Just how Superstorm Sandy will continue to affect future budgets remains to be seen.
But this year, residents with a home assessed at the township average of $198,700 will pay an extra $42 for their municipal services. The Township Council adopted the $45,267,431 - up from $40,323,542 in 2012 - after a recent public hearing.
"I thought it was going to be a lot worse," Township Council President said to Chief Financial Officer Frederick Ebenau during the sparsely-attended Sept. 27 meeting. "It was a challenge. I know you're going to do better next year."
The amount to be raised by taxation rose to $28,397,666, up from
$26,781,762 in 2012. The municipal purposes tax rate will rise from 52.3
cents for each $100 of assessed valuation to 55.7 cents, Ebenau said.
Berkeley lost $46 million in ratables after Sandy slammed onshore on
Oct. 29, 2012, Ebenau said.
The township also lost revenue by waiving all building permit fees after Sandy, help homeowners rebuild, Byrnes said.
"Over a million is uncollected taxes," Byrnes said. "All the tax relief we've given to the waterfront communities...next year we'll see that and it will probably come back double."
"Because all the two-bedroom, one bath ranches are now three-bedroom, two bath ranches," he added, referring to the rebuilding process after Superstorm Sandy. "Next year the ratables will come up and that million dollars will be put back into the coffers."
In all, Sandy had a roughly $3 million impact on the 2013 budget, Ebenau said.
The township took advantage of a $5 million Community Disaster Loan from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Sandy, to help with cleanup costs, increased salaries and wages and lost revenue.
South Seaside Park resident Cathy Fulcomer asked if the FEMA loan would eventually be forgiven.
"We don't know at this point and time," Ebenau said. "There's a half percent interest payable over a period of time. Should that have to be paid back, there are mechanisms to offset some of that."
Councilwoman Fran Siddons cast the lone no vote on the budget. Councilmen L. Thomas Grosse Jr, and Kevin Askew did not attend the meeting. Grosse voted by phone, Askew cast his vote on Skype.
Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. did not attend the public hearing.