Party planning, ticks, plastic bags, a budget, a parade and more – the news items are varied, as Little Silver abounds with energy this May.
First, with a little over a year to go, the town is actively planning its 100th birthday celebration.
I mention that right up front, because the second organizational meeting is being held on May 11th at the Woman’s Club at 7 p.m. All who have an interest are welcome.
The endeavor is in the capable hands of Councilwoman Stephanie Brannagan, who has set up Twitter, Instagram, andFacebook accounts (@littlesilver100, @littlesilver100th, and Little Silver 100th Anniversary, respectively). Like and share and tag, please.
We don’t want to leave anyone out, so spread the word and come on out to help plan our little get-together! If you can’t make it, please email [email protected]. The big day is scheduled for June 24, 2023, with a rain date of June 25.
Next, most know that Little Silver helped lead the movement away from disposable plastic bags, straws, and polystyrene with a ban, developed in consultation with our businesses and Environmental Commission, way back in the pre-pandemic era.
Now, the State of New Jersey has enacted an even more stringent ban. Starting May 4, retail stores, grocery stores and food services state-wide may not provide or sell single-use plastic carryout bags and polystyrene foam food service products.
Single–use paper carryout bags may be provided or sold, except by grocery stores equal to or larger than 2,500 square feet (which may only provide or sell reusable carryout bags). After November 4, 2022, plastic straws may be provided only upon request.
Please check our website, littlesilver.org, for a post with more specific information and a set of answers to frequently asked questions. As with the inception of recycling many years ago, this may take some getting used to, but pretty soon we’ll all be toting our reusable bags – when I last checked, some were still available free of charge at Borough Hall.
As to the ticks, this is tick season, so after enjoying our walking trails, fields, and parks, please remember to check yourself, the little ones, and pets for these parasites.
If you have questions or want to get a tick tested for disease, our County Commissioners have posted lots of information and answers to frequently asked questions on their website. Go to co.monmouth.nj.us, and search on ‘ticks’ in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
Looking back briefly, it was great to see the turnout for the Easter Egg Hunt (thanks to our recreation department and the Little Silver PBA), and the crowds at the ball fieldsfor the start of the spring rec season in April.
Likewise, we enjoyed the talk in April by Monmouth County historian Randy Gabriellan as the Parker Homestead returned to in-person events and regular Sunday openings. Please keep an eye out in this newsletter and elsewhere for additional events this month and into the future – and for the start of an apple orchard on the historic property.
And in a last April event, the Borough Council held a public hearing and ultimately passed the 2022 budget. The bottom line: the overall municipal purposes increase (the only portion of your tax bill over which the governing body has control) is only 2.62 percent, or $207,475.12, and is $599,201 under the two-percent tax levy cap.
That means that, with the overall increase in property valuation, the municipal purposes tax rate will decrease this year from .441 in 2021 to .421 in 2022, meaning that a house valued at $760,000 will see a tax decrease of $152.35 if its valuation remained the same, or if the value increased at the average rate, an increase of about $82.00.
Please remember that your municipal tax rate is just about a quarter of your yearly tax bill; because the school and county (making up more than two thirds your tax bill) have not yet passed their budgets, the overall tax rate is not yet known.
Again this year, savings in the municipal budget were attributable to smart departmental spending, shared services on equipment and certain borough operations, and dollar-for-dollar reimbursement of our COVID-related expenses (through Monmouth County and the CARES Act).
And speaking of folks who help keep our budget balanced,here is a suggestion to help out our volunteer first responders: if you own or are aware of a home slated for demolition, please consider contacting our all-volunteer Little Silver Fire Department to offer the home for a live drill before it is demolished. The LSFD trains weekly, and always benefits by being able to use a real home for training and drills. If you’re not sure who to contact, email me and I’ll get you to the right person.
Finally, please remember our Library as the weather warms up. Among other things, we’re looking at sprucing up the wifi-enabled patio with a pergola and some attention to the patio itself. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy a book, or to use a laptop, phone, or other device al fresco.
In closing, as we approach Memorial Day, please remember our men and women in uniform, and especially the young men from Little Silver who lost their lives in battle: Richard L.J. Conner and Henry G. Woodruff in World War I; John R. Toomey, a paratrooper killed during the Rhine jump in World War II; Tom Firth, who died in a gun battle in South Vietnam in 1965; Jordi Grez, who was killed by an IED in Iraq in 2005; and Tinker Dorn of Shrewsbury, killed by sniper fire in South Vietnam, and whose brother Dan, a Little Silver resident for many years and a U.S. Marine, assists in our ceremony.
And of course, please come to our Memorial Day parade, stepping off at 8:30 on Memorial Day, culminating in our Memorial Day ceremony at Memorial Park. We hope to see you there.
On behalf of the governing body, we wish you smooth sailing through spring. As always, please call borough hall with any concerns, or contact me directly by calling my home phone at (732) 576-8595, or emailing me at [email protected].