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Toms River Awaiting Word on Grant Before Official Budget Adoption

Budget would have to be amended if funds do not come through, though they are still expected

Toms River did not officially adopt its municipal operating budget this week as it awaits word on whether a $15.4 million Essential Services Grant funded by the federal government comes through.

There was no indication the grant would not be awarded to Toms River, Business Administrator Paul Shives said, however in the event that it did not the budget would have to be amended.

The township council held a mandatory public hearing on the budget this week despite the lack of an official adoption, though township officials have maintained the budget as proposed last month by Mayor Thomas Kelaher.

"The goal of the 2014 budget was to maintain the level of service currently provided by the township to its residents and also, at the same time, enhance the recovery effort from Superstorm Sandy," said Shives.

The average Toms River resident would pay about $100 more per year on the municipal portion of their property tax bill, Shives has said, under the $123,674,417 spending plan. The budget would be supported by a $65,158,671 adjusted tax levy.

The tax increase was prompted by a number of factors, including hirings in the building department spurred by the Sandy recovery, the lack of a $5 million disaster loan that helped prop up last year's budget following Sandy following a ratable base decline, and $1.2 million in emergency appropriations made for the plowing and cleanup of five snowstorms this past winter. The township also increased its reserve for uncollected taxes by about $1 million, Shives said.

"We’re hopeful that we will not see snow in December, because that will further place a burden on the budget," Shives said.

The final budget approval is expected to come in June, once the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development formally approves the grant funding.

Earlier this week, Brick Township halted its budget approval due to the same directive from the state over the Essential Services Grant funding.
Chief Wahoo May 08, 2014 at 08:17 AM
I see Shives is using the Obama Hope strategy. Hope there is no snow in December. But take all your change in your piggy bank if there is snow........ What a farce !!!!! NO ONE SEEMS TO NOTICE. NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE !!!!!!!!!
Mac May 08, 2014 at 08:36 AM
Apparently the leader of the Toms River chapter of the Gilmore Girls doesn't have as many war medals to fall back on as the leader of the Stafford Gilmore Girls does. In Stafford they budget and spend for useless community centers before they even know who the fairy princess is that is not going to show up with the money to pay for it as promised.
Mac May 08, 2014 at 08:41 AM
Then again, if there was someone with any substance on the Toms River Gilmore Daisychain, they would be running for the 3rd District seat instead of just providing cover for Vicari's fantasies.
Brandy the Dog May 08, 2014 at 09:06 AM
The TR daisy chain IS looking rather tired.
Dorothy Matteo May 08, 2014 at 09:55 AM
Just pass it on to the taxpayers like they aways do EVERY YEAR!!!!!

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