With Camden facing a $26.5 million budget shortfall, Mayor Dana Redd announced Thursday that her administration wants to use $4 million from a South Jersey Port PILOT agreement to minimize public safety layoffs.
Redd said the money the city receives in lieu of taxes could save some jobs. She had planned to lay off about a quarter of the city’s employees to deal with reduced state funding and the city’s budget shortfall.
Martha Chavis is the CEO of Welcome New Jersey, a nonprofit organization that focuses on workforce development in Camden. Chavis, who has worked in Camden for more than 25 years, has lived in the city for more than a decade.
“The fact that they have found some money to make it less a blow, is there,” Chavis said. “But, obviously, it’s a major problem It’d be nice to find all of it, but it’s just not that kind of economic environment these days.”
Many Camden residents worry about public safety, given the potential police and fire layoffs.