At last night’s City Council meeting, Finance Director Frank Donato made a presentation on budgeted revenues and expenses for 2018. He offered an analysis of ratable trends, fund balance, debt service, operating expenses, full-time staffing, health insurance, pensions and other parts of the budget. The work that goes into putting together this annual plan is a team effort, and I have always instructed everybody to start from zero and budget only what’s necessary to maintain our level of services. I’m confident that we have delivered a responsible budget, and I look forward to working with City Council to further refine it.
The budget presentation is available online at www.ocnj.us/finance/ for everybody to view. City Council will formally “introduce” the budget at the March 22 meeting. Council will then work on potential revisions until a final public hearing and vote in April.
Our contractor is working on the final stages of the Fourth Ward neighborhood drainage project. And the city is juggling several other road projects in all four wards. As the weather warms up in the coming weeks, paving work will begin.
We learned that a gas line must be replaced on the portion of the Wesley Avenue project between North Street and Battersea, and we hope that the delay this replacement causes will be kept to a minimum. Additional utility work will cause the intersection of Eighth Street and Asbury Avenue to be closed for a day on either Tuesday or Wednesday as New Jersey American Water installs a new main. Following the closure work will continue on parts of Eighth Street.
Please be patient as we push to complete all of these improvements before the summer season.
The forecast calls for another coastal storm to pass by Ocean City on Sunday night and Monday. It’s still unclear exactly how we will be affected, but please keep an eye on conditions and be prepared to protect your vehicles if the storm brings flooding. Two of the pumping stations in Merion Park experienced issues during the most recent storm. As this sophisticated technology becomes more common with the new neighborhood projects underway, we are developing procedures to quickly identify and correct any unintended shutdown. Please never attempt to tamper with this equipment and notify police immediately if you see anyone tampering with or disabling this equipment.
Jay A. Gillian