>The Middletown Library is no Sewerage Authority

>by guest blogger Linda Baum

So some think the Library should offer money to the Township because the Sewerage Authority did? Now let’s think about that.

First, let’s be clear that right now your sewer fees are not part of your property taxes – you pay them separately. Those fees go straight to the Sewerage Authority, bypassing the town budget. Now consider that if sewer services were housed under the Department of Public Works – where they should be – the town would save a bundle by the consolidation and those fees would be rolled into your property taxes. Then the surplus would flow back to the township anyway because the revenue would be part of the town’s budget.

Another line of thinking is that the Sewerage Authority should return surplus money to residents, not the town, because you pay these fees directly. And shouldn’t some part of the surplus go back to the other towns (Highlands and Atlantic Highlands) that pay to use our sewer services? The Sewerage Authority could argue that it has never been the practice to return monies, so therefore there is no need to now. They could also argue that they are an independent body and can do as they please, including continuing to operate on a for-profit basis.

And now one more point. The services that the Library provides cannot be compared to sewage treatment. The Library is the heart of the community. When you walk in, there is a feeling a warmth and family. There we can find the support we need for our personal and professional growth throughout our lives. And keep in mind, the library is funded in accordance with law. It is just that important.

Last year the Middletown Sewerage Authority (TOMSA) donated $365,000 of surplus funds to Middletown Township to help offset last years budget deficit, it is expected that this year TOMSA will contribute a comparable sum to the Township.

The question that should be answered here is; Are residents and other municipalities being overcharged by TOMSA, if so than shouldn’t surplus funds be returned to those that have been overcharged in the first place, not given to the Township of Middletown to help fill in budget deficits?

As Ms. Baum pointed out the counter argument is that the surplus is being returned to the residents through local property tax relief, but again what about the towns of Highlands and Atlantic Highlands that already feel they are being overcharged and have no recourse and are indirectly providing property tax relief to Middletown? – MM


Filed under budget deficit, budget surplus, Middletown Library, Middletown Sewerage Authority, property taxes, save our library

6 responses to “>The Middletown Library is no Sewerage Authority

  1. >This is very enlightening Mike.Thank you Linda for explaining something that the TC always laughs at when suggested. They tell us if it ain't broke don't fix it.How much would the town save if the Sewerage Authority was put under the Dept. of public works?I think things are broken enough to seriously consider this change.

  2. >And when all the patronage benefits to those who serve on this authority are considered it certainly should be considered. Should have been done YEARS AGO !!Maybe Christie should help the citizens of Middletown accomplish this political feat and prove he's really got some guts and is not just a windbag buddy of Gerry's !

  3. >So now the sewerage authority will be expected to ponie up that money every year. So now there's No need to be fiscally sound.

  4. >The residents of this town should consider all of these facts WHEN THEY VOTE. It's about time they put their brains in gear before they push a button and vote for these characters who are enthralled with power and control in the name of local republican politics !Vote for intelligence and integrity not along party lines. Might actually get representation that knows what they are doing.

  5. >There is an ordinance posted on the Twp. site that will be heard Tues., regarding citizens serving on boards. The last paragraph, which is nothing new, says "NO COMPENSATION OR BENEFITS. Unless otherwise provided by law, no members of Township Boards, Agencies, Authorities and Commissions shall be compensated for their service." I believe the Sewer Authority board gets medical benefits. Unless there is a law permitting this have they been violating their own ordinance?

  6. >Why are the critics in this town so threatened by Linda Baum? Are they afraid of her? Instead of listening to someone with intelligence they go out of their way to discredit.It most be because they know she could expose their incompetence.An educated electorate makes much wiser choices than an ignorant one.I look forward to hearing more from her.

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