Highlands Borough Council Consolidates Bonds, Approves Budget Insertions

The Highlands Borough Council approved a series of financial actions aimed at improving the borough’s financial efficiency and boosting local programs.

The most notable decision was the council’s unanimous approval of Resolution R23-221, which consolidates several bonds into a single bond, aggregating to a principal sum not exceeding $8,367,736, a move aimed at achieving a better interest rate. Council member Donald Melnyk raised questions regarding the financial implications of the move, to which Mayor Carolyn Broullon explained that the consolidation would be advantageous, moving the debt to the Monmouth County Improvement Authority and potentially securing a good rate due to the large total sum.

In addition to the bond consolidation, the council also approved several insertions into the 2023 budget. These insertions include $2,493 from the Municipal Alliance Program grants (Resolution R23-223) and $37,000 from the American Rescue Plan for firefighting (Resolution R23-224). Both measures were approved unanimously, marking an increase in available revenue for the borough.

Another financial move included the transfer of surplus funds (Resolution R23-222), which was clarified by Mayor Broullon as a net-neutral action, shifting funds from one line item to another without creating new appropriations.

Despite these important financial decisions, council members also had to address concerns from the public about taxation and transparency during the public portion of the meeting. One resident questioned the council’s handling of budget matters and the perceived secrecy of the meeting. Mayor Broullon clarified that the meeting was properly advertised, and the video of the proceedings would be available online.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Carolyn Broullon
City Council Officials:
Jo-Anne Olszewski, Donald Melnyk, Karen Chelak, Leo Cervantes, Thomas A. Arnone (Director), Susan Kiley (Deputy Director), Lillian G. Burry, Nick DiRocco, Ross Licitra

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