15 Sep 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by thatjessi

Council Continues Budget Hearing

Council also nixed a parking ordinance for the area around Luna Stage

Council Continues Budget Hearing

In a busy meeting, the West Orange council continued budget hearings Tuesday night and voted down an ordinance governing parking around the neighborhood of the Luna Stage.

For the proposed budget, which is about $70.7 million with a 1.5 percent tax increase, there was a question from the audience concerning paying existing debt.

Councilman Joe Krakoviak explained the town has actually been proactive about paying down debt. The 2012-2013 proposed budget listed debt service to be $5.7 million.

"We are pretty aggressive," Krakoviak said.

Hearings continue for the budget at the next council meeting scheduled for May 15.

The budget was introduced back in March. In a , township officials said the projected impact of the proposed budget on the taxpayer is an increase of $66 a year in municipal taxes per average household. The average home is assessed at roughly $340,000 with a calculated municipal tax rate to be 0.916.

Of the $70.7 million budget, $52 million would be raised by taxes, compared to $51 million last year, according to the same Patch report.

Parking around Luna Stage

The council voted down a proposed ordinance governing parking in the neighborhood around Luna Stage after residents complained that the ordinance would make parking problems in that area worst.

The ordinance, which was on its second reading, would restrict parking on certain streets at specific times of the day in the neighborhood.

Some residents, who don't have a driveway, spoke up and said the ordinance will make it harder for them to find parking when there's a show at Luna Stage. One resident recommended special permit parking for residents like herself.

"I'd like to go back to the drawing board," said Patty Spango, council president, about the ordinance.

Council members said they will revisit the issue with residents' input.

Other items you may have missed at the meeting:

*The West Orange High School Wrestling Team was honored for clinching the state sectional title.

*An environmental engineering contract of $4,500 was awarded to Birdsall Services Group from Cranford to do a site investigation of a piece of property on Edgewood Avenue.

*The council awarded two tree removal contracts to Kevin Downes Tree Service, Inc. from Hawthorne and Dujet Tree Services from West Paterson.

*A resolution was passed to authorize the township to obtain a state grant for a "cultural survey," which will update the town's survey of historical sites.

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