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Red Bank passes budget

The city of Red Bank finalized its budget for fiscal year 2014-2015 on second reading June 18. The general fund budget amounts to $6,585,869, much greater than last year’s budget of $4,909,661.

However, the 1.35 percent property tax rate remains the same.

Financial Director John Alexander said the main reason for the difference in the budget is a $1 million paving project. The goal is to pave 30 secondary roads, said Mayor John Roberts.

“We are out there trying to improve the infrastructure of the city,” Roberts said.

This year’s budget also includes many one-time expenditures, said Alexander. Those include police cars and a fire vehicle as well as demolition services for 11 homes.

“We’re hoping we won’t be responsible for all 11,” he said.

The city is also purchasing a new roof for City Hall, and purchased property behind City Hall where the city plans to build a gravel parking lot.

“That’s going to help our courtroom situation,” Alexander said, referring to the current lack of parking at City Hall.

A recording system will be purchased for the courtroom, and the floor will be repaired in Fire Station No. 2 at a cost of $17,000.

A mandated replacement of street signs to make them more reflective and clear will cost $38,725.

Security and safety improvements at City Hall, including the addition of bulletproof glass, will cost $38,000.

“The budget will probably return to normal levels next year,” Alexander said.

The budget also includes a 2 percent pay raise across the board for all city employees.