Barnegat’s 2018 Municipal Budget Increasing By Less Than 1 Percent

Barnegat Town Hall (Photo courtesy of Gavin Rozzi)

BARNEGAT – Earlier this month, the Township Committee introduced the 2018 Municipal Budget.

The total budget amount for 2018 is expected to be $25,699,168.02. This is an increase from the 2017 budget, which was  $25,507,980.30. Of the total budget amount for 2018, $21,368,713.11 is expected to be raised by taxation. This makes up approximately 83 percent of the total budget.

According to Barnegat’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Lombarski, the township’s overall budget increased by less than 1 percent compared to the final modified budget from 2017, “which is very good,” he added.

Lombarski also noted that employee health benefits have decreased by $174,000 due to reduced premiums from the State Health Benefits Plan. The anticipated cost for Employee Group Insurance is listed as $1,676,000 in the 2018 budget, compared to 2017’s proposed $1,850,000.

Police salaries and wages will increase as the result of settling the PBA union contract. “It has been four years since the last contract ended [on December 31, 2013], so it consists of newly adjusted salaries and some retro payment due,” said Lombarski.

Public safety salaries and wages are estimated at $7,105,000, up from last year’s $6,500,673.37 salary and wage appropriations.

Lombarski also noted that the township’s annual pension bills came in about $200,000 higher than last year. The budget lists the total deferred charges and statutory expenditures in the amount of $2,804,375, which is increased from 2017’s appropriations in the amount of $2,577,000. This line item includes costs for contributions to public employees’ retirement system, social security system, police and firemen’s pension funds and retirement systems, and unemployment insurance.

“However, there was a significant decrease in deferred charges as the township completely paid off the final $700,000 from the Hurricane Sandy Special Emergency Notes in November 2017,” he added.

Lombarski explained that after a $37,000 emergency note payment on March 7, 2018, the township was officially note free.

The resolution to introduce the 2018 proposed budget was passed unanimously by all committee members on March 6. A hearing on the budget will be held at Town Hall on April 3, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.