Lower Sewer Fees in Bradley Beach

By PETE WALTON

The Bradley Beach Borough Council has adopted an ordinance which lowers sewer charges for property owners.

The decrease helps offset a small tax increase for municipal purposes which was previously approved by the council.

“The overhauling of the borough’s budgetary processes caused the tax levy to increase for fiscal year 2020, in large part, because expenditures were reclassified from the sewer utility into the borough’s general fund,” the ordinance explains.

“Conversely, the overhauling of the budgetary processes caused expenditures to significantly decrease in the sewer utility as the aforementioned expenditures were reclassified into the general fund,” according to the ordinance. “The mayor and council believe that, in the long term, the more appropriate classification and charging of expenditures against the general fund and utility funds will benefit the financial stability and condition of the borough.”

Jim Shissias, a borough resident who participated in a task force reviewing the borough’s sewer collection procedures, called the ordinance “a significant step forward.”

“I’m hoping this is the last year that the sewer fund will be raided,” said resident Thomas J. Coan, referring to the practice of paying for some expenses from the sewer utility rather than the general fund. “Our sewer fees have been far too high for far too long.”

Coan said he was hoping for a further reduction in sewer fees next year.

Borough Administrator David Brown reported that letters have been sent to 38 property owners, notifying them that they are not in compliance with the borough’s short-term rental regulations. Brown said code enforcement officials would be follow up on the notices.

The council at its meeting earlier this week approved the hiring of Lorenzo Dangler as a part-time code enforcement officer. Stipends were approved for public works employees Patrick Allan and Andrew Neaves who will also serve as part-time code enforcement officers.

Lauren Egbert, George Heflich, Shana Greenblatt Janoff, Joanne Letson and Al Modjeski were appointed as members of the newly revitalized borough Shade Tree Commission. David Altemose was named as an alternate members. Council President John Weber said another alternate will be appointed at a future meeting.

Weber also asked the council to examine its post-season beach policy.

“I think we will have more people on the beach in September than ever before,” Weber said.

The council president said the borough could consider having lifeguards on the beach in September, and possibly consider paid admissions on weekends.

Mayor Gary Engelstad urged borough residents who have not already done so to take part in the 2020 U.S. Census. He said participation will help make sure that Bradley Beach receives its fair share of federal funds. Government employees will soon go door-to-door to try and complete the census process.

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