Haddonfield commissioners kicked off their May 23 meeting with a brief overview of a 2022 budget introduced on first reading.
Commissioner Kevin Roche worked with the chief financial officer and the borough administrator to create a one-page visual breakdown of the budget that explained funding and capital projects in the $9.5-millon financial plan, including a road improvement program and repairs to the Walnut Street retaining wall.
The visual also showed that funds from the federal American Rescue Plan will help pay for improving the Atlantic Avenue Outfall; homestead stormwater improvements; and digital upgrades, including one at borough hall that will mean hybrid streaming capabilities.
The budget’s tax rate is expected to go from 0.504 to 0.5284, a 2.44-cent increase. The budget total is $9,576,919 for salary, wages and benefits and $9,795,970 for other expenses. According to information provided by the commissioners, for a home assessed at $768,552 there will be an increase of $190 a year.
Roche’s budget presentation also included the fact that taxes make up 68 percent of the borough’s budget. Other funds will come from last year’s surplus, permits and other fees, state aid, sale of assets and shared services.
There will be a public hearing on the budget and tax resolution at 7:30 p.m. on June 27 at borough hall.
During the May session, commissioners also read two proclamations, one to recognize June 3 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day. The observance resulted from the shooting death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton of Chicago in 2013. The proclamation notes that every day, more than 110 Americans are killed by gun violence.
“It’s for those of us who care about our neighbors to have considerate, respectful, thoughtful dialogue with this issue (of gun violence) and asking questions that are intended not to foster any infringement of any Second Amendment rights, but actually to be responsible in terms of gun ownership,” Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich explained.
The second proclamation recognized Haddonfield Memorial High School senior Jada Eible Hargro for her leadership skills, participation in Human Relations Commission activities and her commitment to community service.
The next commissioners work session is June 13 at 6:30 p.m.