A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Emergency Temporary Appropriations and Cap Banks

According to Resolution 2010-66, the Aberdeen Township Council will be seeking an emergency temporary appropriation of $17.887 million due to an "emergent condition" at its upcoming meeting this Tuesday.  Back in September, the current budget was only $14.75 million, so I'm not clear what's happened since. Besides the election of a governor who cuts state aid like he's slicing watermelon at a family reunion in July, I can't imagine what might have "emerged" lately to run up such extraordinary expenses.

Presumably this is some sort of legitimate budgetary sleight of hand, as I see town after town across the state has occasionally resorted to such business at council meetings over the past decade. I checked Aberdeen's 2010 council agendas and saw only one earlier request for emergency temporary appropriations, that being a February request for about half a million dollars related to the South River Metals underground tank remediation. I see that the council took a similar action to Res 2010-66 three years ago. I'm sure I'm just not understanding the finer points, so can someone please tell me if  nearly $9 million has already been appropriated on an emergency temporary basis in our town this year and another $9 million is yet required?

I also see that the Council plans to establish a cap bank, but Ordinance 7-2010 provides remarkably few details of what that means. I did some digging and found the state's explanation, which even offers a sample fill in the blank ordinance on the last page. Borough of Madison Ordinance 24-2009  was considerably more detailed than ours, Madison's council obviously having based it on the model provided by the state.

For those still focused on the nearly $18 million in appropriations mentioned at the top, you can see the state's explanation of an emergency temporary appropriation below. Note that the municipality need not publish a public advertisement of such an appropriation nor do there need to be public hearings.

40A:4-20. Emergency temporary appropriations

In addition to temporary appropriations necessary for the period prior to the adoption of the budget and regular appropriations, the governing body may, by resolution adopted by a 2/3 vote of the full membership thereof, make emergency temporary appropriations for any purposes for which appropriations may lawfully be made for the period between the beginning of the current fiscal year and the date of the adoption of the budget for said year. The amount of such emergency temporary appropriations shall be included under the correct headings in the budget as adopted. If they are adopted after the introduction and approval of the budget and were not included in the budget as approved, they shall be included by amendment in the budget as adopted, except that no public advertisement or public hearings shall be required as to their adoption as amendments.

A copy of each resolution making such emergency temporary appropriations shall be filed forthwith with the director.

L.1960, c. 169, s. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1962.


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