Cost-cutting measures keep budget on course

-KENNEDY-


By Jamie Wiggan


According to Kennedy’s treasurer, township officials were forced to find creative workarounds to keep the accounts balanced during 2021 and avoid a tax hike in the new year.


“It has not been easy,” Mel Weinstein, township manager, treasurer and tax collector said during an annual financial report delivered Dec. 9. “We had so many things that took place on the negative side.”


In addition to general pandemic headwinds, Weinstein said, the township also had to fork out $200,000 in unbudgeted sewer repairs during the past 12 months. To offset these expenses without edging into the red, he said officials had to scour the budget for all opportunities to trim waste.

This entailed changing the payroll account service for an annual saving of $3,200, consolidating phone lines for a $2,400 annual saving and switching auditing firms for an annual saving of $3,000, Weinstein said.


Bigger savings – $22,800 annually – were made by negotiating new police health care plans, Weinstein said.


Weinstein complimented commissioners for their diligent negotiating tactics and for working together on balancing next year’s budget.


“The greatest gift we can give our taxpayers is a balanced budget and no tax increase, and that’s what we’re going to be giving you in 2022,” he said.


Commissioners approved a preliminary 2022 budget of $16.1 million, with $5.24 million allocated to the sewage and $408,108 to liquid fuels, during a business meeting Nov. 18. They will meet Dec. 30 to pass a final spending plan.


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