Council Members Dr. Nancy Hudanich and Charles Covington, and Borough Financial Director James Craft, were our guest speakers at the AHLOA monthly meeting on Saturday, March 9th. They provided us with a detailed update on the proposed 2019 Avalon Borough Budget.
The Avalon Borough Council introduced the 2019 municipal budget that totals $27,855,139 and includes no increase in the municipal tax rate, water and sewer rates, and beach tag fees. This budget substantially moves the Borough towards a position of eliminating long term debt. The budget will be formally presented at the public hearing on April 10th at 4:00 PM.
Key elements of the March 9th presentation included:
Avalon maintains its municipal tax rate of .199 which is the lowest in Cape May County
Avalon maintains an exemplary AAA bond rating from Standard and Poor’s which results in significant lowering of loan / debt interest payments
The 2019 budget will result in a healthy $3.5 million surplus
$6.6 million is positioned to fund capital projects and accelerated debt payments
Avalon is expected to finance $1.671 million in various capital improvement projects including:
Maintenance dredging of Pennsylvania Harbor
Sand back-passing project (starting approximately April 1st) to restore north end beaches in 2019 in advance of a hydraulic beach fill project in 2020
Completion of Surfside Park recreation area (scheduled to open in time for Memorial Day)
Improvements to Community Hall
Emergency communication technologies
Completion of environmental initiatives
Design for a major drainage project
Our guests spent time thoughtfully answering many questions raised by our Trustees and AHLOA members. We all left with a greater appreciation for and understanding of the long-term efficiency and financial health of our town’s operations.