The Frelinghuysen Township Committee adopted a municipal budget of $905,507 at its April
meeting, a decrease of about $55,000 over 2022.
“We felt like this was a really good budget,” Mayor Keith Ramos said. “With all things
considered, we actually lowered our appropriations.”
Ramos said the budget reflects a drop in revenue from construction permits. The fees for
permits had been increased within the past month.
“With the rate of inflation and rising costs, I think this was a pretty fiscally sound and
responsible budget,” Ramos said. “I’m pretty proud of the budget we put together this year.”
Ramos was asked during the public hearing about a $20,000 appropriation for the fire
department, which was founded last year.
The mayor said that the overall appropriations for fire protection services remains at last year’s level, and that the funds for the Frelinghuysen department were covered by lower payments to neighboring towns for fire services.
“We were paying $105,000 for that emergency service” from nearby towns, Ramos said. “We now pay $85,000 for it and the other $20,000 we’ve allocated towards our own fire
Ramos added that he payments to the towns that provide fire coverage—Green, Blairstown
and Hope—were likely to increase this year as high as $150,000.
“It’s for the department for when they need their turn out gear or if they need building improvements,” Ramos said. “It’s the money that we have to allocate for a fire department, the same amount of money that you would have allocated regardless. That’s what we were paying for fire coverage and we’re still paying the same thing.”
Ramos defended the decision to form the town’s fire department last year, saying the added level of safety benefits the community.
“We’re paying $105,000 for that emergency service,” Ramos said. “We now pay 85. We took the other $20,000 and allocated for our fire department, which is adding an emergency service to the community and is going to raise the value of our town.”
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.
Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.
Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.
Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.