The Township of Maplewood will wrap up its budget hearings with department heads, Saturday, before moving on to the next step of the budget process.
“All are welcomed and encouraged to attend the meeting of the 2014 budget process,” the Township said in a written statement. “Attending budget meetings is excellent for residents to educate themselves on the various components that comprise almost 26.5 percent of their tax bill."
Saturday's budget hearing is the last of three scheduled meetings, but there will be as many as three others, according to Maplewood Township Administrator Joseph Manning.
"In the past those additional budget meetings were held during regularly scheduled meetings of the Township Committee," he said.
The third scheduled meeting will be held on Saturday, Jan, 25 at 9 a.m. to discuss the Open Space Trust Fund, Community Coalition on Race, Maplewood Village Alliance, Springfield, Avenue Partnership, YouthNet, The Library and Revenues and Capital.
On Saturday, Jan. 4, the 2014 budget discussions began with an overview of the process before the meetings with the heads of various departments. Township officials first heard from Fire and Office of Emergency Management, Police and Dispatching, Public Works and Recycling, as well as Recreation and Cultural Affairs.
On Jan. 11, they heard from Engineering, Planning and Zoning, Municipal Court and Prosecutor, Administration, Human Resources, Redevelopment, Legal, and IT, Finance, Tax and Sewer Fee Collection, Construction Officials and Code Enforcement, Clerk and Township Committee and Personnel Requests.
"Our auditors are working to close out last year and produce an Annual Financial Statement (AFS)," said Manning. "The AFS provides the revenue side of the equation. The Township Committee with then have the entire picture (revenues and expenditures) and will then work to establish the budget and tax rate for 2014."
"That budget will be introduced and approved," he added. "Subject to receiving our State Aid number a hearing on the budget will be scheduled and after the budget hearing, the budget can be adopted."
Under state statute, a municipality must introduce its budget is March 14 and adoption must take place by April 25, Manning said.