Township adopts $86.7 million municipal budget with zero tax increase
Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the township’s 2015 budget, which includes a zero percent increase in municipal taxes. The $86.7 million budget has met all state approvals and comes with a reduction in municipal debt and an increase in surplus reserves from the previous year.
Municipal taxes for the average home assessed at $140,000 will be $3,444 in the newly adopted budget, the exact same amount they were in the previous year. Total tax bills will also reflect budgets passed by the North Bergen Board of Education and County of Hudson.
“This zero tax increase budget is the result of careful financial planning, an upswing in our ratable base, and holding the line on expenses across the board,” said Sacco. The 2015 budget will raise $62.3 million in taxes while also relying on several other items of revenue such as an increase in building permit receipts, increased PILOT payments, and more.
Municipal surplus has increased to over $8 million with only $2 million used this year, the same amount used last year and less than was used the prior two years. The township’s long term debt has been reduced by $2.3 million to approximately $58 million, which is lower than it was over 15 years ago in an era where many other municipalities have increased debt significantly. Meanwhile the township’s state aid figure has remained stagnant at about $7 million over the past five years and is now about half of what it was in 2007.
Other items of note in the budget include the elimination of the annual payment into the Meadowlands Tax Sharing program which saved nearly $1 million. The budget comes with a zero percent increase in spending on employee health benefits, which was negotiated between the township and its insurance carrier. New expenditures in the budget include a new senior bus and ambulance and maintenance of the Waterfront Park. The township’s total ratable base increased by 2.1 percent from last year, which is the first time it has increased since 2011 and shows the increased strength of the local real estate market.
Palisades Medical Center recognizes local residents for volunteer service
“Our volunteers play a vital role in helping Palisades Medical Center provide high quality care for our community,” said Bruce J. Markowitz, president and CEO of Palisades Medical Center (PMC). “They truly exemplify what it means to make a strong commitment to caring for our neighbors each and every day.”
Markowitz was among the staff presenting awards to local residents for their volunteer service on April 16 at a special luncheon at The Waterside in North Bergen to celebrate National Volunteer Week. More than 100 volunteers offer their time and energy in almost every department of PMC. In addition to four women who were recognized and awarded for their more than 70 years of combined volunteer service, commemorative pins were presented to numerous volunteers in recognition of their cumulative hours of service at PMC.
Volunteer activities include assisting the nursing staff and patients, working in the gift shop, performing clerical duties, and organizing special fundraising events. For more information or to volunteer, call Denise Whitley, coordinator of Volunteer Services, at (201) 854-5011.
Library amnesty event ends Sunday – return your overdue books now without fines
The North Bergen Free Public library is hosting its annual amnesty event until Sunday, April 26. Patrons can return their items during that time with no questions asked and the fines will be waived. Come in and return your items today. For more information call (201) 869-4715 or visit www.nbpl.org.
North Hudson Creative Alliance seeks new members for arts coalition
Artists, musicians, photographers, writers, dancers, actors, filmmakers, models, poets, and all those in creative fields are invited to join the North Hudson Creative Alliance. The main goal of this group is to bring together like-minded residents who are interested in producing artistic venues in the area.
Projects will include creating North Bergen’s first annual Art & Music Festival, turning the Braddock House in James J. Braddock Park into a Cultural Arts Center, and producing social dance venues for the over-40 crowd.
All those who support the arts are also welcome. If interested, contact Lynn Earley at email@example.com for details regarding the first meeting, which will be in the near future.
Run the Palisades on May 17 to support the Diabetes Foundation
The 7th annual Run the Palisades event, one of Bergen County’s premier road races, will once again support the Diabetes Foundation. Scheduled for Sunday, May 17, the event will feature 5K and 10K run/walks, a kids run, and a health fair.
“Diabetes affects nearly one million people in New Jersey. It’s the third leading cause of death, and a major cause of blindness, heart disease and amputation,” said Roberta Schmidt, executive director of the Diabetes Foundation, located in Paramus. “This is a disease that does not discriminate. Yet, getting tested and having a solid understanding of just what diabetes is can make a huge difference in both preventing it and helping individuals and their families learn to live with it more successfully.”
The Diabetes Foundation (www.diabetesfoundationinc.org) provides short-term diabetes medications and supplies to needy people with diabetes, supports services that offer information and resources for diabetes management, and sends children with diabetes to summer camp.
Run the Palisades is hosted by the towns of Fort Lee and Cliffside Park, and sponsored by Novo Nordisk. Additional sponsorships are still available.
Free vascular ultrasound demonstration at the library April 27
How are the veins your legs working? Join a free vascular ultrasound demonstration on Monday, April 27 at the North Bergen Free Public Library from 6 to 8 p.m. and receive a complimentary ultrasound study and get immediate feedback.
Do you suffer from any of these leg symptoms: swollen ankles; leg cramps or restless legs; pain while walking; itching or burning; aching, pain, or throbbing; varicose veins or spider veins? Chronic venous insufficiency is a problem affecting 40 million American adults. It’s the often undiagnosed condition behind varicose veins and spider veins. Vascular screening is one of the most effective ways to perform early diagnosis of vascular disease.
The North Bergen Public Library is at 8411 Bergenline Ave.
Career Fair in Union City on April 29
The City of Union City in conjunction with the North Hudson Community Action Corporation is holding their 2015 Career Fair on Wednesday, April 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Union City High School, 2500 Kennedy Blvd., Union City.
There will be over 20 vendors attending from different fields, including administrative, financial services, and home care. For additional information contact Olga Velez at (201) 758-5511.
Recreation T-Ball Clinics Awards on May 9
Awards will be given out at the North Bergen Recreation Center, 6300 Meadowview Ave., at 12:30 p.m. on May 9. All players must wear t-ball shirts
Free cardiac and concussion screenings for young athletes on May 2
Free cardiac and concussion baseline screenings will be available to young athletes on Saturday, May 2 from 8 a.m. to noon in the cafeteria at Jersey City Medical Center at 355 Grand Ave., Jersey City.
Head injuries are on the rise at all levels of athletics, including those who compete at the recreational and middle and high school levels. A concussion baseline study (called ImPACT) can help identify future brain injuries. If an athlete is believed to have suffered a head injury, this screening may be used to evaluate the severity of the injury and help determine when it is safe for the athlete to return. The free test will be made available to the first 80 athletes ages 12 to 18 years to sign up.
The cardiac screening is for athletes ages six to 18 years old. Studies have shown sudden cardiac arrest and tragic deaths can often be avoided when preliminary testing to identify serious cardiac problems is provided. The screening, which will be offered to the first 130 who sign up, can help to identify players who may require further testing or intervention.
To sign up for the screenings, email firstname.lastname@example.org. A parent or guardian must accompany the young athlete. The screenings are provided by Jersey City Medical Center, a Barnabas Health facility, in conjunction with the Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes. Barnabas Health serves and cares for more pediatric patients than any other health care organization in New Jersey. The Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes provides education, evaluation and assessment of sports injuries and sports-related cardiac and concussion screenings. For more information visit www.barnabashealth.org/morahan or call (973) 322-7913.