Red Bank residents will get a chance to delve into the whys and wherefores of the borough’s proposed 2008-’09 budget next week.

Reprising an effort introduced a year ago to improve transparency, borough-government department heads will offer up details of their budget requests and answer questions from the public, say Councilman Mike DuPont, chairman of the council’s finance committee.

Interest should be high, as the spending plan introduced last month calls for a 20-percent increase in the local portion of the overall property tax levy. For the owner of a home assessed at the borough-average $404,000, the increase equals $311 a year, to $1,873.

DuPont says he hopes that by the time the $19 million budget is finalized, “at least a penny or two” will have been pared from the 7.7-cents-per-$100 tax increase.

Among the offsets the borough is looking at is the sale of property at the foot of Maple Avenue that some residents say should be saved to serve as access to the Navesink River, perhaps as a launching area for canoes, kayaks and sailboats.

The budget presentation is scheduled for Thursday, April 24 at 5:30p. DuPont won’t be present for next week’s; he says he’ll be away on vacation.

Turns out this is the second time that the session has been scheduled. DuPont showed up at borough hall last Thursday for the original one, but it seems nobody had thought to let the media or the public know about it.

Email this story