Township council introduces 2022 operating budget

No municipal tax hike expected for 10th straight year.

Continuing the pace set by her predecessor, Chuck Cahn, Cherry Hill Mayor Susan Shin Angulo announced during the budget presentation at council’s Aug. 16 public session that the township is not expected to raise municipal taxes for the 10th consecutive year.

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“As we continue the fight against this pandemic, I’m proud that this budget addresses the most pressing issues in our community, while both holding the line on taxes and investing in our future so we can ensure both our township services and financial outlook remain strong for years to come,” Angulo said.

“We have been able to strike a balance between keeping the tax rate flat, while improving roads, facilities and services.”

Total appropriations are expected to be just over $80.6 million. 

Items included in the budget for this fiscal year are $15.4 million in capital improvements, including funding the annual road maintenance program, upgrading parks and recreation facilities, and sewer improvements. The capital budget also features new traffic-safety equipment for the police department, funding for resurfacing of sports courts and upgrades to the township’s trails. 

Outside of the capital budget, the township has allocated funds to create a new program that will ensure roadways are fully repaved after underground utility work is performed.  Under current regulations, utility companies are only responsible for restoring the section of a roadway disturbed by that construction. The township has partnered with its electricity provider, PSE&G,  to share the cost and maintenance on future projects and ensure all roads are repaved in their entirety. 

The pending budget also allocates $750,000 from the township’s American Rescue Plan Act funding to replenish the COVID Rental and Mortgage Housing Assistance program, whose initial $610,000 allocation from community development block grants was quickly depleted due to high demand.

Subsequent to budget introduction, an ordinance was also passed on first reading to establish a cap bank that will allow the township, on a yearly basis, to place in reserve any funds remaining under the approved amount of appropriations should the township need to use them in later years. 

“Township council and I are committed to preserving our town’s quality of life, making smart investments and ensuring Cherry Hill remains an affordable place to live,” said Council President David Fleisher. “The scope of the economic impact of COVID-19 is still unknown. This is a budget that enables Cherry Hill to face the challenges head on.” 

A public hearing and final adoption for the budget is scheduled for council’s next public meeting, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. 

In other news: 

 

  • The regularly scheduled council meeting on Aug. 23 was cancelled. 
  • Council issued a proclamation to Erlton Swim Club for winning the 2021 Cherry Bowl. The team posted its sixth victory in the last seven competitions on July 31 at Haddontowne Swim Club. 
  • Three individuals were named Class I Special Law Enforcement Officers for the township: Connor McHale, Jacqueline Nguyen and Darius Vedarr-Mendoza. Their one-year terms began immediately and will continue through  Aug. 16, 2022. 
  • The governing body also approved a yearly resolution authorizing the temporary suspension of existing parking regulations on both sides of Cropwell and Kresson roads — with the exception of the roadway within 250 feet in any direction of a traffic signal —  advance of the Jewish High Holy Days, the evening of Sept. 6 (Rosh Hashanah) and Sept. 15 (Yom Kippur).
  • Thanks to another resolution, members of the Cherry Hill Police Department will soon get body worn cameras. Council approved the move to accept state funding for the new equipment in the amount of $305,700.
  • Councilmember Sangeeta Doshi was absent.
BOB HERPEN
BOB HERPEN
Former radio broadcaster, hockey writer, Current: main beat reporter for Haddonfield, Cherry Hill and points beyond.
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