It's been a battle brewing in Brick Township for quite some time. Yet both Republican Mayor Stephen Acropolis and the mostly Democratic Council are working hard to try and keep the Department of Public Works intact and 77 staffers on the payroll.

Mayor Acropolis had originally proposed a municipal budget that cut $8-million-dollars, or 8 cents off the tax rate. This would have meant disbanding the department that's responsible for trash and recycling pickup as well as other important services in the community.

It would have also laid off the workers causing the residents in town to have to pay for outsourced programs and services.

Last week, the council reinstated the 8 cents. However, layoffs could still be imminent if there's a structural deficit in the 2012 spending plan. Some have suggested cutting from the top in the administrative staff. Acropolis says that would be disasterous. He says "people have to realize, if we cut staff from those departments, we will be forced to cut vital services. When I took office, there were over 450 township employees. That number is considerably less now."

The council is expected to adopt their budget this month. Acropolis says "the council and I have been looking through things to trim wherever we can. We've already slashed $750,000 from other areas. We keep looking things over. I don't think we will have to lay anyone off. We hope to keep everyone working and still provide those services people have come to know and expect."

The state Department of Community Affairs has given the town until May 11th to decide once and for all about the layoff plans.