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Toms River 2014 Proposed Budget Introduced

Toms River Township Business Administrator Paul Shives, by T. Mongelli Townsquare media

Toms River introduces a proposed $123.6 million dollar budget proposal that includes a 3.8 cent tax increase this year. Township Business Administrator Paul Shives said they were dealing with some good news and bad news while crafting the 2014 spending plan.

The good news, according to Shives, is that the township recovered about a third of its ratable base earlier destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

“We did have between $800 million dollars and a billion dollars come back on the base,” Shives said.

However, the bad news is, it could take several more years for the township to fully recovery from Sandy’s impact to its ratable base, according to Shives.  Old Man Winter also dealt a blow to the township’s budget. “We had five major snow storms this year to deal with that increased our public works budget with overtime, salt, contracting services about $2 million,” Shives explained.

In a written statement, Township Mayor Tom Kelaher said “The Township and its residents continue to recover and rebuild from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. The Township will continue to respond to the needs of those residents and funding has been provided in the 2014 budget for continuation of the Township’s efforts,” Kelaher said.

Among those efforts is the opening of the satellite center on Ortley Beach.

However, to keep the reigns on spending, belt-tightening efforts continue at town hall. “We did not add positions. We kept the salary increases in the 2% range. We have non-union employees still taking unpaid furlough days,” Shives said.

Council members have until May to review the proposed budget.

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