month, Citizens of the Month, which included Deptford Township School Administration’s Teachers and Educational Service Professionals of the Year, as well as appointing new police brass.
Frank Newkirk was sworn as the new police captain, having spent 22 years with the Deptford police. He is happy with his new role.
“I’m excited,” he said. “We’ve come a long way. We get to continue moving forward with all the programs that we are working on.”
John Storms was another officer who got a promotion. He was sworn in as the new lieutenant and is pretty happy about it.
“It feels very good,” Storms said. “It’s been a long time. I want to get things going moving forward and hopefully make the department better.”
Storms is a 15-year veteran with the Deptford police.
Deptford Township also got a new police chaplain in Pastor Derek Gatling of First Baptist Church of Jericho. Councilman Wayne Love spoke some kind words on his behalf.
“Reverend Gatling as the police chaplain is going to be a great guy. He does a lot for the community,” Love said. “He just celebrated his third anniversary at the church. He also does a lot of things as far as change in the community, he’s very proactive and he’s going to be a great police chaplain for us. I just want to speak out for him because I’m proud of him.”
In surprise fashion, the council members and the mayor also honored one of their own in Dina Zawadski, township clerk, who also had the temporary role of township manager. Zawadski was honored for all of her efforts and services she gives to Deptford Township.
Thomas Newman, Jr. was also officially announced as the new township manager.