Borough council addresses legal fees and pandemic costs

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Borough Council discussed highly anticipated projects at the Oct. 5 meeting. (MARK R. SULLIVAN/THE OCEAN STAR)

BAY HEAD — The borough council Monday night introduced a resolution authorizing a $100,000 emergency appropriation to the municipal budget to address mounting legal service fees and other costs resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Discussing the matter during the council’s Oct. 5 meeting, Councilman Doug Lyons said, “A couple of weeks ago the Finance Committee got together and … to figure out where we were to date with our expenses and talk a little bit about where we wanted to head in 2021.

“After a long discussion with the CFO, it became very apparent to us that we have to do something to the budget that we have never had to do before.”

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According to the Mr. Lyons, the borough has been running very large legal bills for a number of reasons.

“One of the big reasons is New Jersey Transit,” he said. “We did budget for New Jersey Transit, but we just had no idea how much that was going to cost us this year, so that is one reason.”

Planning board costs were also discussed.

“Anybody who is on the planning board will tell you that we basically have been having a meeting a week for the last month and a half, and even before that quite a few meetings,” the councilman said. “So that has also driven up our legal costs. 

The $100,000 appropriation authorization “doesn’t mean that we are spending $100,000,” Mr. Lyons said,  “but we’re putting it in the budget so if we do need it, we have it, so we don’t keep going back and doing emergency resolutions.”

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