The concil seated as they start the meeting. Credits: Tom Van Howling
A member of the public voices his concerns. Credits: Tom Van Howling
Judy Williams discusses the upcoming hundreth year anniversary. Credits: Tom Van Howling
Borough treasurer Monica Miebach addresses the council Credits: Tom Van Howling
Franklin Discusses Budget at Council Meeting
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 • 1:25pm
FRANKLIN BOROUGH, NJ - The mayor and council for Franklin Borough met on March 12. There were many topics of discussion for the council members to discuss yet, the most prominent was the borough budget.
At the beginning of the meeting borough administrator James Kilduff, brought up some topics for the council to consider. One of those being tax collection issues. The borough collected about 95 percent of what they were due. When the taxes are not all collected then the borough still has to pay Sussex County and the school 100 percent of what they are due, and therefore the borough is the one that must do without the 5 percent.
“Tax collections have not improved,” Kilduff said.
The tax collection problem was brought up at the last meeting, as well as several more times at this meeting.
Kilduff also discussed how the DPW had gone into overtime due to all of the snow storms that have been hitting the area this winter. They also discussed the potential hiring of a new policeman. Upon graduation from police academy, and the passing of background and psychological checks, the officer will be offered a position at a starting salary of $42,980.
This meeting had only one person with a concern. A man who lives on Butler St. said that kids in his neighborhood always are hanging out at the end of his street and throwing beer bottles on his yard. He said the police never patrol his street, and that when he calls them they never catch the kids. Mayor Paul Crowley said that they would notify the police chief, and help fix the problem.
The council also discussed the historic marker for the upcoming centennial celebration for the borough. The text for the marker went up for the council to approve.
Councilwoman Susan Gardell brought up the fact the text had no mention of the hundred year anniversary. Judy Williams who is leading the planning of the centennial celebration said that they are working with a limited number of words they can use before the marker gets too costly. She also noted that it has to go through the Sussex County Historic Marker Committee before it can be ordered.
Councilman Joe Limon told Williams that he would have liked for the marker to at least have the dates 1913 to 2013. They suggested that Williams may need to change around some sentences. The council decided to put the issue on the table until the next meeting.
Williams then said that historians and the committee will have to look a the text on the marker and see what they want on the marker.
“Having done a thesis with a masters degree, I never knew you could spend three days on two sentences,” Williams said.
The council also discussed with Williams that the marker will take eight to 10 weeks to ship once it is ordered, and it may not be ready by the May 18 date for the centennial celebration. Williams stated that there are a few other dates that would also be good for the celebration. Williams stated that she is still hopeful for the May 18 date.
The council ended the meeting with a discussion of the budget. Borough treasurer Monica Miebach was there to discuss the budget. The borough discussed again the issue of tax collection and they also discussed the fund balance. The fund balance in Franklin is around $277,000. The council was told that their fund balance is rather low. A borough the size of Franklin would have a comfortable fund balance of between $700,000 to $1 million, according to Miebach. . Part of the budget will include raising taxes over $80 per household to make up the difference lost by taxes that are not being paid. They were also recommended that they should do a reassessment.
The mayor and council will have a budget workshop meeting on March 20 to discuss the budget in full detail and the regular meeting will take place on March 26. The budget is planned for adoption in April.
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