By Sara Martino
Gloucester City Councilman Nicholas Marchese, Jr. said the city budget of $16,485,308.27 will result in a tax increase of 27 cents per $100 of an assessed home value.
"Before we looked for cuts, the tax (increase) was going to be 41 cents per $100," Marchese said during last week's City Council meeting.
"I'd like to thank the mayor, department heads and the employees for their diligence. Some capital improvements will have to be put on hold but there will be no loss of em-ployees' jobs," he said.
Under the new budget, taxes will increase $189 per year on the average assessed $70,000 home.
City Council okayed seven resolutions, include-ing one that authorizes an application for a Citizens Participation Plan in order to receive Small Cities funding for reconstruc-tion/repair of city homes.
A plenary retail con-sumption liquor license with broad package privilege was approved for Paddy Go Easy, LLC, trading as the "Auld Dub-liner." It is located on Burlington Street.
Also, an amendment between the Gloucester City Fire Department and Virtua Health, Inc. was approved for transport of Medicare and Medicaid patients.
Council approved an ordinance on first reading to amend the City Code entitled Facilities User Fees in order to request a reduction of launching fees at the City Marina.
A public hearing will be held on Thursday, October 23, in City Hall.
An ordinance amending chapter 87, Article III, section 887-16 of the City Code was approved on second reading that will allow 15-minute parking in front of the Philly Pretzel Factory, located on South Broadway.
Monthly bills to Sept-ember 25 were approved and paid in the amount of $1,084,617.53.
Permission was granted to the Heroes to Hero Foundation, Inc., for use of the municipal lot next to Fire Headquarters on King Street between Hudson and Monmouth to hold their fund raiser on October 11.
Councilman John Hutchinson said the Martin's Lake Day in the Park will also be held from noon to 6 p.m. on that date, and the City Clean–Up Day will take place October 18.
In the public portion, resident and Board of Education President Louisa Lleweyllen asked for the Council's help for a five-year strategic school plan.
"At the present time, school funding is being 'held harmless,' but the school system will still receive student funding. Gloucester City schools were rated as #9 in New Jersey according to "New Jersey Magazine." I would like to ask citizens 'where would you like your schools to be?' she said.
Mayor William James said he would look into the request. The mayor also thanked the Irish Society, the UEZ, and everyone who participated in the Shamrock Irish Festival for a successful event.
Resident Jack Roberts again presented some information to the governing body, pertaining to gasoline usage in the City vehicles. He asked if the authorities could look into the Fuel Freedom Inter-national program that suggests that usage of their technology, a green pro-duct in capsule form, will increase the gasoline mileage in vehicles.
The mayor asked City Administrator Paul Kain to investigate the product.
"I would like to see data and proof that the product works," the mayor said.
City Council's next meeting is Thursday, October 23, at 8 p.m. in City Hall, 313 Monmouth St.