The 2002 Municipal Budget resulted in a six and one-half point increase in the municipal portion of the tax rate. This budget increase reflects increases in operations as the result of contractual obligations, market conditions and the aftermath of September 11, 2001 as we heighten our focus on homeland security.
Salaries and wages are up $1.8 million dollars or 7.7%. Other expenses are up $840,000 or 8%. Significant items which account for that increase include group health insurance premiums, legal fees and utility costs. In addition, the 2002 municipal budget marks the creation of a separate emergency management budget to strengthen the coordinated efforts of the Township's Police Department and Fire Department.
$3,380,000 from fund balance was used in the 2002 budget, an increase of $300,000. We again hope that budget operations will return at least $3,380,000 back to fund balance by the end of 2002 for use in the year 2003 budget.
Capital improvements planned for 2002, as detailed in Schedule D, reflect an increase of $542,000 over the 2001 appropriation. $600,000 for resurfacing and curb replacement program has been included for 2002. Funds have been included for renovations to Police Headquarters, the resurfacing of the tennis courts in Andreas Park, installation of playground equipment in Coolidge Park and Argonne Park (with 50% of the funding coming from a grant from the Bergen County Open Space Trust Fund), various pool upgrades (both in-ground and above ground), field upgrades at Votee Park, Tryon Park and Terhune Park; turnout pants replacement, various upgrades for fire stations and purchase of a new 16 channel voice recorder for the Fire Department; replacement of service weapons and mobile data terminals for the Police Department; replacement of the 1984 sewer jet truck in the Public Works Department; and communication and computer upgrades for various departments.
2002 also brought about the permanent financing of the balance of the loan for the Richard Rodda Community Center addition. The Township took advantage of the favorable market conditions by permanently financing $3,544,000 at an interest rate of 4.1969% for a period of thirteen years.
Our annual contribution to the State administered police and fire retirement system and public employee retirement system continued to decrease as a result of legislation enacted in prior years. However, we anticipate these payments will increase in the near future. Payments for deferred charges to future taxation and Social Security were budgeted for in the Deferred and Statutory portions of the municipal budget.
The Township is continuing its multi-year upgrade of municipal facilities with the long awaited construction of a new public works facility in the near future. Review of upgrading or replacement of our four remaining buildings, including Fire Headquarters and the Municipal Building, continues. Teaneck continues to have the bonding capability to meet the challenge for funding these improvements.
Please do not hesitate to call me at 201-837-4807, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop in to see me at the Municipal Building if you wish further explanation on the 2002 Municipal Budget or on any other matter.
Helene V. Fall