Ogdensburg unveils 2019 budget



By Vera Olinski
The Ogdensburg Council unanimously introduced its 2019 Municipal Budget, on April 8, in the amount of $2.9 million, with anticipated revenues of $665,732.
For municipal purposes, $2.3 million will be raised by taxes. Furthermore, the 2019 water budget appropriations are $379,250, with anticipated revenues of $379,250.
Councilman Peter Opilla was absent, and the public hearing will be May 13.
Overall, the budget went from $2.8 million to $2.9 million, with an increase of around $112,035 or 3.98 percent. A majority of the increase, $60,876, is offset by revenues from the new shared chief financial officer position with Sussex Borough.
CFO Michael Marceau later noted, in 2018 the average home in Ogdensburg was assessed at $221,028, with an average municipal tax bill of $2,489. In 2019, the average home in the borough is assessed at $221,166 and will have an average municipal tax bill of $2,556, resulting in an average annual increase of $67 or 2.68 percent.
The amount of fund balance used in the 2019 budget is $140,271, from the $1.1 million overall fund balance, and the borough hopes to regenerate at least $100,000 of the fund balance.
Before the council unanimously introduced an ordinance to exceed the municipal budget appropriations limits and establish a cap bank, Councilman David Astor asked Marceau to explain how the cap bank works in New Jersey.
Per state statute, Marceau said, a minimum 2.5 percent cost of living increase may be used. The ordinance, he continued, allows the borough to increase appropriations more than 2.5 percent, which the borough is not doing, and to set up a bank of money to be used if needed in the future under certain circumstances. He added, the cap is available for three years and then disappears.
Astor further clarified the council is not going to exceed the municipal budget appropriations, but they are just accepting the fact that they can in the future.
The Public hearing will be April 22.
The council also unanimously approved a resolution to use a three-year average collection rate of 97 percent, when calculating the line item appropriation “Reserve for Uncollected Taxes” in the 2019 municipal budget.