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Letter To The Editor: Mahwah Council President Discusses Budget

Council President John Roth discusses the budget Township Council is offering.
Council President John Roth discusses the budget Township Council is offering. Photo Credit: contributed

MAHWAH, N.J. -- The Mahwah-Ramsey Daily Voice accepts signed letters to the editor. Send signed letters under 350 words to John Roth is currently president of the Township Council. He recently announced that he is running for mayor.

To the editor:

Thursday the Township Council introduced the 2016 municipal budget, concluding a review process begun back in February. The Council met on six occasions and spent over 100 man-hours to hear department head input and consider changes to the budget originally presented to us by the mayor.

The mayor's original budget was a tight one and included a municipal tax rate increase of 1.8 percent. The Council's proposal includes a 45 percent reduction in that tax rate increase, to 1 percent. Our proposed municipal tax rate for 2016 is $0.386, a 1percent increase. That will raise annual taxes for the average homeowner by $18.94: that's about $1.58 per month or $6.32 on each quarterly bill.

But despite the fact that the Council cut spending by almost $200K, we made numerous allocation changes and revenue adjustments that allowed us to maintain all Township services and make some important additions to the mayor's budget. Those additions included three vehicles for the Mahwah Police Department, one new worker for the DPW roads department and a new ambulance for MEMs. In the capital budget, the Council added an RS2 mini pumper for the fire department, further enhancing the capability of a new truck.

In addition, the budget we are introducing will allow the township to maintain a strong reserve of approximately $6 million, and within our water and sewer utilities a reserve of approximately $4 million each. I am extremely proud of the work the Council has done in refining this budget, and every member here had a role in it.

To be sure, there was considerable give and take through the many hours it took to conclude this budget. But at the end of the day it is the taxpayers of Mahwah who have benefited considerably from the Council's efforts and everyone up here is to be congratulated for it.

John Roth

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