in order to further vet savings for the 2011 Budget
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, GLOUCESTER COUNTY, NJ –The Washington Townships Republican council twice this year pushed back on Democrats and voted against adopting the 2011 municipal budget in a calculated move that wound up benefiting the taxpayers. During both council meetings in May, Republicans shot down the budget by a vote of 3-2 with Mayor Lyons imploring council to move ahead and adopt the budget despite no negative financial risk to wait an additional two to four weeks to find additional savings.
That wait paid off for the township residents when an additional budget savings of $259,312 was realized from a re-worked trash removal bid initiated earlier this year. This savings puts the municipal budget at about $2 million less than last year and saves the taxpayers a total of 4% off the mayor’s original 5% tax increase.
“We owe it the township residents to uncover and assess every money saving opportunity that reduces the tax burden in this challenging economic climate,” said Council President Christopher Del Borrello. “Throwing in the budget towel too early is easy and not a prudent option when further diligence can uncover additional savings for the current budget.”
“Mayor Lyons first introduced the budget in April, calling for a 5 cent tax increase. Through diligence in the budget details, we were able to reduce the increase down to about 1 cent,” said Council Vice-President Daniel Morley. This follows a series of municipal tax increases over the last 10 years averaging 5%.
The savings is particularly welcome because Democratic Councilman Scott Newman moved to take away the Republican negotiating position with the MUA resulting in a loss of up to $130,000 of additional funds toward the budget deficit.
“We should not have to take any money from the MUA to balance our budget,” said DelBorrello, “We have taken steps to reduce our MUA dependency from a high of $2.3 million in the Mayor’s budget last year to $220,000 this year, and with the intention of completely eliminating MUA funds from the Township budget.”
“We closed a $3 million budget gap in 6 months with virtually no impact to Washington Township taxpayers,” stated Councilman Morley. “This is a good budget and we have all worked hard to get it to this point. I am proud to support this budget and look forward to working on reducing next year’s budget while improving township services”