Maplewood TC Passes Municipal Budget — with 5.4% Tax Hike — After Months Long Delay

by Lela Moore
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The Maplewood Township Committee unanimously passed the town’s 2022 municipal budget on September 6, “just in time to start the next budget,” as TC member Nancy Adams said when she voted to approve its passage. 

“It was a long time getting here, and that will not happen again,” said Maplewood Mayor Dean Dafis. 

You can watch the meeting here. The budget discussion takes place between the 1:14:03 mark and the 1:16:03 mark.

The $53.1 million budget, with a municipal tax hike of 5.4%, was introduced in June. At the time, Township Administrator Jerry Giaimis cited delays that made for a “less than ideal” budget process. In July, the budget was deemed “embarrassingly late” by the town’s chief financial officer, Joseph Kolodziej. 

Kolodziej said at the time that the budget was being stretched by a $187,000  police union settlement and costs from Hurricane Ida totallng $845,000. Additionally, Kolodziej said, the budget was falling short due to $300,000 of overtime at the fire department, $450,000 in lost liquor license revenue, and $235,000 in unrecovered insurance payments from Ida. 

In August, the budget was delayed again, until the Sept. 6 meeting. A public budget workshop was held on August 15, at which the TC introduced amendments to the budget.

You can watch the August 15 budget workshop here:

Those amendments included a reduction in bond principal, the use of American Rescue Plan funds,  and the reduction of the Hurricane Ida costs to the town, according to Giaimis.

At a 6-minute-long  special meeting on August 16 (see above), the TC approved those amendments and scheduled budget adoption for September 6.

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