Pompton Lakes Council Tackles Garbage Issues and Budget Concerns

In a recent session of the Pompton Lakes Borough Council, issues were addressed including the persistent garbage problem, the municipal budget for the upcoming year, and the associated challenges due to the absence of one-time federal aid. Residents and council members expressed concerns over the unsightly garbage situation, while the council also engaged in a detailed review of the 2024 budget with an emphasis on maintaining a balanced approach amidst revenue shortfalls and obligatory increases.

The council dedicated attention to the garbage problem plaguing Pompton Lakes. Residents, including Kathy Shortway, voiced their concerns about overflowing garbage and recycling bins, particularly near businesses that are not adhering to the designated recycling schedule. The issue not only impacts the aesthetic appeal of the town but also raises environmental concerns. Additionally, the council considered the enforcement of garbage disposal regulations and the potential for educational campaigns or fines as part of a resolution.

During the meeting, a resident named Randy H inquired about the average tax bill for Pompton Lakes and the status of the shade tree ordinance. He also explored the possibility of applying for grants to address the overabundance of deer and brought up the inspection of a hole near the snack stand at Jille Field. The council confirmed that the hole had been inspected and found structurally sound. The discussion of taxes led to a broader conversation about the 2024 budget, which had been shaped by the finance committee, including the mayor and council members, alongside the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

A substantial part of the council meeting was devoted to a detailed presentation on the 2024 budget. The council reviewed the tax analysis for the previous year, noting that the average tax bill for residents stood at approximately $10,700, with the school tax comprising the majority. The budget for the upcoming year was set at over $42 million, with a tax levy of over $26 million. This increase was attributed to necessary capital projects, including improvements to the Lakeside turf field, Lenox Synthetic Turf, and upgrades to school facilities, totaling $1.3 million.

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One of the major budgetary challenges discussed was the absence of the one-time revenue of $387,000 from the American Rescue Plan, which was used to offset taxes and capital expenditures in the previous year. The council faced the task of managing a budget shortfall of the same amount due to this absence. Additionally, the last year of revenue from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money, amounting to $187,000, was anticipated, putting pressure on the council to find alternative revenue streams for the future. The borough’s surplus also saw a decrease, emphasizing the need for careful monitoring of anticipated revenues.

The council reviewed the operating budget, which showed increases in areas such as General Services, Public Safety, and Recreation, mainly due to contractual obligations and changes in personnel. Moreover, the council noted a reduction in the General Services department’s budget as a result of the resignation of the prior borough administrator, while Public Safety salaries increased due to a new labor agreement.

The council also approved several resolutions, including the authorization of the cancellation of certain deposits in the tangible property fund and the hiring of a tax collector to address the absence of a tax clerk due to a family emergency. Furthermore, the council introduced Ordinance 2412 for first reading, which concerns fixing the salaries of borough employees.

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Beyond the budget, the council addressed other ordinances and projects. These included establishing annual compensation for the Municipal Utilities Authority, summer camp fees for 2024, and tax extension and payment in connection with a redevelopment plan. The council opened the floor for public comments on an ordinance establishing a fee for sponsorship of community welcome signs. Grants for the renovation of the library and funding for the fire department were also received with gratitude.

The council highlighted several community initiatives and achievements, such as the certification ceremony for high school students in the community Emergency Response Team, the middle school’s character education program, and the recognition of a middle school student’s achievement in state wrestling. The council also announced upcoming events, including a trails maintenance event and a meet-and-greet with developers from Seven Equities.

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.

Mayor:
Michael Serra
City Council Officials:
Erik DeLine, Ek Venin, Jennifer Polidori, Maria Kent, Bobby Cruz, Lisa Kihlberg

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