RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — Ridgewood Councilwoman Gwenn Hauck is taking time to reflect on a "great" year in Ridgewood.
Among the things that most impressed Hauck was how residents kept taxes down for a third consecutive year while providing a 1.2% increase to support investments in leadership, technology and services. She said taxes are anticipated to be the same or lower in 2016.
The councilwoman also pointed out that the council was able to negotiate a new salary budget with the fire department that was lower than 2007's total fire budget, and that the town is currently in negotiation for a new police contract.
In terms of development, Hauck noted that a referendum passed 2-1 in the council in favor of a new 300+ parking deck on Hudson Street. The planning board also approved aup to 4 possible locations for new apartments in town.
Hauck said six miles-worth of Ridgewood's roadways were paved this year — a new record for the village — and a pothole app was implemented to allow residents to report potholes.
In an effort to include all citizens and allow as much public input as possible on all planning discussions, Ridgewood Council meetings began running 5 - 7.5hours long, setting historic-lengths multiple times.
The Parkmobile app now allows residents to pay parking meters without coins. Valet parking for restaurants also took an estimated 150 cars off the streets, Hauck said.
The councilwoman also pointed out reorganizations in various Ridgewood department , including a new chief financial officer and parking utility director, a new building department manager, a new water department and public works manager, a new human resources director and a new audit and accounting firm.
Finally, Hauck said the village worked more to recognize senior citizens and baby boomers in town. The village performed a survey to analyze the role of 55+ citizens, and a grant received by the town will analyze the results of the survey to see how to best serve that population.
"Overall, it was a great year for Ridgewood," Hauck said.
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