At its most recent meeting, Haddonfield’s board of commissioners passed a resolution to authorize a slightly-amended budget, which was originally introduced at the board’s May 14 meeting.
Due in large part to the addition of $50,000 set aside to hire a special Class III officer to handle security at Haddonfield Memorial High School, the total budget appropriations for 2019 have been increased from $18,988,031.74 to $19,049,031.47. Anticipated revenue has been raised by $71,000 to $7,089,273.47 while the remaining $11,959,758.27 is due to arrive via the local purpose tax.
“We’ve discussed this with the board of education, and we’re in agreement that we will have this position staffed through the police department, but the funding will be coming over from the board. This is a small enough amount that we can amend the budget now, by inserting this amount that’s attached,” explained Ccommissioner for Revenue and Finance Jeffrey Kasko.
Property taxes were not affected by the change. At 52.30 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation, residents with a home with an average borough value of $488,481 are expected to see an increase of $90 this year. In addition, commissioners have set aside $2.24 million to fund the borough’s annual Roads Program.
“Our appropriations in total are up 3.8 percent, property tax collected and totaled for the town is up about 4.4 percent. Our debt service from the purchase of the Bancroft property has increased to over $500,000, so that’s a significant reason for the increase that we have in the budget,” Kasko added.
Major expenditures also included in the budget were: more than $4 million set aside for public safety; more than $3.5 million toward revenue and finance and $3.373 million for public works.
Copies of the budget, which were distributed in print form at the meeting, are available in the borough clerk’s office and will be featured online in the near future on the borough’s website, www.haddonfieldnj.org.
“I just want to thank both of my commissioners who oversee certain departments, as do I in borough government, for their leadership, as well as the help and leadership of our borough administrator and our CFO and all of our department heads. Every year, we need to take a look at the budget and look at where we spend money, and what departments spend money and figuring out what the increases or decreases are. So I want to thank them for their hard work and their input in getting this done,” Kasko said.
In other issues, commissioners tabled the second reading of an ordinance intended to alter language contained within a previous ordinance regarding land development on both existing and undeveloped properties.
Commissioner for Public Works John Moscatelli said the reason for the action was that the planning board meeting, originally scheduled for June 4, had been pushed back to June 12 – one day after the commissioners’ regularly-scheduled bi-monthly public gathering – and so, the planning board did not have a chance to vote on the changes.
“The planning board needs to approve these changes and they’ve not had a chance to do a final vote. We’re going to table it until our next meeting and then we’ll take a vote on it since we don’t have the planning board’s input. We’ve incorporated all their comments and we expect that to be positive, but … if anyone has any more comments, they will have another opportunity,” Moscatelli said.
Second reading of the ordinance to implement the above alterations and additional public comment is slated to take place at the board’s next meeting on June 25.
The first part of the ordinance covers a correction to language relating to a facade-articulation clause, which the commissioners agreed needed to be stricken as originally written.
“Rather than derail the whole train and start that process over, we went ahead and passed it. And the first part of this rescinds that, until the language gets fixed and we get it in there the way we want it. So that particular clause is going to be removed as part of this ordinance, Moscatelli said.
Additional changes to the ordinance deal with stormwater outflow from sump pumps that spill out from existing properties onto roadways, which cause unforeseen issues like ponding, algae problems and icing in the winter months.
“Anybody who is doing significant construction is going to have to do a test pit, that will show where the seasonal high water table is, and then they have to build two feet above that. It still gives them room to put a sump in, but it keeps them from a situation where the basement is under water and they’re constantly pumping it out to the street,” added Moscatelli.
Additional changes to the ordinance deal with developers of new properties, who are required to show their work is consistent with plans submitted for significant construction including but not limited to: building size, location, height of construction and land grading.
In other news:
- Commissioners passed resolutions allowing for the Haddonfield Craft and Fine Arts Festival to be held along Kings Highway on Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14 and for the approval of the King’s Run sponsored by Christ the King Regional Catholic School on Saturday, Nov. 16.
- The three-man body also unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the issue of permits for William Heritage Winery of Mullica Hill to make use of space in Kings Court for selected dates during the Haddonfield Farmers Market. The winery will be allowed to produce four 1.5-ounce tasting samples per customer as well as sell closed bottles for off-site consumption.