STONE HARBOR - Stone Harbor Borough Council May 4 formally adopted a $24 million budget for 2021, consisting of $19.3 million in general operating funds and a $4.4 million water and sewer utility budget (https://bit.ly/3uCZ0VM).
The borough’s operating budget increases by $958,353 over the 2020 level, with the increase in the amount to be raised by taxation rising by $1.3 million.
The local purpose tax rate increases over 8%, from 26.8 cents to 29.1 cents. The 2021 budget uses 73% of the available current fund surplus and 60% of its cap bank balance.
The 2021 budget was required to account for a $350,000 emergency appropriation passed in 2020, when borough officials realized they had insufficient funds to meet pay raises given to beach patrol personnel.
This year also marks the first full year of the borough’s transition to full-time firefighters to supplement its previously all-volunteer department.
Problems in budget planning, in 2021, when the borough thought it might receive a cap waiver from the state, led to the introduction and then rescinding of its first 2021 budget, substituting for that original version the more recent version adopted May 4.
A motion carried at the May 4 meeting, requesting an analysis of budget and fiscal policy by the borough administrator and chief financial officer.
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