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FEBRUARY 7, 2006                                                 


A Workshop Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury was held on February 7, 2006 at 1715 Rt.#46, Ledgewood, New Jersey at 7:30 PM.



Notice is hereby given that a Special Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury will be held on Tuesday, February 7, 2006 at 7:30 PM at 1715 Route #46 Ledgewood, New Jersey.  This meeting is being held for the purpose of discussing the 2006 Municipal Budget.


Adequate notice of this meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury was given as required by the Open Public Meetings Act as follows:  Notice was faxed to the Daily Record, the Newark Star Ledger and the Roxbury Register on February 1, 2006; notice was posted on the bulleting board in the main hallway of the Municipal Building on February 1, 2006.


ROLL CALL:  Councilmen John Ciaramella, Fred Hall, Jim Rilee, Tim Smith and Councilwoman Kathy DeFillippo.


ABSENT:  Mayor Schmidt was out for health reasons.  Councilman Zoschak was away.


Deputy Mayor John Ciaramella would oversee the meeting in the Mayors absence.


ALSO PRESENT:  Christopher Raths, Township Manager;  BettyLou DeCroce, Township Clerk; Lisa Palmieri, Chief Financial Officer.






Mr. Raths handed out  a memo entitled Impact of Budget Reduction 1.6 million/$800,000. Council had directed Mr. Raths to develop a summary of the impact on Township services  between a zero-point increase for 2006 and a 4-point increase for 2006.  Mr. Raths stated that achieving a zero percentage increase for 2006 would require implementing changes to services immediately.


The summary provided outlined costs associated with the implemented changes would affect services.  The Township could revise its method of providing trash services.  Municipal Operation- trash, recyclables and yard waste is collected by Township Personnel.  The Township currently operates under this system.  The Township could contract with a private hauler to collect municipal waste and recyclables.  Also the Township could look into each homeowner contracting with a private hauler.  Also a fee base system could be implemented.   This could be accomplished as a billed service such as water/sewer or unit based.  Costs associated with these implemented changes are as follows.  The annual savings would be a reduction in cost of $827,746/ 4.05 Tax Points.  The township would need to retain four positions in the DPW and three trucks for leaf and brush collection in the fall.  In summary the Township could eliminate trash collection and reduce the 2006 tax increase by 2.29% for an annual savings of $45.80 on a $200,000 assessed home. 


Another suggestion is to close the Recycling Center which would result in an annual savings of $138,430.  Currently we employee a full-time Planner and the Planner’s position is charged against escrow.  These monies would go directly to an outside firm at an hourly rate of $130.00 per hour.  All other planner’s services would have to be discontinued or secured via contract, thereby reducing potential savings.


Mr. Raths gave the same scenario with contract Engineering Services and Inspection Services.  If these positions  are eliminated there would be  impact to the Township  as inspection services on Township projects and complaint monitoring  would  be discontinued.


Police Services – the 2001 State Audit Team recommended the elimination of the following police services.  SWAT Team, Dive Team, EMS Unit.  The savings for 2006 would be minimal in that the earliest retirement of a sergeant’s position is November 2006.


Discontinue Fire Prevention Services.  Fire Prevention Services would be provided by the State.  The State would collect fees.  Safety services would be discontinued.  Such service includes:  accident review, safety team meetings and safety program recommendations.  These services positively impact the Township’s property and casualty insurance rating.


Dial-A-Ride provides service for medical appointments.  The Township would discontinue bus service for weekly club meetings, meals-on-wheels, shopping trips, holiday parties, etc.  There would be one bus and one driver.  The van serviced approximately 305 residents in 2005, which includes 948 trips for medical appointments.


Public Health Nursing-Eliminate one part-time public health nurse.  The Township would discontinue male and female cancer screenings, senior citizen hypertension screening and semi-annual SMAC program


Animal Control – Reduce service to part-time.  The response time to complaints would be reduced.  Investigation of potential West-Nile incidents would be impacted.


Eliminate Public Assistance and Social Services – Eliminating services would require the approximately 237 customers to secure services from the county.  The following services would be eliminated or reduced:  closure of the food panty and clothing center (or sole reliance on volunteers), referrals to shelters, toys and food distribution during Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Eliminate Information Technology Services – Eliminating services would require departments and staff to maintain and upgrade systems.  This includes the website.  The Township could contract with a private vendor between $100 and $125 per hour.  This would provide 929 hours of service at $100 per hour.  The remaining services provided by the department would be discontinued or curtailed.


Contract Equipment Repair – This issue has been discussed in past years and concluded that it would not be in the best interest of the Township for all equipment repair to be contracted with outside facilities.  We would lose control with regard to the actual repairs needed.  This  would not cover the costs of major component repairs for the first 6-months of the contract.  In other words, if a garbage truck blew an engine, the Township would be responsible.


In summary reducing or eliminating services completely would be an annual savings of $1,962,181.  This though would cost individual homeowners and residents financially for private services and for those that could not afford to pay directly to a provider would have no service at all.  Included in this is the need of services for our senior citizens.


Discussion ensued by Council pertaining to the presentation.  The intent of this report was to see what services if cut and the impact it would have on our residents. 


The Council agreed that the  proposed cuts could not be followed, as it would be too great an impact on the services for our  residents.  The Council agreed that they would need to look at each line item and also ask Mr. Raths to go back to his departments to see where they could cut back in order to bring the budget in at an acceptable amount.


Mr. Hall questioned as to the services supplied by Edmunds, as to whether they are bronze/silver/gold.  Mr. Raths will follow up with Ms. Palmieri.


Discussion took place as to the cost for liability insurance and health insurance.  Ms. DeCroce, Commissioner for the MCJIF and NJHIF stated that she would go over the budget and verify with Ms. Palmieri.


Council agreed that a Special Budget Meeting would be held on February 21, 2006, at 7:30 PM.  The Township Clerk will advertise for the Special Meeting.


Mr. Raths will schedule main departments such as Police, Engineering, Planning etc. for the next budget meeting.



No Public Input


















February 3, 2006

#12  Mayors Fax Advisory from William G. Dressell, Jr Executive Director of NJLM dated February 2, 2006 RE: SCS-557, Recycling:  A resolution will be prepared asking for full funding.


Deputy Mayor Ciaramella amended the order of business to open the meeting to the Public.


Chief Joe Lang

Roxbury Fire Department

Chief Lang  discussed the  current coverage  of EMS in the Township.  Chief Lang stated that the coverage in the Township has improved and changes that were implemented seem to be working.


Deputy Mayor Ciaramella closed the public portion.


Mr. Hall brought up for discussion the current negotiations for Verizon to be a part of the cable industry.  Discussion ensued and the majority agreed that a letter be prepared by the Township Manager to the FCC stating our concerns.






Mr. Rilee made a motion to adjourn the Budget Meeting.  Mr. Smith seconded the motion.


Roll Call:          Mr. Rilee – Yes                        Mr. Smith – Yes

                        Mr. Ciaramella – Yes               Ms. DeFillippo – Yes

                        Mr. Hall – Yes                        


Motion Carried 5 to 0



Submitted By:




BettyLou DeCroce

Township Clerk


DATE:                        March 28, 2006

ROLL CALL:            Mr. Ciaramella – yes    Mr. Smith – yes

                                    Mrs. DeFillippo – yes     Mr. Zoschak – abstain

                                    Mayor Schmidt - abstain