Overview: Berkeley Heights Township Budget Process
How does the Annual Budget process work? When does it take place? Can the public get involved? We have your answers here.
The Township of Berkeley Heights is funded by annual Operating and Capital budgets, which must be approved by the Township Council. These proposed budgets are prepared by the Township Administrator and CFO who meet with each Township department to review departmental needs and requests for the next fiscal year as well as by discussions with the Mayor, consulting the Master Plan to ensure that Capital investments are aligned with the Township plan.
The Operating Budget includes personnel costs, annual facility operating costs and debt service. It is funded primarily through local property and sales taxes, licenses (such as building and department fees), charges for services and other similar sources of revenue.
The Capital Budget funds major improvements to the Township and its infrastructure (such as paving roads and major building projects); resources that have an expected lifetime that extends beyond the acquisition year. It is supported using multiple funding sources including different types of bonds (debt), grants, cash as well as other sources of funding.
Once the Operating and Capital budgets are drafted, the Mayor and Township Council holds public Budget Hearings to discuss and review the budgets. Each Budget Hearing includes a Citizens Hearing where the public can comment and ask questions. Each department head or their representative appears at the Budget Hearings to formally present their requests. The Mayor and Township Council may make changes to the budget as needed, provided that the budget remains balanced and remains below the 2% spending cap increase per year as required by law (with the exception of debt payments and health/pension benefits).
In 2020, there are two Budget Hearings scheduled (February 10, and February 24).
Once the budget has been fully reviewed by the Mayor and Township Council, the budget will be formally introduced at a regular Township Council meeting. There are rules about official advertisement of the Budget Introduction and Adoption meetings. A 29-day period is required between the budget introduction and the public meeting where the budget can be formally adopted. A 2/3rds majority of the Council (at least 4 of 6) is needed to adopt the budget. In 2020, Budget Introduction is expected to occur in March with a Public Hearing and Formal Adoption meeting and vote sometime before April 30th.
View Livestream of Budget Hearings
February 10 Budget Meeting Agenda
2020 Budget Presentation - Handout Distributed at Meeting
- Municipal Clerk
- Communications Committee
- Environmental Commission
- Fire Department and OEM
- Fire Prevention
- Police Department
- Public Works
- Rescue Squad
- Recreation Commission
- Wastewater Treatment Plant