Millville draft budget hits $1M milestone

Millville Town Manager Deborah Botchie announced at the Tuesday, March 26, town council workshop meeting that the Town has reached something of a milestone: Its proposed budget for the upcoming 2020 fiscal year tops $1 million — the first time in the Town’s history it exceeds that figure.

The Town expects its expenses to increase by 1.88 percent in the 2020 fiscal year, Botchie said, to $715,942 before carry-forward. The estimated revenue for the year is $1,167, 570. The Town’s general revenues are expected to increase by nearly 30 percent, due to revenue from new construction in the town.

Botchie said approximately 90 new homes are planned to be built this year in Millville By the Sea and Bishops Landing II (formerly Dove Landing). That construction is expected to bring $315,000 in additional income to the Town.

Other sources of revenue include a grant from Sussex County for $12,500 for the Delaware State Police coverage of Millville. The council discussed the possibility of increasing the Town’s state police coverage during the busy summer season (June 1 to Sept. 30) from 24 hours per week to 36 hours per week.

Millville Mayor Robert Gordon said the budget “doesn’t really have a lot of fat in it.” Council Secretary Ron Belinko and Gordon complimented Botchie and town staff on preparing a “realistic” budget.

The draft budget will be available at town hall; residents may request copies via Freedom of Information Act forms during office hours at the town hall.

Botchie said the only increase that “stands out” in the new budget as being “more than usual” is the line item relating to the Town’s financial software, to which new modules have been added for building permitting and escrow accounting.

Deputy Mayor Steve Maneri questioned the expense of $33,000 to complete the upgrade of the Town’s holiday lights.

“That’s a big piece of change,” Maneri said. He clarified that he doesn’t object to the addition of more lights on Route 26, which will complete the upgrade project, just the amount of money being spent.

“I think you get what you pay for,” Botchie said, and Gordon added that “we can pay it now or pay it in the next two or three years.”

Belinko said he feels it is more cost-effective to purchase high-quality lights that will last, rather than cheaper ones that will have to replaced more often.

The council will likely hold a public hearing on the draft budget in May, as the April 9 regular council meeting agenda is already full, Botchie said.

 

By Kerin Magill

Staff Reporter