By MADDY VITALE
City Council approved a temporary municipal budget to continue operations until the 2020 budget is adopted.
During a brief meeting Thursday, Council approved a $5 million spending plan to finance Sea Isle City’s expenses until the full budget is ready for approval.
Chief Financial Officer Paula Doll said prior to the meeting, “This is a temporary budget for operational purposes to get us started before formally introducing the 2020 budget. We are hoping to keep the same schedule as last year.”
Noting that the city’s finances are robust, she said it is likely Sea Isle property owners will not see an increase in their municipal tax rate this year.
“We are a strong community and financially sound. We had a good year in 2018 and in 2019 and we are looking forward to 2020,” Doll explained.
Mayor Leonard Desiderio is expected to deliver the proposed 2020 municipal budget to City Council on Feb. 11.
Then the budget will be introduced during the Council meeting on Feb. 25. The governing body will adopt the spending plan on March 24, City Clerk Shannon Romano said of the anticipated timeline.
Council President J.B. Feeley characterized the 2020 budget as “another strong budget.” He believes local taxes will remain stable this year.
Feeley noted there are many capital projects already in the works that will continue through 2020, including infrastructure and paving work throughout the city.
There are also funds in the capital plan to paint the Townsends Inlet water tower, perform back bay dredging and install new decorative lighting on the Promenade and in other areas of town, including Park Road in the historic Fish Alley neighborhood.
Mobility mats are such a success on the city’s beaches that funds were put in place in the new capital plan to install more.
“Our goal is to have mats at all of the beaches,” Feeley said.
He added that there are also plans for a series of road and drainage improvements, with funds set aside totaling more than $3.8 million to complete the work.