Home » Hopewell Township Sets 2024 Budget

Hopewell Township Sets 2024 Budget

by Cat Jackson

The Hopewell Township Committee met on Monday, May 20, to pass the finalized budget for 2024. During the meeting, the Committee presented a summary of the budget allocations and how they are used. The meeting also featured several proclamations and staff reports about various Township events.

Budget Highlights

Grant Usage

Grants make up about 2.2% of the budget, and supplement improvements to the community, says director of public works George Snyder. The Woolsey Park Band Shell, for example, was funded entirely by a grant from the State of New Jersey.

A number of other grants paid for upgrades to the dispatch center, improvements to local infrastructure, and the upcoming new senior center.

Shared Services

The Township employs shared services to keep taxes low by pooling resources. In the Township, shared services make up 4.7% of the budget, which is more than a 30% increase from last year. Snyder explained during the presentation that shared services are adopted to decrease costs for all government bodies that participate. For example, the County Mill and Pave Mutual Assistance allows the Township to provide materials for paving, while the County provides all labor and equipment. A few of the other shared services with other Townships include Public Health and Welfare, curbside recycling services, and health clinics.

Equipment Purchases

Snyder emphasized the importance of prudent purchasing decisions in cutting costs. The Township has invested in larger waste disposal vehicles and more energy efficient emergency response vehicles, which impacts the cost of fuel and the number of man hours needed for day-to-day work.

Debt Repayment

Hopewell Township puts a high priority on paying off more debt than is taken on each year, decreasing the cost of debt service over time. At the moment, debt service makes up about 25% of the Township budget.

Tax Levy Increase

Township income must increase at the rate of inflation in order for day-to-day operations to continue. Unless operations can become more efficient or new revenue streams can increase, property taxes will account for this increased income. This year, the Township’s tax levy increased 1.14%, compared to the 3.48% rate of inflation.

Tax Collection by the Township

Taxes in Hopewell Township are divided up between several parties. The Township is responsible for collecting taxes for the County, School Board, the Fire District, and for the Township itself.

Utilities

Utility services such as water and sewage are self-liquidating. Rent and interest paid for use of these services goes directly to salaries, expenses, and improvements to the system. For more information on changes to sewage rates, see the May 14 article on the subject.

Meeting Highlights

Gun Violence

The first Friday in June is National Gun Violence Awareness Day to honor all victims and survivors of gun violence. There will be a Wear Orange event on June 8 at 10am Cadwalader Park in Trenton.

Public Works Week

This past week, May 19 through the 25, was National Public Works Week. a time to acknowledge the positive impact Public Works has on quality of life for all people.

Early Voting

Early voting for the Primary Elections starts May 29 and ends June 2. More information is available on the nj.gov website, or in-person at the Township Clerk’s office.

Cultural Festival

The Cultural Festival and Mayors’ Awards at the ribbon cutting at the new Woolsey Park Bandshell on May 11 was a huge success, said Deputy Mayor Uma Purandare. She extended a special thanks to all of the people who helped organize the festival. Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning echoed this thanks. 

Police Department

The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Hopewell Township Police Department is on June 8 at 1pm at Woolsey Park. The Police vs Teachers softball game will be Saturday, June 1, at 10am.

The next Committee meeting will be June 3 at 6:30pm. 

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