The final touches are being put in place for the preparation of Northfield Township approving their 2017-18 fiscal year budget.

The Board of Trustees discussed and debated the needs of the township versus the costs of serving the public at their meeting last week. Supervisor Marlene Chockley pointed out that the last budget overlapped 2 boards, and with turnover there and in the township office, the process has been challenging. She said that the new controller has only had a few weeks to work with her and the budget, and that they had lost their old township manager who knew what many of the line items on the document were for. Chockley addressed the board and those in attendance stating that staffing is one of their largest concerns. She said the code enforcement officer is only supposed to be in for 8 hours a week, but is currently coming in more due to necessity. As far as building/planning goes, she said that they currently have only 1 person on staff and she is swamped with work and could use help. The board discussed the prospect of having a salary study done to help bring salaries that are believed to be low up to a more appropriate level.

Residents had a chance to speak their mind on the budget during a public hearing held during their meeting. One stated that his concern was with the park downtown and that he didn’t care what it cost to turn it into a hometown destination. Another was concerned about proposed cuts to the community center. The chair of the new Land Preservation Committee asked for support and patience as they continue their efforts. Supervisor Chockley thanked everyone for voicing their thoughts and stated that anyone else with comments or questions can feel free to email her. The board will now get to work on finalizing the numbers in the budget to prepare it for approval at their next meeting, June 27th. The budget is due July 1st. (MK)