The Borough of Stanhope has a 100 percent 2020 tax collection rate.
Borough administrator Brian McNeilly called the perfect rate “phenomenal.”
He said 14 sewer holes were sold for $5,096 at the recent tax sale , with three lien holders attending the sale. However, McNeilly said, the Gov. Phil Murphy administration did not allow collection of interest on water, including lien holders, and only on sewer.
He said going forward this would result in a “formula nightmare.”
The borough council is putting together its 2022 budget. At its work session, the council discussed the expenditure side only of the budget, and not revenue, assessed property values, or salaries.
In other borough business
● A new term: Michael Vance took the oath of office as a Stanhope Councilman for a one-year term.
● Water upgrades: The council unanimously approved an ordinance for improving the borough’s water supply and distribution system. The ordinance appropriated $173,017 from an American Rescue Plan Act 2021 grant. Councilman Gene Wronko was absent.
● Senior citizen line item: Council President Tom Romano said 30 percent of the Stanhope Senior Citizen Club’s membership is from out of town, with 46 out of 75 members from Stanhope. He proposed that the town give 2021’s balance of $1,500 to the senior citizens and, starting on June 1, 2022, give the seniors a $3,000 line item from which the town would allocate $55 per Stanhope resident. Mayor Patricia Zdichocki took the roll call, and the council unanimously approved giving the balance of $1,500 to the seniors.
● Recreation resignation: The mayor and council unanimously accepted the resignation of Nicole Kopich from the Recreation Commission.
● Fire department appointment: The council unanimously approved the appointment of Eugene M. Wronko as a member of the Stanhope Fire Department.
● Employee Handbook changes: The council unanimously accepted changes to the Employee Handbook. McNeilly said the handbook would be revised every two years.
● Sewer transfer: McNeilly said that all documents have been signed and delivered to the Musconetcong Sewerage Authority. Now, he said, they are waiting for the final resolution acknowledging the transfer of 4,300 gallons per day of sewer reserve allocation from Stanhope to Byram. Stanhope will receive a one-time payment of $200,000, buying out the capital investment. The money will be received as sewer revenue, which may be used to pay down debt or authorize capital for sewer operations, he said.
● Snowstorm money: McNeilly said the Jan. 31-Feb. 1 snowstorm was declared a national disaster by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and expects the borough’s federal aid allotment to be around $30,000.
● Stormwater training: McNeilly said Ryan Jiorle of the Musconetcong Watershed Association would conduct the 2021 Stormwater management training session at the Nov. 23 meeting.
● Altice/Optimum/Cable Vision: McNeilly said Altice installed service cabinets in preparation for their fiber build out along Musconetcong Ave. Currently, he said, there is not a timetable to complete the build-out to the entire town.