Township council introduced its 2023 fiscal budget on first reading by title only at its Sept. 28 meeting.
The full budget will be posted in the Courier Post newspaper on Oct. 14 and available publicly online and in the Municipal Building starting Oct. 19. There will be a public hearing and vote at council’s Oct. 26 session.
Mayor Susan Shin Angulou explained that the financial plan aims to accomplish some of her top priorities, including investing in roads, public safety, public works and vital township services. For the 11th consecutive year, there will be no tax increase in the budget.
“Some residents may be confused because they hear and they have seen a continuous increase in their tax bill, but those tax increases have come from other taxing entities – such as school district, county, fire district – raising their rate,” she explained.
“ … The township is responsible for collecting; however those entities are responsible for formulating those budgets, not the township.”
Council also introduced on first reading an ordinance establishing a cap bank that its President David Fleisher explained was required to be passed annually with the budget.
“This does not mean that the budget exceeds the cap; it’s actually the opposite,” he said. “The budget is under cap and to the extent that the budget is under cap, it is able to be banked, so to speak, and can be rolled forward to be applied to future budgets if need be.”
The public hearing on the cap bank ordinance will take place Tuesday, Oct. 11.
Council also passed an ordinance on second reading that encourages electric-vehicle service equipment and make-ready parking spaces. Residents spoke both for and against the ordinance, with one resident questioning if enough research had been done on the impacts of manufacturing electric vehicles.
Cosmas Diamantis, the township’s director of community development, explained that the ordinance was created in response to a state statute passed last year that put into effect various provisions with respect to EV charging stations and make-ready parking.
“The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs was tasked to create a model ordinance implementing requirements of that statute,” Diamantis said. “This (ordinance) incorporates the model ordinance into our zoning code, which there are some sections we can change and others we cannot.”
The ordinance can be read on the township website, chnj.gov.
In other news:
- The township got a $25,000 grant from the Camden County Open Space and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund to revitalize and upgrade Erlton Park and the Sandringham Playground.
- Resident Dawn Epstein thanked the mayor, council and police department for finding quick solutions to the lack of crossing guards in the Kingston neighborhood.
- Resident Rena Margulis referenced a meeting she had with the police chief and two other officers to report when a stoplight is out, a process similar to reporting potholes. Residents should contact email@example.com with issues.
- The township authorized the purchase of three storage containers for the public works department and one new and unused refuse container truck.
The next council meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. Caucus will begin at 6:30 p.m.