The Village of Munsey Park passed its 2019-20 budget Monday, a $2.04 million plan that represents a 3.56 percent increase from the current one.
Taxpayers will contribute $1.3 million, up from $1.277 million collected in the 2018-19 fiscal year.
“Last year we had a zero percent increase in the budget, so we’re trying hard to keep budget increases to the absolute minimum necessary to maintain and pay for the items that the village is required to maintain,” said Mayor Lawrence Ceriello. “I would say it’s a good budget for the village because it’s lean, it’s efficient and it has no unnecessary fat in it.”
Much of the increase this year is due to upcoming road projects, said Trustee Antonio D’Angelo. About a quarter of the budget, or $500,000, is going to road construction, while last year that number was $375,000.
Upcoming repaving will take place on Eakins Road, Bellows Lane and Stuart Place.
The village is also continuing to pay off a road repair bond and interest on the bond, which brings the total road budget to $734,750. This year, the village is seeing less funding from grant programs.
“The people in Munsey Park have spoken very clearly over the years that they want the roads to be safe and in good repair,” the mayor said.
Roads in the village experience extra use because of destinations such as Munsey Park Elementary School, D’Angelo said.
The village completed infrastructural work for park revitalization last year and dedicated $30,000 to tree planting. Both tree planting and parks and grounds revitalization are out of the budget this year.
Munsey Park is also continuing to implement a new tree replacement program, which is projected to grow tree permit revenue from the $4,500 in last year’s budget to $10,000 this year, D’Angelo said.
If village residents remove a tree on their property, they are required to replace it. With the new program, they may pay to have the village plant the replacement tree on village property instead of planting it at their home, Ceriello said.
“We do want to keep the tree canopy that Munsey Park is known for,” Ceriello said. “What we’ve actually found is that a lot of homeowners either have too many trees on their property … or for other reasons they don’t want to replace the tree on their property and what we’ve offered them is the opportunity to effectively donate the tree to the village.”
The budget passed unanimously.