RED BANK: POLICE SALARIES BOOST BUDGET

Taxes
The 2009-2010 budget that Red Bank officials unwrapped last week calls for possible four-day, 40-hour workweeks at borough hall and staffing reductions in construction-related inspections, according to a report in today’s Asbury Park Press.

It also reflects a previously-negotiated increase in police salaries, officials said at a department-by-department presentation on the spending plan, the Press reports.

From the article:

Five percent cuts were made in 14 department and budget areas, six were
uncut and the police salary budget increased 2.8 percent to $4.2
million to cover contractual agreements. Police operating expenses
stayed the same at $222,700. Police might reduce two special officers
hired for the summer, said Police Chief Mark Fitzgerald.

Residents will see additional police services in the 2009 budget,
including 60 manhours of foot patrols a week and 80 manhours of bike
patrols per week. Police also plan to establish an anti-crime unit,
using a $25,000 grant, Fitzgerald said.

Police also are applying for six enforcement grants, which could bring an additional $79,000 to the borough.

The $19.4 million plan call for $10.9 million to be raised by property taxes, and would increase the local portion of the tax rate — excluding local school taxes and
the Monmouth County levy — to 47.8 cents per $100 of assessed
property value, up from 44.5 cents in the current year.

The effect on the owner of a home assessed at the average $407,000 would be an increase of $134 for the year, or three-quarters of one percent.

More from the Press:

Among the cuts are three part-time electrical, plumbing and
building/fire inspectors whose wages will be paid by the hour on an
as-needed basis, saving $20,000, said Stanley Sickels, borough
administrator.

“It’s
the first cut in (code inspection) staff in 10 years,” he said, adding
there has been a drop-off in construction permits due to the economy.

Other
suggestions were to increase uniform construction code fees to meet the
level of state fees, Sickels said, and added the fees were last
increased in 2005. A slight increase in recreation fees also may be
proposed, although Parks and Recreation Director Bob Evans pledged that
no child will be turned away for monetary reasons.

“We’ve not looked at fees in four years,” he said. “We offer programs at the lowest rate compared to surrounding towns.”

Here’s the detailed budget: Download Budget_introduced_2009. And here’s a summary: Download 2009_Budget_Summary.

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