ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. — The following is a letter to the editor from Elmwood Park Council President Magdalena Giandomenico:
Dear Elmwood Park Resident,
After numerous budget meetings, on March 16, 2017 the Elmwood Park Council unanimously approved the budget. A balanced budget is achieved by using a portion of the surplus generated in prior years. The Borough is utilizing about 64% of it, $3,575,000 to offset the tax levy. Our water surplus, approximately $2,000,000, will allow us to pay for the water tank project rather than incurring additional debt. We are also allocating around $1.8 million to the repayment of our borough debt, in turn saving on paying interest.
The Council is committed to the continuation of repaving and beautification of our roads and the installation of ADA curb ramps. We previously repaved many roads in town: the Boulevard was funded by a grant through the DOT, various streets through the Community Development Block Grant, and over 400 were funded by PSEG energy strong project. We were awarded a total of approximately $760,235 in grants for our roads.
In 2016, the Council decided to solicit grant writers, leading to Millennium Strategies coming on board in 2017. They are working on submitting a grant application though the Green Acres Park Development Program to further aid our park development. Last year, the Borough was able to complete the remainder of the Cherry Hill Project after utilizing grant funding. So far this year we anticipate a $49,100 grant funded towards the Birchwood Park project, with the balance to be funded through the recreation trust account along with improvements to Gall Ave Park.
As the Finance Committee Chair and a taxpayer, I am proud to deliver a budget that maintains a healthy and steady financial heartbeat. The only portion of the tax bill that the Mayor and Council control is the municipal budget. Thank you to our CFO and to our Borough Administrator for all of their work on our Borough budget and for keeping a steady hand on the Borough’s operational and financial standing year round. Thank you to all of our department heads and employees who are always committed to providing efficient and economical government to our residents.