Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

AFTER TWO DROPS, RUMSON TAX RISES

rumson-councilThe Rumson Borough Council met at a special meeting Tuesday afternoon to finalize the budget. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Unlike its neighbors to the west, Little Silver and Fair Haven, Rumson won’t be able to pull off one of those improbable shrinking New Jersey budgets in 2010.

After two years of holding the line on taxes, Rumson officials, faced with declines in revenues and increased costs, moved forward on passing a $15.2 million budget that includes a 6.9-percent spike in property tax bills.

That translates to a tax rate of 32 cents per $100 of assessed property value, up 2 cents from last year. The average home, assessed at about $1 million, will see an approximate $200 annual increase over last year’s $14.5 million budget, administrator Tom Rogers said.

This is only the second time in five years that taxes have gone up, he added.

The common theme in the state runs through Rumson: revenues are down, state aid cuts hurt and costs have gone up.

Including decreases in local and interest revenues and a shortfall in receipts from delinquent taxes, the borough lost more than $500,000. Coupled with pension, health insurance and contractual costs, local officials weren’t in the cushy position they had been in recent years to keep taxes static.

“We just had very little control over the items that go up, in double figures sometimes,” Mayor John Ekdahl said.

One big-ticket item included in the spending plan is a long-awaited road reconstruction project on Shrewsbury Drive, which, at $900,000, is expected to be offset with nearly $400,000 in county and state funds, Rogers said. The remaining balance will come from the borough’s bank, but he says these are funds that are built into every budget. Rather than repave and upgrade three or four problematic roads in town, all the attention will be focused on Shrewsbury Drive, which has been prone to flooding and has been at the top of the borough’s wish list to get done, Ekdahl said.

The road will be completely redone, with new drainage, curbing and  pavement.

“It’s still a very expensive project for us, and it’s one we’ve been working on for four years,” Ekdahl said, adding that he hopes it will be complete by the end of summer.

The borough also decided to transfer some money from its surplus account — about $200,000 — as a precaution for next year’s budget.

“This year we’re taking a cautious approach, as we did last year, with the economy,” Rogers said. “We’re being very careful to watch with that.”

When asked about how he felt about developing the budget and having to raise the tax rate, Ekdahl was disappointed but realistic.

“Well, we gave (taxpayers) two straight years with no increase,” he said. “My guess is the average resident, knowing what’s going on economically, and the noise coming out of Trenton, the taxpayers wouldn’t be surprised with a tax increase.”

Because of a shifting of funds within the budget, the council was not able to adopt the plan. Another public hearing will be held at 7:30p on July 13 at borough hall. It’s a formality, and total spending and the tax rate will not change between now and then, Rogers said.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
RIVER RANGERS RETURN
River Rangers, a summer canoeing program offered by the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association, returns this summer for up to 20 participa ...
DOUBLE DYLAN IN RED BANK
Trucks for a production company filming what one worker said was a Bob Dylan biography have lined Monmouth Street the past two days with cre ...
AFTER THE RAIN
A pear tree branch brought down by a brief overnight storm left a lovely tableau on the sidewalk in front of Red Bank's Riverside Gardens Pa ...
CONE OF UNCERTAINTY
Asked by a redbankgreen reporter why these cones were on top of cars, the owner of the car in the foreground responded: “That’s ...
RAIL RIDER’S VIEW
A commuter's view of Cooper's Bridge and the Navesink River from North Jersey Coast Line train 3320 out of Red Bank Tuesday morning.
PUT ME IN COACH!
Red Bank T-Ball kicked off at East Side park on Saturday morning. The brisk weather proved to be no deterrent to the young players, ranging ...
IT’S A SIGN!
Once proudly declaring its all-but-certain arrival in Spring 2019, the project previously known as Azalea Gardens springs to life again with ...
SPRINGTIME MEMORIES OF CARL
The Easter Bunny getup and St. Patrick’s Day hat that belonged to longtime Red Bank crossing guard and neighborhood smile-creator Carl ...
RED TRUCKS AT RED ROCK
A small dishwasher fire at Red Rock Tap and Grill was put out quickly by firefighters overnight, causing minimal damage. Red Bank Fire Depar ...
CREATIVE COVER UP
The windows of Pearl Street Consignment on Monmouth Street were smashed when a driver crashed their car through them injuring an employee la ...
THEY’RE BACK!
Ospreys returned to the skies over Red Bank this week for the first time since they migrated to warmer climes in late fall. With temperature ...
SPRING IS SPRUNG
RED BANK: Spring 2024 arrives on the Greater Red Bank Green with the vernal equinox at 11:06 p.m. Tuesday.
RED BANK’S FINEST – AND NEWEST
Red Bank Police Officer Eliot Ramos was sworn in as the force’s newest patrolman Thursday, and if you’re doing a double take thinkin ...
EASTER EGG MAYHEM AT THE PARK
An errant whistle spurred an unexpectedly early start to the Spring Egg Hunt on Sunday, which had been scheduled to begin at eggsactly 11am ...
PRESEASON DOCKWORK
RED BANK: With winter winding down, marina gets ready for boating season with some dockwork on our beautiful Navesink River.
CORNED BEEF AND DISCO FRIES?
It’s Friday, and smart Lent-observing Leprechauns know the pot of gold at the end of Red Bank’s rainbow is actually the deliciou ...
SURFBOARD DITCHED
It’s a violation of etiquette in surfing to ditch your board.  (it could hit another surfer and hurt them). But someone appears to ha ...
ELSIE, TAKE ME WITH YOU!
Soaked by pouring rain with the temperature hovering in the low 40’s, this sign in the window of Elsie’s Subs on Monmouth Street ...
WALK THIS WAY
PARTYLINE: Before-and-afters of a sidewalk cleanup on West Street.
SOGGY NOTION
RED BANK: Breezeway sculpture captured the mood downtown as heavy rains fell Saturday morning.