WARREN COUNTY, NJ – The Warren County Commissioners Wednesday night unanimously approved the $91.9 million budget for 2021.
“Years of past fiscal responsibility has kept us in a strong position for the rainy day that has come,” Commissioner Director James R. Kern III said, while Commissioner Jason J. Sarnoski said he was “very proud of this budget in this COVID pandemic, and what we’ve done.”
“We’re basically keeping taxes flat,” Chief Financial Officer Kim Francisco said, explaining that the slight hike in the county purpose tax was more than offset by a reduction in the open space tax, while the county library tax remains the same. “If your house didn’t change, you should pay basically about the same or maybe even a little less in 2021” in county taxes, Francisco said.
Capital improvement projects include repaving about 60 miles of county highways, $1 million in bridge improvement projects, $1.5 million in upgrades to the 911 Communications system, and setting aside $200,000 for the eventual replacement of voting machines so that money is in hand when needed. “We are a pay-as-you-go county, so all of these projects are fully funded” without accruing debt, Francisco said.
“Pay-as-you-go doesn’t happen in too many places in the state,” Commissioner Lori Ciesla remarked, as she thanked county staff for doing “a very good job” producing the budget.