Waldwick Council Approves 1% Tax Increase Amid Budget Talks

During a recent Waldwick Borough Council meeting, the authorization of the Summer Superstars Camp’s use of the municipal pool and the introduction of ordinances for acquiring green space were prime focal points. However, the council’s approval of a 1% tax increase during the 2024 Municipal budget discussions emerged as the most pressing topic.

The discussion on the 2024 Municipal budget was particularly intense, with council members debating the merits of a 1% versus a 1.5% tax increase. The decision weighed heavily on the council, considering the impact of reevaluation and potential tax burdens on residents. One council member argued in favor of the lower rate, highlighting concerns about the financial impact on the community. Others pointed out the need for long-term planning and the exploration of creative revenue streams to support the town’s fiscal health. Ultimately, the council reached a consensus on the 1% increase.

Another major issue addressed at the meeting was the concern over a recently ordered fire truck that was delivered with an underpowered engine. This sparked a discussion on the cost implications and the best course of action to rectify the problem. The fire department proposed a plan to reconfigure the truck without requesting additional funds, which the council agreed to move forward with. The council also debated the truck’s re-engineering project, discussing the cost and performance implications of the proposed changes and emphasizing the need for more information from the manufacturer. The council agreed to gather more information and reach a decision by the end of the week, acknowledging the urgency of the matter.

The use of the municipal pool by the Society Summer Superstars Camp was another issue, with concerns raised about potential overcrowding and the impact on Waldwick residents. After much deliberation, the council decided to pull this item for a separate vote.

The council also spent time reviewing amendments to the bylaws of the Waldwick Volunteer Fire Department. The proposed changes, which involved dues, fines, and leadership positions, met with a mixed response. Some members of the council were concerned about the potential consolidation of power within the department and the clarity of segregation of duties. As a result, certain bylaw amendments were pulled for further discussion and a separate vote.

During the session, the council dealt with items that required a return to the attorney for review due to concerns over the frequency and cost of reviewing bylaws, particularly those proposed by the fire department. This highlighted an ongoing effort to manage legal expenses effectively and ensure due diligence in organizational governance.

Public comments included a range of community concerns and observations. A resident criticized the council members’ microphone use. A fire department representative explained the decision-making process regarding the ladder truck purchase, addressing the specifications of the motor amidst concerns over safety and cost implications. The council’s 1% budget increase received support from another resident, who also questioned the necessity of a new ladder truck, citing inspection reports. Additionally, a request for a crescent lighting ceremony to celebrate Ramadan was made, with a young resident advocating for inclusivity. Lastly, a resident lauded community achievements, noting the acceptance of two police officers into the Waldwick Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the availability of free Narcan at a local pharmacy.

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.
Thomas A. Giordano
City Council Officials:
Michele S. Weber, Kathleen E. Cericola, Michael F. Ritchie, Jr., Joseph Martinello, Andrew Brennecke, Mark Ramundo

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