By Council President Jeanne Kingsley
Want to know what is being discussed by the Town Council at its next meeting?
The next Township Council meeting will be held on Tuesday May 4 at 7:00PM. Member of Council, Mayor Devanney, and Administration staff will be participating electronically via ZOOM in this meeting. For this and all future electronic meetings, members of the public will be able to comment by video and comments will also be accepted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by writer letter to Township Clerk, 29 Park Ave, Berkeley Heights NJ 07922. Comments must be received by the Township Clerk by 4:00 PM on the date of the ZOOM meeting. The meeting ID for the Zoom meeting is http://zoom.us/s/3575747364.
The first item on the agenda is a conference session on the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act. This Bill legalized the sale and use of recreational cannabis in New Jersey. Municipalities may opt-out from hosting cannabis related businesses in town. However, such local ordinances must be enacted by Aug. 22, 2021. Our Municipal Planner Keenan Hughes will review how the six classes of businesses which the municipality may either allow or prohibit based on the current law could operate and impact our town. Click here to view the PowerPoint.
The Council will have a public hearing and then vote on an ordinance to exceed the municipal budget appropriation limit and to establish a 2021 Appropriation Cap Bank. This ordinance was introduced on April 6, 2021. The Appropriation Cap limits municipalities from increasing their final appropriations by more than 1% excluding grants, debt service, capital improvements and reserve for uncollected taxes. The council may, by ordinance, increase final appropriations by 3.5% and establish an Appropriation Cap Bank, for up to two years, for the difference between its final appropriations and 3.5%. For the 2021 Municipal budget, we are using $188,522.42 from the prior years’ Appropriation Cap Bank.
The Council will have a public hearing and then vote to adopt the 2021 Municipal Budget that was presented and introduced on April 6, 2021. This budget reflects a 2.6% increase over the 2020 municipal budget (and uses $188,522.42 from the prior years’ Appropriation Cap Bank). The 2020 municipal budget had significant cuts to appropriations due to the impact of COVID and also included a one-time revenue item for the extension of the Connell Liquor license. The 2021 municipal budget maintains the level of service that our residents are accustom to without a significant tax increase.
Click here to view the user-friendly budget on our website.
The council will vote on the following resolutions:
- Approve Bill List dated May 4, 2021 in the amount of $447,601.26 for vouchers that have been properly approved for processing and payment.
- Amend Resolution Np. 2-2021, concerning the appointment of the Township Attorney to dispense with the RFP requirement that mandates a guaranteed flat fee for service.
To view the complete Council agenda, go here.
The next council meeting is scheduled of May 18, 2021 at 7 pm.