Understanding the 2024 Jackson Budget: Sidewalks, Road Paving, and Capital Improvement Planning

A municipal budget is a very complex document that is essentially the one year equivalent of a business plan in the private sector.  It is filled with line items of past income and expenses and a forecast of future income and expenses for the municipality. It also includes multi-year projections for capital improvements.

In Jackson, the annual budget, according to Business Administrator Terence Wall accounts for every penny of the approximately $59 million it costs to operate the township for the year.  That cost includes, but is not limited to, salaries, insurance, bond payments, capital improvements and capital purchases.

This year, those capital improvements include roadway and infrastructure projects such as paving roadways and installing sidewalks among other items.

Wall says that while the budget can be confusing, especially if you are not familiar with municipal budgets, it is a very clear and concise document.

He explained how the township will be paying for the numerous roadway and pedestrian safety projects in 2024.

He also noted that some people in town are confusing a $200,000 line item in the budget document with the total budget allocation with the total amount of money actually available for those much-needed capital improvements.

“In regard to Capital, the Township is poised for continued exceptional progress this year.

$200,000 is included for this year towards the fund. Folks who are not familiar with municipal operations may believe this is the capital program,” Wall said. “It’s not. The $200,000 represents the 5% required in municipal finance that will provide up to $4 million in bonded capital improvements this year. In addition, we set aside another MILLION for additional road work paid in cash for 2024.”

In total, he said the township is investing a total of $5.8 million into capital improvements which includes traffic safety endeavors including roadway paving and pedestrian access.

“The above data does not include the $2.8 million we already have on hand to deploy as needed for the care, maintenance and development of our capital plans. This includes consideration of  various roadways and related drainage, curbing and sidewalks to enhance vehicular and importantly, pedestrian safety.

“In 2024, the township has budgeted exactly $5,689,797.50 as the current max overall we are planning to spend including everything. This is also always subject to modification and adjustment throughout the year,” Wall added.

The township budget can be read in its entirety online and Business Administrator Wall said while the budget can seem overwhelming to residents at first glance, it is a very detailed accounting of the township’s finances.   He invites residents to stay tuned and attend future budget hearings and ask questions. He also said residents with comments and questions may also reach out to the township as he and his staff are always willing to explain the details to residents.

The Public Hearing on the budget is May 28th.

You can see the 2024 Jackson Township Budget Presentation here: https://www.jacksontwpnj.net/DocumentCenter/View/15544/2024-Budget-Presentation-PDF

The 2024 User Friendly Jackson Municipal Budget can be seen here: https://www.jacksontwpnj.net/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/151

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