Bridgewater to Introduce Municipal Budget at Tonight’s Council Meeting
Bridgewater, NJ - Today, June 15
, Mayor Matthew Moench and the Township Administration will present to the Council for introduction the 2020 Municipal Budget. The Administration has worked closely with the Bridgewater Township Council Finance Committee, which consists of Council President Howard Norgalis and Council Vice President Filipe Pedroso, to address the $2.1 million revenue shortfall directly related to COVID-19 without overburdening residents, many of whom are also feeling the financial and personal impacts of the pandemic. To that end, the Administration will present a budget proposal that decreases municipal spending by $1.5 million from 2019. By doing so, the budget is able to stay under a 2% municipal levy increase, instead of the double digit increased residents faced several months ago as a result of the revenue losses.
“This budget is the result of a tremendous amount of work and collaboration between the Township Administration and the Council,” said Mayor Matthew Moench. “The only thing that was clear about this budget was that we knew that we could not make up our lost revenue solely on the backs of our residents. This would have led to a double digit tax increase. We needed to made deep, painful cuts which includes layoffs, eliminated positions, furlough days for employees and cuts to operational costs. All of these actions will have an impact on our government and it is never easy to lose members of our Bridgewater family, but just like many of our residents, we need to do more with less in this extraordinary time. I would like to thank the Township Council Finance Committee for their partnership and patience during this process.”
“It is important for the public to remember that only 11% of their property tax bill goes to Bridgewater Township and it is our responsibility, as elected officials, to be conscious fiscal stewards of every single dollar,” said Council President Howard Norgalis. “I look forward to examining the budget in its entirety when it is officially introduced to the Council and I am confident that through hard work, cooperation and transparency, we will arrive at a responsible budget for Bridgewater.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially impacted our township’s revenue due to decreased tax income from several sources, such as the Commons and hotels,” said Council Vice President Filipe Pedroso. “This budget demonstrates that Mayor Moench understood that hard choices needed to be made to decrease the town’s expenditures and make budgetary cuts where necessary, while still maintaining essential services. It has always been my goal to keep as much of the tax payers' money in the hands of residents, while providing the essential services that residents expect and deserve. I know that this Administration has worked very hard in preparing a sound budget under these extremely difficult times. I look forward to hearing from the Bridgewater residents as we move forward in this process.”
The 2020 budget will be introduced at the Council Meeting tonight, Monday, June 15
. If the Council votes to introduce, there will be a minimum of 28 days until it is brought before the Council for public hearing and adoption. All budget documents will be posted on the Township website for public viewing after the introduction. The Bridgewater Office of Constituent Relations is working on a companion video to help residents understand this budget and the process.