MIDDLETOWN – The Middletown Township Committee is inviting the community to provide input on the proposed municipal budget at www.middletownnj.org/budget. All comments received will be forwarded directly to the five committee members.

“In today’s fast-paced society, websites are the communication resource of choice for many busy families,” said Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger, discussing the online request for citizen input. “Using the website as a communication portal is an inexpensive yet highly effective way to further enhance and simplify communication between residents and their government. I’m looking forward to receiving the community’s input.”

 

Website visitors can also review a budget summary, introduced budget document and comparative chart of municipal spending per capita. The $64.9 million proposed spending plan introduced June 21 reflects a consistent effort to reduce costs and maintain a stable tax rate. Middletown’s per capita spending remains amongst the lowest in the state, he said.

The budget proposal includes a 15% reduction in departmental funding requests, 40 staff reductions, and reduced recreation services. It addresses more than $8 million worth of major budget hurdles including losses in state aid, increased heath care costs, and clean-up from major snow and rain storms, the mayor said.

“Adjustments to the proposed municipal budget are likely prior to adoption,” Scharfenberger added. “This is a difficult budget year and we are exploring every avenue to bring the numbers down.”

As introduced, the municipal tax rate would increase 4.85 cents to 39.85 cents per 100 of assessed valuation. This represents an increase of 2.8 percent on the total property tax bill and would equate to an additional $211 annually or $17.66 monthly on the average home assessed at $437,000.

A public hearing regarding the proposed budget is scheduled for July 19, 8 p.m. at Town Hall 1 Kings Highway.

Earlier this year the Township Committee invited the community to submit comments via the website regarding the 2009/2010 school budget. The governing body, which is required by state law to review and recommend cuts to defeated school budgets, received in excess of 600 comments.