Township Introduces $20 Million Budget
Both the proposed operating budget and the tax levy are lower, compared to last year's.
The Barnegat Township Committee unveiled a $20,298,326 municipal budget for the year 2012 last night, the figure that, if approved, will result in a $16,136,619 total tax levy for the township.
The budget would be $303,000 less than last year's and the tax levy would be reduced by $3,000.
According to a document released by the township, the average assessed home value was approximately $238,200 for 2011 and 2012.
"Based on this assessed value, the average tax bill will remain stable for 2012," the document said.
Members of the township committee expressed pride at the Monday night's meeting at being able to reduce both the proposed operating budget and the tax levy for the second year in a row.
"It is a significant accomplishment to have a budget that represents for the second year a decrease in both the tax levy and the overall budget," Committeeman Martin Lisella said at the meeting.
"We're trending in the right direction," said Mayor Al Cirulli. "We are decreasing our expenses, and decreasing the amount of tax dollars needed to fund operations."
"Tonight should be a night of celebration for Barnegat," Mayor Cirulli added.
"There is no question that the Barnegat Township municipal government is doing much more with much less," Deputy Mayor Al Bille said.
"Back in January, I asked this committee that we all work together," Committeman Leonard Morano said. "And now I say 'thank you.' We dropped a couple of pennies -- not a lot. ... Even though it's an election year, but that means nothing, I say 'thank you,' anyway."
Some residents praised the officials for their hard work, while also mentioning the Board of Education's success in reducing tax levy as well this year.
"I’m always happy to hear that the taxes aren’t going up; they are going down," said Frank Pecci of Barnegat. "But we also saw [in the media] that the school board did a really good job too."
Others suggested the township officials simply lucked out with the weather this year.
"Our snow budget went down," resident Phil Checchia said. "So that's where the money came from."
Township Administrator David Breeden said personnel reduction and shared services agreements mainly with Ocean Township, but also with Ocean City, resulted in the savings.
"Since 2008, the Township has reduced the full time permanent workforce by 20% through attrition, job elimination or shared service agreements," Breeden said. "Barnegat Township has been able to accomplish a significant decrease in personnel while maintaining quality municipal services to a growing community. Barnegat municipal government is most definitely doing more with less."
Budget introduction is the first of several steps in municipal budget-approval process. According to Breeden, the township will present a comprehensive budget and finance power point slide show at the next committee meeting on Monday, May 7.
Public hearing will be held at the second committee meeting of the month. After that, budget adoption follows state approval, which is expected to occur in late June or in July, Breeden said.