By PETE WALTON
The Bradley Beach Borough Council will hold a special meeting on April 5 to further discuss next year’s budget.
The budget was introduced by a 3-1 vote at this week’s council meeting. The decision to hold the special meeting came after Councilman Randy Bonnell said he was “not comfortable” with the budget as it pertained to the borough’s sewer department.
Bonnell voted to introduce the budget in spite of his concerns. Councilman John Weber, participating in the meeting via telephone, cast the lone vote against introduction.
“We have a real problem with sewer and the way it’s managed,” Bonnell said. “Why are our sewer fees so high compared to other towns?”
The councilman said that between 2010 and 2015, the borough spent more than $6 million “internally” on the sewer system, in addition to fees paid to the Township of Neptune Sewerage Authority, which treats the waste under contract.
Bonnell said he wrote a letter to the council as a private citizen two years ago, suggesting changes which could be instituted. Mayor Gary Engelstad asked Bonnell to communicate with the borough’s public works department prior to the special meeting to try and resolve any remaining issues.
The budget, which officials anticipate will feature no municipal tax increase, is scheduled for a vote on April 18.
The mayor also obtained the council’s approval to have municipal attorney Michael DuPont draft an ordinance raising the age for purchasing tobacco products in Bradley Beach to 21.
Engelstad invited residents to come to the borough library on Sun., March 26 at 2 p.m. for the opening of the new handicapped accessible section.
The library’s Spring Fling Fundraiser will be held on Thurs., March 30 at the Spring Lake Manor on Route 71 in Spring Lake Heights. Tickets are $50 and are available at the library.
State Assemblyman Dave Rible (R-30th) will attend the council’s next meeting on Tues., March 28 to make brief remarks and answer questions from council members and residents.