The Avalon Borough Council unanimously approved the 2020 municipal budget during its meeting on Wednesday, April 8th. The new budget includes no tax increase, the elimination of the last general obligation serial bond, and finances necessary capital improvement projects needed in the community. There is no increase in the water and sewer rates charged in Avalon in 2020.
“Avalon made a promise to work towards the elimination of these general obligation bonds and this budget does just that”, said Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi. “We are extremely proud of this budget and very grateful the community has put its trust towards our team to manage finances and have one of the lowest tax rates in the entire State of New Jersey. Avalon also does not anticipate issuing any new serial bonds which keeps our debt very low”.
The Avalon municipal budget totals $28,659,238 and holds the municipal tax rate at 19.9 cents. The actual tax levy in Avalon has increased by only $350,000 and is supported by $9.199 billion in ratables. After budget adoption, surplus balance is a healthy $4.6 million which helps Avalon maintain a stable tax rate, and contribute to its AAA bond rating from Standard and Poor’s.
Municipalities in the State of New Jersey are required to place a five percent down payment on capital improvement projects. Avalon puts a 20 percent down payment on capital projects and aggressively pays down debt in every municipal budget. Several capital improvement projects in the Borough will result in full cash payment with no short term debt accrued.
“This budget is a result of the hard work of the Council Finance Committee which includes Dr. Nancy Hudanich and Councilman John McCorristin, along with the diligent efforts of our Finance Department, administration, and department heads”, Mayor Pagliughi said. “Avalon is in an extremely favorable financial position because we pay attention to financial matters not every once in a while, but every day”.
Some of the capital improvement projects to be financed by the 2020 municipal budget include improvements to the Bay Park Marina boat ramp; bulkhead replacements; an expansion and renovation of the Avalon Volunteer Fire Department building; boardwalk, deck, and walkover replacements; and an additional beach tractor and surf rake. Avalon also intends to move its emergency dispatch operations to County dispatch later this year.
Avalon is also making an investment in its long-term resiliency with placing fund in this, and future budgets, to address partnerships with state and federal agencies on flood mitigation projects. For the first time since 2017, Avalon will be increasing the costs of its beach tags in order to make beach patrol and beach tag checkers’ wages more competitive that are stressed by the state’s mandatory one dollar per year increase in the minimum wage.