Council adopts 2004 budget

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:12

    SPARTA - When the 2004 Municipal Budget for Sparta Township was put up for public hearing at Tuesday Night's council meeting, not one audience member spoke. The budget was then passed unanimously by the council. "It's prudent budgeting," said Councilman Michael McKenna. "We were able to continue to provide good service by maintaining a flat work force, while putting a new municipal building and firehouse into a conservative budget." The total municipal budget was raised from $18,185,689 in 2003, to $19,506,687 for 2004, and for taxpayers that equates to an increase of $15 per $100,000 of assessed value. Salaries account for $330,000 of the budget increase. Insurance, the library, utilities, pensions and social security account for $410,000 of the raise. Other expenses account for the additional $600,000 of the increase. The municipal budget is the second budget passed in less than two weeks that represents an increase in taxes for Sparta residents. On April 20, the school budget was passed by voters (see story below) by a vote of 913 to 662. Schools accounts for 62 percent of the total 2004 tax bill, while the municipal budget accounts for 18 percent. The remaining 20 percent is allocated for county taxes, and both town and county open space. According to McKenna, the 2004 budget has one of the lowest increases in the past four years. "We worked very very hard on this budget," said Councilwoman Ailish Hambel. "We went through lots of meetings to not hurt residents financially."