Over the last several years Deptford has invested in upgrading and looking towards the future in technology. Technology has helped us accomplish several goals such as GIS (Geographic Information System), which allows us to create several layers of data in one centralized file. This data enables multiple disciplines to access vital information with ease. The GIS system can be used by several departments; however, it is primarily used by Public Works and Community Development. As we strive to find ways to reduce costs, the GIS is also used by MUA as part of the Shared Services Agreement. One example of how this tool has been useful is the Township has mapped out the water main shutoff valves which are now instantly accessible for maintenance and emergencies. The Township has also looked toward the future in the Police Department. This new technology has reduced paperwork and streamlined the reporting system to allow the officers to spend valuable time on patrol rather than in the station performing administrative duties.
The winter months were historical and have taken a severe toll on roads. We request your patience as repair work efforts continue. Township Council is continuing to work on our municipal budget. The Township operates local government on twenty cents of each tax dollar collected. One-fifth of your tax dollar provides local police services, trash collection, leaf pickup, road repairs, salaries, benefits, pensions and much more. The remaining eighty cents goes to our school district, County government, fire district, and our library.
Fixed costs that we are obligated to fund and pay cannot be avoided. Examples of fixed costs include trash collection, leaf pick-up, street lighting, vehicle maintenance, liability insurance, debt payments, salaries, and health benefits costs, which have increased 18% this year alone.
In addition, we fund programs that the State mandates us to implement such as COAH, OPRA, Stormwater Management regulations and NJDEP regulations just to name a few. The bottom line is that up to 80% of the budget is fixed costs. Our goal is to maintain the services that the community needs while searching out more cost effective solutions. Township Council and Administration face many challenges to make the budget work effectively. We are certainly up to the challenge and value your comments and input!