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Municipal taxes will not increase for the residents of Cherry Hill, under the municipal budget adopted at the Sept. 10 Township Council meeting, Mayor Chuck Cahn has announced.
The governing body approved the $65,246,228 budget for Fiscal Year 2013 in a unanimous vote. The approved plan includes no increase in the municipal tax rate, and is well below the mandated 2-percent cap.
“In developing this budget, my administration’s priority was preserving the high-level of service that our residents expect,” Cahn said. “Our focus was on meeting the community’s needs and making smart decisions that allow us to work more efficiently and effectively as we move forward.”
Highlights include:• Savings on trash, recycling and utilities.• Savings on medical insurance due to aggressive negotiations with insurance carriers.• Savings on debt-service payments due to the retirement of old debt.• Savings on police overtime due to increased staffing efficiencies and technology upgrades.• Increased revenue from residential and commercial permitting.• An increased investment in infrastructure.
The budget allocates $8 million for capital improvements, including the maintenance of nearly 260 miles of municipal roads, drainage improvements, sewer infrastructure and the upkeep of all parks and recreational facilities. This year, it includes $3.2 million for the annual Road Maintenance Program.
Cahn said the budget also reflects a commitment to shared services, noting the town’s recent participation in a cooperative bid for trash disposal with Camden County. That agreement saves Cherry Hill approximately $130,000 over the next two years.
“These connections strengthen our community and allow us to leverage every dollar to benefit our residents,” he said. “We are continually exploring other opportunities to partner with neighboring towns, Camden County, and the Cherry Hill Fire Department and School District.”
Mayor Cahn cited the importance of civic engagement in helping local government identify the community’s needs, and spotlighted several efforts to increase public participation, including the launch of a new municipal website, a more customizable e-mail notification system, a new citizen request tracker, and the creation of the Citizens Cabinet and Business Council.
“We know that the people who live and work here are our most valuable resource in helping to objectively evaluate the services we deliver and the way in which we deliver them, and I want residents to reach out and tell us what they think,” he said.
He cited the consolidation of the Township’s Code and Community Development Offices as a factor in reducing turnaround time for certain services, and a renewed focus on economic development as a key to helping Cherry Hill’s business community thrive.
“Cherry Hill is on solid financial footing today,” Cahn said. “We are moving forward with a focus on providing innovative, high-level services, sustaining economic vitality, and laying a solid foundation for the future.”
The full FY2013 budget document is available online at www.CherryHill-NJ.com, and can be viewed in the Municipal Clerk’s Office or at the Cherry Hill Library.
Residents are encouraged to contact the Mayor’s Office with their questions and suggestions. For more information, call (856) 488-7878 or e-mail MayorCahn@chtownship.com.