Carteret, NJ – Mayor Dan Reiman joined with Public Works Commissioner Iris Colon today, to announce that the Borough’s popular “Senior Sewer Rebate” program has been expanded to include veterans and disabled residents. Through the program, qualifying residents may apply for a $50 rebate towards their annual sewer fees.
Introduced by Mayor Reiman and a unanimous vote by the Borough Council initially in 2004, the Senior Sewer Rebate program represented the first program of its kind in New Jersey. Since then, over $300,000 has been allocated by the town’s administration specifically for the program. In 2007 alone, an estimated 900 seniors participated, according to the Municipal Tax Office.
This year the program will be expanded to include veterans and the disabled, who according to Borough officials are among those hit hardest by today’s high cost of living in New Jersey.
“Many of our seniors are life-long residents of Carteret,” Mayor Reiman stated, “and through no fault of their own have been hit especially hard by today’s rising cost of living. Similarly, we hold our veterans in the highest regard, and feel they deserve relief from the daily financial burden of living in urban New Jersey. The Sewer Rebate program is one of many locally-introduced programs that is becoming increasingly popular, and has provided residents with considerable savings. We’re glad that it will now service our veterans and the disabled.”
Along with the rebate program, Reiman’s administration has been able to boast considerable savings through a 2004 ordinance, which requires local industries to pay “their fair share” with regards to sewer fees. Previously, according to the Borough’s Department of Public Works, local businesses paid sewer fees that were disproportionate to usage, and the burden fell annually on local taxpayers. Since the introduction of the ordinance, a budgetary sewer deficit that had been predicated became a surplus, allowing for millions of dollars in capital improvements to Carteret’s sewer infrastructure.
“There was a big discrepancy in sewer use between residents and businesses,” Iris Colon added, “and yet it was not reflected in their sewer fees. With the 2004 ordinance, and our Sewer Rebate program, we’ve been able to return some balance and fairness to our residents, and relieve some financial pressure for those who have given so much to our town and our military.”