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Township Council Eliminates Hamilton Street Business District Assessment For 2020

Business and property owners in the Hamilton Street Business District will not be charged an assessment this year, thanks to action taken April 28 by the Township Council.

Business and property owners in the Hamilton Street Business District will not have to pay an additional assessment this year, thanks to action taken by the Township Council on April 28.

The District runs down Hamilton Street, roughly from New Brunswick Road to the New Brunswick border. Officially known as a Special Improvement District, business and property owners within its boundaries are subject to a special assessment that is used for programs, infrastructure improvements and other efforts to boost the district.

Although the assessment hasn’t been charged over the past several years, the Hamilton Street Advisory Board included in its 2020 budget – which has already been approved by the Council – an assessment that would have generated $36,000.

But Council members thought better of that, in light of hardships faced by businesses due to the coronavirus, Mayor Phil Kramer said during teh Council’s April 28 meeting.

“Several members of Council thought it would be appropriate to not do the SID assessment this year,” Kramer said. “They haven’t done it for a few years, there’s enough in the surplus account to handle the vital items.”

“This is one way we thought we could lessen the strain” on those businesses, Kramer said.

In an amended HSBD budget introduced on April 28, the $36,000 assessment was eliminated, and the original $18,728 in surplus that was applied to the approved budget was increased to $42,728, which is the new total budget for the year.

To reach that goal, the Council eliminated $10,000 from the previously approved $20,000 for marketing costs, $1,000 for conferences, and $1,000 from the line item to buy security cameras.

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