Mt. Laurel residents could see small increase in municipal taxes

Mt. Laurel residents may have a small increase in their municipal tax bill in 2015.

Mt. Laurel council unanimously approved the 2015 municipal budget on first reading at last week’s meeting. The budget includes a tax increase of $15.11 for the average assessed home of $236,952.

The tax rate and the budget both increased slightly from last year. The total budget is just less than $37.6 million, a small bump up from the $37.3 million of last year. The tax rate was increase $.006 per $100 of assessed value.

Township manager Maureen Mitchell said there are no major changes to the budget this year. The proposed budget would keep all township services intact.

Council also passed an ordinance on first reading to increase budget appropriations up to 3.5 percent to create a bank cap for possible use in future years. The ordinance will be on the agenda for second reading and a public hearing at council’s next meeting on March 23.

The 2015 municipal budget will be presented in detail during the second reading and public hearing at council’s April 13 meeting.

Township manager review discussed

With council preparing for its annual review of the township manager, there was discussion whether reviews from department heads and township employees should be considered.

Deputy Mayor Dennis Riley suggested the township do a 360-degree job performance review. He felt getting feedback from employees from all over the township would be valuable. He added many private businesses use a 360-degree job performance review for managers.

Councilman Jim Keenan disagreed, saying such a review could put a strain on the township.

“I don’t think it’s healthy for the manager’s office and the township,” he said.

Councilman Rich Van Noord agreed with Riley, but added the 360-degree review is just a suggestion on how the township may be able to do things better.

“This is not calling into question the confidence of the manager,” he said. “I think’s she’s doing a fantastic job.”

Council members did agree they would review Mitchell’s job performance as they have in past years. They plan to continue discussing changes to the review process at a future meeting.

Mt. Laurel Green Team updates

Council gave the Mt. Laurel Green Team permission to adopt a section of Route 38 in Mt. Laurel.

The Green Team plans to adopt an area of the highway between Ark Road and Fostertown Road. Mitchell said the organization will conduct a cleanup in the area.

Some members of council worried about safety issues along the highway, but Mitchell said Mt. Laurel Police has given the organization the go-ahead to move forward with the project.

“I reviewed it with traffic safety and they have no issue with it,” she said.

The Green Team is also planning a township-wide cleanup day for Saturday, April 18.

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