Guttenberg council adopts $17.1M budget
Insurance, contracts, and salaries affected rising costs
by Vanessa Cruz
Reporter Staff Writer
Mar 31, 2013 | 2221 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
YOUNG HONOREES – Mayor Gerald Drasheff, the Town Council, Moderator for the Student Council Erin Jones, State Wrestling Champion Anthony Giraldo along with members of the Student Council that participated in Government Day on Monday, March 25.
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The Guttenberg Town Council adopted its $17.1 million 2013 municipal budget during the meeting on Monday. Although the overall budget is down $173,631 from last year, the $12.5 amount to be raised by local taxation is about half a percent higher than last year’s levy.

“Most of the budget has stayed pretty flat,” said Mayor Gerald Drasheff. “We’re continuing to provide by building up our capital fund which enables us to [work on] streets and we’re looking into [working on] some of our sewers.”

The 2013 municipal tax rate under this budget hasn’t been calculated yet, according to Mayor Gerald Drasheff, but he estimated for 2013 the municipal tax rate would increase about one half of one percent over last year’s rate of $1.55 per $100 of assessed value.

Municipal taxes are one of three parts of the overall tax rate, which also includes school and county taxes.

Mayor Drasheff said insurance costs, along with police and Department of Public Works contracts, all increased.

“We have two of our big contracts expiring this year, the DPW and police,” said Drasheff. “We’ve provided some increases in staff salaries. We’re also seeing increases in our health insurance.”

Along with the expiring contracts of the DPW and police are those for trash pickup.

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“Most of the budget has stayed pretty flat.” – Mayor Gerald Drasheff

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He also added that change in the budget will not come until the economy turns around or the town gets some new development. The mayor does foresee future prospects through upcoming developments that have gone up to the Planning Board.

“Hopefully that bodes well for the future,” said Drasheff.

Honorable youth

Anthony Giraldo, the state wrestling champion, received a welcome and a plaque that was presented to him with a cake made in his honor. Giraldo is a Guttenberg resident.

“On behalf of all the people of the Town of Guttenberg we’re all very proud of you and we wish you the best of luck in the future,” said Drasheff.

“It’s a great accomplishment. I’m proud for Anthony and his family,” said North Bergen’s head coach and athletic director, Jerry Maietta.

“I take credit for two thirds of Anthony, the one third is that he’s in High Tech and the other third that is in North Bergen, I’ll let Guttenberg have the last third,” said High Tech High School Superintendent Frank Gargiulo.

“It didn’t come easy. He was rated about number five,” said North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco. “He took on all the tough competition and walked away with the first state championship in North Bergen in thirty years. That makes the coaches proud, the schools proud and Guttenberg proud.”

In honor of Government Day, members of the student council sat in place of council members and the mayor. The students who made up Guttenberg’s Council were Jalen Vargas as mayor, Eddie Sanchez representing the Police Department, Faten Alabed representing the Finance Department, Elijah Flores for the Recreation Department, Jehad Alabad for Human Resources and Christian Quito for the Department of Public Works. All received certificates for their participation.

Several members of the Board of Education attended the council meeting to support the students.

Ordinances and resolutions

A professional services contract was awarded to Angel Consultant, LLC of Cliffside Park for maintenance of computer equipment not to exceed $25,000 effective April 1 and ending March 31, 2014.

A contract was awarded to Lukoil in Guttenberg for the purchase of gasoline for town vehicles from April 1 to March 31, 2014.

A contract was awarded for Phase II construction of the Waterfront Park for the Town of Guttenberg and neighboring town North Bergen. Lowest bidder Z-Tech Contracting of Summit was awarded $2,331,137.

A professional grant services contract was awarded to Bruno’s Associates to help the town acquire grants for various grants including infrastructure investment, beautification, open space projects, school grants, school construction grants, and with other system improvements. The contract is for $33,750 with $3,750 monthly effective April 1 to Dec. 31.

A contract was awarded to Drainbusters Plumbing Solutions, Inc. of Garfield for videotaping of combined sewer overflow in town for the amount of $1,800.

Dorothy L. Steele was appointed to the Guttenberg Housing Authority from April 2, 2012 to April 1, 2017 replacing Joanne Martin; Kenneth Tessler was also appointed from April 2, 2012 to April 1, 2014 replacing James Malik. Myra Aczue was reappointed to the Housing Authority from April 2, 2013 to April 1, 2018.

Frank Leanza was appointed to the part-time position of Municipal Judge for the Guttenberg Municipal Court from April 16 to April 15, 2016.

Manuel Emelio Vasquez was hired as an employee of the Department of Public Works effective March 27. He is on a probationary period of ninety days which expires June 30.

A stop sign was added on the intersection of 70th Street and Adams.

An ordinance was introduced for vehicles of designated weight of 26,000 lbs are excluded from Bellevue Avenue through Boulevard East also Bellevue Avenue through 69th Street.

An ordinance was introduced to exclude vehicles with a height of 12.5 feet on Ferry Road through Boulevard East and Ferry Road through River Road.

Vanessa Cruz can be reached at vcruz@hudsonreporter.com

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