The 2018 State of Robbinsville Township Address and Pay it Forward event May 8 at the Stone Terrace by John Henry’s was a monumental success with nearly $120,000 raised through sponsorships and donations. For those who missed it, high definition video of the entire evening is available on the Township website at robbinsville.net.
We could not have pulled it off without the assistance of the Community Addiction Recovery Effort board, the Robbinsville Police Department, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri and New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. Our other two $25,000 sponsors, TMI Trading and Capital Health, along with a $10,000 donation from Berkshire Bank, really did help push us over the mountaintop during our most prolific “Pay it Forward” event to date. We are already brainstorming to see how we can top it in 2019.
I want to thank Township Council for adopting the 2018 Municipal Budget following a public hearing and vote on May 24.
The $24.7 million budget includes a 25-cent tax cut that reduces the rate to 52.1 cents per $100 of assessed value, which is a decrease of 2.1 cents since 2012 (54.2). It also marks the third consecutive year of municipal cuts and the fifth straight year of either flat, or reduced taxes. No gimmicks. It all comes down to good planning, believing in your people, making tough decisions and delivering results. For those that have been asking, the average assessed home value in Robbinsville is $375,000, and a penny in the Robbinsville tax rate is worth $255,663.49. That math makes this year’s tax cut worth $63,915.88.
The 2018 budget includes added funding for school security in the form of two additional officers to patrol Sharon School and Pond Road Middle School, along with a plan to purchase the Mercer Mobile Home Park and add it to our affordable housing inventory. We have not found another town in the state over the past 15 years able to say it has cut taxes three years in a row. To accomplish that, and still provide the level of services we do within the confines of a 2-percent cap, is a testament to our entire team, which is led by business administrator Joy Tozzi.
Due to our strong fiscal management and weak debt, Standard and Poor’s Global last month issued the town another AA+ ‘Stable’ rating on its General Obligation (GO) bonds, the fourth straight time Robbinsville has held that status. Among other variables, the S&P rating reflects its opinion of our very strong economy, strong budgetary performance, very strong budgetary flexibility, very strong liquidity, very weak debt and strong institutional framework score. The complete S&P report is available at robbinsville.net.
Last but not least, our two biggest family events of the season are on tap with Community Festival on Saturday, June 9 at Community Park and the Father’s Day Weekend Fishing Derby June 16 at the West Town Center Lake Gazebo.
This year’s Community Day has all your favorite food vendors, prizes, games and, of course, a spectacular fireworks display starting around 9 p.m. This year we will be paying tribute to our dearly departed friend and colleague, Joe Barker. Joe gave so much of himself to this event year-in and year-out before passing away in February. Look for Barker to be remembered fondly throughout the day!
Dave Fried is mayor of Robbinsville.