Trenton Mayor Gusciora Announces $221.4 Million Budget, Funding for Public Safety, a Community Haven, Road Paving
Trenton, N.J. — Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced that on Thursday City Council adopted the city’s $221.4 million budget for fiscal year 2020. The budget includes $4.5 million for public safety improvements, a $750,000 matching grant to transform the East Trenton library branch into a community haven, and spending to return Trenton Water Works to full staffing, among other critical priorities for the residents and businesses of Trenton as the city continues to battle COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted this fiscal year’s budget,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Although Trenton municipal government’s expenses are down significantly, so is revenue and tax collection. I am being pressured to lay off employees, but we are not complying with that recommendation. My administration is acutely aware that job loss devastates people’s lives, and we are not yet willing to take that extreme step.”
The council voted 6-1 in favor of the budget, with West Ward Councilwoman Robin Vaughn voting against the proposal. The budget includes a modest tax increase of 8.447 cents, which is 2.5 cents less than last year’s increase, so homeowners on average will see their tax bill increase by $84.00. Last year’s increase was 11.4 cents.
A summary of the highlights from this fiscal year’s budget include:
* $4.5 million to establish a real-time crime, technology and intelligence center, a partnership between the Trenton Police Department and the New Jersey State Police to assist the Trenton PD in executing its public-safety strategy, including gunfire detection, video surveillance, and crime-intelligence gathering.
* $2.5 million set aside for salary adjustments for city employees once contract negotiations conclude.
* A $750,000 matching grant toward the $1.5 million in renovations to the former East Trenton public library building that has remained closed for years.
* Road paving projects and demolition of blighted properties.
* Full staffing at Trenton Water Works (TWW), which operates under state government administrative consent orders directing it to improve operations, personnel and the removal of lead services in its system and at private homes in its service area. TWW is executing a reorganization plan that will ensure high water quality for many years to come.
“We had to make some difficult choices in this budget,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Our decision-making was focused on the needs of Trentonians and sought to have zero impact on our hardworking employees, who are at the forefront of delivering much-needed services in this time of crisis.”
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