Barnegat Light Budget Brings No Tax Increase

Apr 18, 2018

Flat news is good news. The municipal budget introduced by Barnegat Light Borough Council keeps the tax rate “flat,” with no increase over the current 21.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, officials said.

The $4,062,383 municipal budget for 2018 was introduced on April 11 by title only, with no discussion. The public hearing and second reading will be at the next council meeting, at 5 p.m. May 9 in borough hall.

Revenue and Finance Committee Chairman Michael Spark added that Borough Chief Financial Officer Kathleen Flanagan and Auditor Brian Logan did an excellent job preparing the budget that contains no tax increase.

In council members’ reports, 76 new electronic water meters were installed in the past two weeks at commercial properties, said Spark, reporting in the absence of Councilwoman Mary Ellen Foley. The “smart metering” for residential properties will not go into effect this year. When the process of marking out the installation begins, it will be done by quadrants; residents will know that theirs is being marked out if they see a blue line on the street pointing to the vicinity of where the meter will be installed, council members said.

Decking and flooring are underway at the pavilion on Bayview Avenue. Public rest rooms are planned, and the parking lot will be in the northwest corner. The electrical rough work is in. All of the electric has been installed underground so there are no visible wires. Councilman Ed Wellington gave those and other details of progress.

A few piping plovers, a protected migratory species, have arrived on beaches already and are searching for a good place to nest, said Councilwoman Dottie Reynolds as part of her beach report.

Three ordinances passed on second reading: free beach admission for veterans; prohibiting the sale, purchase, dispensing or cultivation of marijuana; and accepting $50 donations for brick pavers at the borough pavilion.

The amended beach badge ordinance spells out free admission for military service men and women and veterans. It had already been in the ordinance that no badges are needed for those in active Armed Forces or N.J. National Guard service and their spouse and dependent children over age 12. New this summer will be free beach admission for honorably discharged veterans of any of the U.S. armed forces. Also, there will be no fee for Gold Star Family members who have a Gold Star-designated driver’s license or ID card. The family is defined as spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, child, legal guardian or legal custodian of a member of the Armed Forces or National Guard who lost his/her life while on active duty.

The marijuana ordinance amends and supplements the zoning code. It takes effect immediately. The new paragraph states “the use of any lands or buildings for the sale, purchase, dispensing or cultivation of marijuana shall be unlawful and strictly prohibited throughout the Borough of Barnegat Light.”

The other ordinance amends the borough code to provide for accepting a donation of $50 for personalized brick pavers at the pavilion. The borough will have discretion over the content and location placement of the pavers. Once the bricks are ready to be supplied and the ordering process is finalized, citizens will find the details on the borough website,

“We’re working on getting it set up. There will be a link on the website to order,” Borough Clerk Brenda Kuhn said.

Also, the Barnegat Light Taxpayers Association plans to inform its member taxpayers when the time comes that the bricks can be ordered.

— Maria Scandale

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