Salary freeze offsets state aid cuts

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:14

    WANTAGE n Salaries will be frozen for all 21 non-union part-time and full-time employees of Wantage Township this year. The move, formalized by a township ordinance passed last week, is expected to save Wantage $39,000, helping to offset the $36,634 it stands to lose in state aid this year, according to Township Administrator Jim Doherty. Wantage Township has a tentative municipal budget of $6,549,768 for 2009. That budget represents an increase of $170,208 over the last year’s $6,379,560 budget. The new budget would require a $48 tax increase for the average Wantage Township taxpayer with a property assessed at $320,000, said Doherty. The township is required to pay 3.75 percent raises to its 12 unionized Department of Public Works employees this year, said Doherty. But in two other cost-cutting moves, the township attorney, auditor and engineer are collectively reducing their fees by $12,500 this year. And, the three township committee members are each taking a $200 cut in pay, from $3,200 annually to $3,000. For 2009, the township’s Social Security, unemployment and pension costs are up $33,600 over 2008, said Doherty. The town’s capital improvements budget has risen by $59,000, driven primarily by planned road paving projects and its plan to pay off a loan on one of its fire trucks, Doherty said. The municipal utilities budget rose about $5,200 this year due to higher fuel and energy costs. Find out more Wantage Township’s proposed 2009 municipal budget is online at A public hearing on the budget is set for April 30 at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 888 Route 23 South.