Mantua Mayor’s Message for May 16

Dear Community Friends,

No local property tax increase in 2024.

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At our township committee meeting on Monday evening, May 13, we introduced Township Resolution No. 72-2024 for our 2024 municipal budget. This year’s budget will again not raise property taxes at the municipal level. Our 2021, 2022 and now our 2024 local budgets have all been without tax increases, and last year’s budget included a very minimal increase to just be able to pay our bills. A public hearing and final consideration on this budget is scheduled for the township committee meeting on Monday, June 10 at 6 p.m. You are all welcome and encouraged to attend.

Please understand that we (as a township committee) have all been long-time Mantua tax paying residents, and we are very cognizant of the current national economy and cost of living. We can only control what we can control here at the local level, and that’s the 20% of our property tax bill that accounts for Mantua taxes only.   

I assure you that the township committee and I demand responsible government. As an example, we have a regional court system in Mantua which is currently a state-wide model of excellence that includes seven municipalities. We took over policing services for Wenonah, and have a shared service agreement for custodial services with the Mantua Schools. We have several other shared service agreements with neighboring communities through public works, code enforcement, construction, and our finance office, etc. These are all pro-active ways that we’ve reduced government costs and generated steady revenue streams to help off-set our local tax burden.

We have continually tightened the belt on spending. We’ve been innovative and service oriented, and have kept your local taxes in-check for many years. 

Also at our May 13 township committee meeting, Paleontologist Dr. Kenneth Lacovara gave an update on the Edelman Fossil Park and Museum of Rowan University. In gist, Dr. Lacovara gave a wonderful presentation and explained that the official opening will most likely be delayed until the end of this summer, or early fall. You can catch a brief recap video of his presentation on our social media platforms.

The Township Committee and I are extremely proud of Lt. Brian Hauss, Sgt. Cody Mroz, Det. Jefferey Krieger, Ptl. Gregory Sweeney Jr., Ptl. Joseph Craig and Ptl. Alexander Stewart of the MTPD. Congratulations to each on their successful completion of the Police Unity Tour to Washington, D.C. this past week, and for riding bicycles over 200 miles for those in law enforcement who paid the ultimate sacrifice.  This past week was National Police Week where 25,000 to 40,000 police officers from around the United States and beyond gathered in Washington D.C. to pay homage to those who gave their lives in the line of duty. We are grateful that the MTPD honors our fallen heroes by actively participating each year.

During the month of April, the Mantua Township Police Department handled 2,806 calls for service, made 55 arrests, issued 202 motor vehicle summonses, handled 154 investigation reports and investigated 37 motor vehicle crashes. During this time, the MTPD participated in the distracted driving initiative to deter motorists from driving while distracted by the use of handheld devices. Of all of these police related incidents are closed with an arrest, with the exception of three.  

Each year, we line Main Street with American Flags, and this year is no different. The flags are a symbol of our community’s patriotism especially preceding Memorial Day and Independence Day during the summer months. I’d like to thank Deputy Mayor Pete Scirrotto for starting this tradition and for improving our efforts each year.

On Wednesday, May 15, I attended the monthly recreation committee meeting. Our group of hard working volunteers is preparing for an upcoming senior dinner on May 28 and a senior picnic on June 12. The team is also getting ready for the Police in the Park  event on Sept. 19, and the Winter Festival on Dec. 5. Make sure to save the dates for these two spectacular events at Chestnut Branch Park.

Upcoming Township Meetings and Events:

  • Thursday, May 23 at 7 p.m.: Veterans Commission Meeting
  • Saturday, May 25 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.): Convenience Drop Off Center
  • Monday, May 27 at 10:30 a.m.: Memorial Day Ceremony

On behalf of Deputy Mayor Pete Scirrotto, myself and the entire township committee – we look forward to continuing our service with honesty, integrity and trustful leadership.  

Respectfully,

Mayor Robert T. Zimmerman, MAS

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