Hampton council passes 2020 budget with no tax increase

Friday, December 20, 2019 | 12:01 AM

The 2020 budget for the Township of Hampton was passed 5-0 at the council’s voting meeting on Dec. 18, with no increase in taxes.

Township Municipal Manager Christopher Lochner presented the budget at the Dec. 4 meeting as his position calls to do every year at this time. This will begin at the start of the new year.

The general fund summary reflects a 2020 total available revenue at $15,462,204 and general fund 2020 total projected expenditures of $14,799,764, with an estimated balance forward from 2019 of $622,440.

“This is a totally balanced budget,” said Lochner.

The report offered a detailed break down of the expenses for the township, which shows that general government takes the largest chunk of projected expenditures at $3,461,515. This category pays for legislative services, administration, finance office, tax collection, legal and professional service, information technology, and employee benefits to name a few.

Community services category has the next largest projected expenditures of more than $3.99 million. This pays for public works items, including street/bridge maintenance, snow and ice control, vehicle and equipment maintenance and a variety of recreation programs, pool operations, special events programs, community center needs and more.

Public safety is the next biggest cost of more than $2.95 million. This category funds police protection, community relations, traffic safety investigations and the intergovernmental coop which includes the Shaler Hampton Emergency Medical Services.

Following public safety in expenses is water pollution control coming in at $2.029 million. This includes environmental services and administration and operations.

Debt services is projected to have expenditures at $1.794 million.

Community Development concerns planning and community development and code enforcement at $455,251 for 2020. Transfers and other miscellaneous costs total to $117,000.

The total 2020 projected expenditures is $14,799,764 but there’s an estimated balance forward of $622,440.

Previously, storm sewer maintenance was under community services but township council voted to create its own separate budgeting category. The storm water management and pollution control fee will be implemented for next year in response to the required state’s municipal separate storm sewer systems program, which includes managing storm water, water quality, and pollutant reduction.

Both the expenditures and revenues even out at $961,000 each for the new stormwater management fund. This will be dedicated toward maintenance management, maintenance and pollution control of stormwater, and related items needed to be in compliance with the state requirements.

The township’s revenue, projected at $15,438,104, is funded from a variety of items, with a bulk coming from real estate taxes at $3.27 million; and earned income tax at more than $4 million, among other items.

Revenues that come from nontaxables items include interest, royalties and rentals; fines and related costs; licenses, permits and fees; recreation and community center revenues; and more.

There will be a refund for a group of people who overpaid Hampton in their earned income tax. Uber, a transportation company, made an error at the amount it set to withdraw from Uber employees’ earned income tax. The result was an overpayment to Hampton, according to Jerry Speakman, controller for Hampton Township.

Speakman said he thought the township would have to refund more than $200,000, but it will be closer to $100,000-plus.

Speakman also noted that the township’s emergency fund was hit hard by the July flooding, in particular damage done to Crestview Drive. He suggested to council that an estimated $46,000 carryover from this year’s general fund operating budget be placed in the township’s emergency fund for next year.

Also, the 2020 Capital Improvements Fund budget lists total expenditures of $2,355,500, and revenue of $313,000. The revenue is supplemented by transfers from other funds, but a short fall of $135,500 is still projected. Lochner said council may have to make decisions along the way of various projects they may have to hold off on.