MANCHESTER – Mayor Robert Hudak introduced this year’s $43 million budget which was unanimously approved by the Township Council.
A public hearing on the budget will be held on June 13 at 6 p.m. during that evening’s council meeting before a final vote is taken. The budget is available on the township website and also accessible at the Manchester branch of the Ocean County Library.
Along with Business Administrator Brandon Umba who is normally present at council meetings, Chief Financial Officer Diane Lapp was there.
The mayor thanked Umba and Lapp for their hard work in developing this year’s spending plan. “It is a long process and I’d like to thank all our department heads including our (police) chief (Robert Dolan who was in the audience) and all our other department heads who worked hard helping to put this budget together.”
“The principal driver of this budget is the increases in public safety and public works,” the mayor said, noting that other factors included increases in insurance, pensions “and of course, gasoline. Obviously, everything is increasing.”
Mayor Hudak added, “overall our public safety budget increased approximately $1.2 million. Our public works budget increased just shy of $600,000 and insurance, pension and gas increased by approximately $2 million.”
The mayor also noted that the spending plan is using $400,000 less in surplus to support the budget. “Last year’s budget left over $1.2 million in reserve even though historically the township saw over $3 million in surplus reserve. This budget restores the trend by going up by $2.8 million in surplus revenue which will be used to stabilize budgets in future years.”
He said the township brought in over $2.5 million in EMS fees (paid department) last year “which will continue to help fund the service in the budget and limit the impact long term.”
The mayor also noted the doubling of funds to its volunteer fire departments to ensure public safety and “that they could do the job efficiently. During our June 13 meeting I will have a PowerPoint presentation and we will answer questions at that time.”
Municipal Clerks Week
Township Clerk Sabina Martin remarked, to the surprise of perhaps no one, “I love my job.” Her comment was made when she accepted a proclamation for Municipal Clerks Week from Mayor Hudak. The proclamation honored all municipal clerks but it was tailored to the specific attributes of Martin who was provided many accolades by the members of the governing body.
“I’ve been here for 26 years,” Martin said. “I have the best staff.”
Martin was also re-appointed as registrar of vital statistics during the meeting.
Action On Ordinances
The Council also approved two ordinances on final reading. One of which included modifying current regulations pertaining to the township’s floodplain management regulations to adopt food hazard maps and to designate a flood plain administrator and provide for severability.
The governing body also passed an ordinance supplementing beach badge fees that included a discount for veterans.
Two ordinances were introduced during the night and those involved authorizing and encouraging electrical vehicle supply/service equipment and make ready parking spaces and amending handicapped parking on municipal parking lots on Board of Education property.