"We did it! We introduced a second consecutive budget lowering taxes. Folks at mtg only wanted to complain about leaf collection. Sigh."

That's from a Twitter post late last night by Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre.

And this is from his blog today:

If you read the papers, you will see that Fair Haven is the only town in the region that has been able to lower taxes two years in a row, despite the fact that we are down over $160,000.00 in state funding over that same period.

Halfacre credits "changes at DPW, lower professional fees, consolidation in Engineering/DPW, and revenue from the cell tower" for helping shave some $200,000 from current spending levels, bringing the budget down to $8.1 million.

If adopted as is, the spending plan would reduce the local tax rate to 47 cents per $100 of property assessment from the current 48.1 cents.

That would knock the yearly bill on a home assessed at the borough-average $535,100 to $2,515, a savings of $59.

Here's the budget: Download 2009municipalbudget. A council vote is scheduled for 7p on April 21.

Yeah, but what about leaf collection? From hizzoner's blog:

In other business, we had a long discussion about leaf collection. The
New Jersey DEP has put strict limits on what we are allowed to do at
our "compost" site, and we are therefore required to take leaves out of
town, and no longer compost them on our own property. We had attempted
to plan for this by limiting leaf collection in the spring, but
residents have indicated some dismay at the limits on their ability to
do a spring cleaning. We are therefore planning a special spring
clean-up for residents during the month of April, details will be
posted as soon as they become available. We will need to ask that all
residents cooperate with the schedule, as it is very expensive to cart
the leaves etc. out of town. We do appreciate everyone’s patience with
this issue.

The borough put out this announcement early Tuesday afternoon:

The Borough of Fair Haven will have one collection in the spring of 2009 for any remaining leaves. The Borough is permitted by the DEP to use the area on Williams Street for the storage of brush to be recycled. We are not permitted to store or place leaves and general yard waste at any Borough facility. As such, the Borough will be contracting with a private organization authorized to accept the materials for disposal for this one-time collection.

Zones 1 & 2: May place leaves and brush curbside April 5-12th

Zones 3 & 4: May place leaves and brush curbside April 19-26th


Brush will continue to be collected as scheduled on the 2009 Borough calendar.

Please separate leaves from brush and keep all materials 10 feet from storm drains.

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