Point Boro Council adopted a few minor budget amendments on Monday night, a crucial step towards adopting the full municipal budget.
Council members Antoinette DePaola, Bob Sabosik, Bill Borowsky and Chris Leitner voted unanimously for the amendments that the state called for before the full budget can be adopted.
The budget amendments, as mandated by the state before the state will approve the proposed budget, are as follows:
1. Two appropriations from last year, of $13,463 and $4,000, for a total of $17,463, that had been paid out but not originally budgeted for, had to be budgeted in the new budget inside the spending "CAP" (or maximum) rather than outside the CAP as originally budgeted this year.
2. The pension in the Water and Sewer budget was increased from $150,000 by $31,342 to $181,342.
3. Also, water surcharges had to be combined into one revenue line item with the water fees.
Maffei said the amendments do not change the proposed tax rate increase of 2 percent. (For story about the August budget introduction, click here.)
Mayor William Schroeder and Council members John Wisniewski and Chris Goss were absent from the brief meeting. Four affirmative council votes are needed to adopt budget amendments, so there were just enough elected officials to get them passed. The mayor only votes when there is a tie, which was not expected on Monday night.
A public hearing on the two budget amendments and adoption of the budget are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday at Borough Hall on Bridge Avenue.
However, today the same state division changed its mind, explained Boro Business Administrator David Maffei.
"Today, the at the last minute, they decided that because there is no guarantee we will be getting portions of that grant, in cash, at certain times, that we should not put that in as an amendment and we should just go back to our original number," Maffei told council members.
Maffei said FEMA has made a commitment to grant the Boro $1.3 million, but it will be paid in portions and it's not yet known exactly when those payments will be made.
Besides Boro officials, there was no one at the meeting except for two reporters.
The amendments have to be voted on and advertised before a public hearing is held, which is why the public hearing on the amendments is coming up on Friday, Maffei said after Monday's meeting.
The FEMA grant of $1.3 million is to reimburse the Boro for 90 percent of what it spent on cleaning up public property and debris put curbside by residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, including road debris, labor costs, overtime, hiring temporary employees and a disposal company and paying tipping fees.