Category Archives: News

A Difference in Policy with Township Finances and How It Impacts Residents.

Currently, after review of the 2016 Annual Financial Statement, posted on Township website

http://www.westdeptford.com/…/2016%20Annual%20Financial%20S…

a surplus of $2, 773,929.69 was available at the end of 2016. A review of the introduced 2017 budget indicates that $734,176.37 will be utilized in this year’s budget, resulting in over $2 million remaining in reserve.

If only additional $811,543.81, which is the increase in revenue by taxation, was added to the usable surplus in this year’s budget, the probability of no tax increase is possible. However, the surplus remaining would be just over $1.2 million.

The difference in strict fiscal control of township appropriations, as demonstrated by previous administration, versus current administration view of available money, for uses other than essential services, is determined by the residents (election process)and how they view their property taxation.

Basic question for any resident:
Out of the $2.77 million surplus, would you rather see additional amount to be used in place of an increase in taxation, or would you rather accept the tax increase and accept the current administration explanation that surplus amount is available for whatever expenditure deemed “necessary” by the Committee?

YOU DECIDE!

Introduced West Deptford budget was advertised in SJ Times yesterday, April 20th

For transparency, and for those who no longer subscribe to SJ Times, it would be helpful for the Township clerk to post that info on the Township website.

Revenue by taxation is increasing ($811453.81), as Mayor indicated Wednesday night, 3.8 cents, (for avg. assessed house $74 increase) which equates to a 4.1% increase from last year local tax.

Once finalized through adoption in May, Mayor DiCarlo administration is averaging over 4.9% increase in the three years under her control. Compared that to the previous 3 years, where the average was 1.3% increase.

Riverwinds Advisory Committee to be repealed by Current Administration: APRIL 5th, 2017

According to the minutes of the Township’s meeting on March 15th, Chapter 58 of the Township Code, is to be repealed on April 5th, when the second reading and final vote for this action is scheduled to take place.

Why should this concern the residents?

Riverwinds Advisory Committee was proposed in 2012 and approved in early 2013, so as “to improving the operations and financial status of the RiverWinds Community Center. ” (Chapter 58.1.A).
http://clerkshq.com/default.ashx?clientsite=WestDeptford-nj

The committee, appointed by the Mayor, consisted of a wide range of residents, from business acumen, marketing experience, to legal background that would perform the duties in order to provide an oversight and a transparency to the operation of the center in a cost effective manner.

Prior to the creation of the RAC, Riverwinds Community Center, besides the initial cost the every homeowner continually bears in taxation from the original bonding and debt, ran in the red, thereby costing residents an additional amount of money needed from tax revenue. By 2014, reportedly by the administration, RCC was operating in the black, or at least, argumentatively, better than it has ever been when operating costs were over quarter million dollars in the red.

So, why is Mayor DiCarlo and her team repealing it? Lack of recent meetings or lack of interest by committee members? Or is it that the current administration never did like it, especially the function of the RAC and the additional eyes, ears, and mouths that provide transparency to how our township appropriates and spends our money.

YOU DECIDE!
April 5th voice your concerns

LIVING HEALTHY IN GLOUCESTER COUNTY

For What It’s Worth….Interesting Look at Living Healthy in NJ.

How does Gloucester County Stand Up?

According to a report filed by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Gloucester County ranks 14th out of the 21 counties, with Hunterdon County is the healthiest at No. 1 and Cumberland County is ranked at 21st.

http://www.nj.com/…/where_do_the_healthiest_people_in_nj_li…

How are you feeling today?
Healthy as the 14th or better?

Bad News Good News

Let’s get the BAD NEWS out of the way first.

According to recent review of home prices in the Philly Metro market, WD has seen a 23% decline from 2015-2016 , whereas Gloucester County has seen a 17% decline in the last ten years.

 

http://www.philly.com/…/As-Philly-housing-market-forges-ahe…

The report did not specify the cause of decline in WD.
Increase in distressed properties?
Local tax increase of over 10% for the last 2 years (2015-2016)?

On to the GOOD NEWS….THE EAGLES HAVE LANDED in West Deptford

Now, that depends on one’s viewpoint: if you are a lover of nature, a bird watcher, that may be good news to those who observe bald eagles nesting in the proximity of the Riverwinds Community Center.

However, for the Township administration, the proximity of the nest to the outdoor auditorium, where many activities are performed, such as concerts, fireworks, the nest may be bad news. Under the Federal U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, Bald Eagles Management Guidelines defines “disturb”: Seasonal restrictions can prevent the potential impacts of many shorter-term, obtrusive activities that do not entail landscape alterations (e.g. fireworks, outdoor concerts) ( p.10, https://www.fws.gov/…/NationalBaldEagleManagementGuidelines…)

Buffer area is recommended at 660 ft.

https://www.fws.gov/southeast/es/baldeagle/bgepa.html
https://www.fws.gov/…/eagleguideli…/constructionnesting.html

Let’s hope our Township administration take precautions to protect the West Deptford Eagles.