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Less than two months ago, the Lakewood Development Corporation (LDC) Board of Trustees adopted their annual budget.

Due to all the great work they've been doing since then, the LDC has already decided to give their staff some pretty decent salary increases!

New Jersey's Urban Enterprise (UEZ) Program fosters an economic climate that revitalizes designated urban communities and stimulates their growth by encouraging businesses to create private sector jobs.

The UEZ Program offers participating businesses incentives that encourage business growth and stimulate local economies, including a 50% reduced sales tax, tax free purchases on certain items, facility expansions, and upgrades, and financial assistance.

A portion of Lakewood Township is included in a zone in the UEZ program.

The LDC is the arm of the Township which administers Lakewood's Urban Enterprise Zone program. The LDC uses the annual UEZ grant money to offer business loans and grants to certified UEZ businesses as well as numerous other business encouragement incentives such as business-to-business networking events.

As previously reported here on FAA News, in November 2023, the LDC's Board of Trustees adopted their annual budget which will be funded by the UEZ funds that the Township receives from the state.

This budget was $462,500. This is an increase from last year's budget of $417,900.

The budget included salaries of $124,852 to Executive Director David Klein, $78,052 to Joann Wilkes, and $25,990 to Anita Doyle (who receives an additional salary from the Lakewood Industrial Commission), as well as benefits (i.e. health insurance) for these employees for a total of $113,000. (Attorney Sean Kean receives $10,000 as his slice of the pie, an additional $22,000 covers the audit).

Less than a mere two months later, and the LDC Board of Trustees has decided that "due to the unprecedented success of the Lakewood UEZ program," they want to be extra generous with the staff!

Accordingly, David Klein's salary will be increased to $160,000, Joann Wilkes's salary will be increased to $83,052, and Anita Doyle's salary will be increased to $28,490.

Accordingly, the previously approved budget amount of $462,500 will be increased to $507,500.

(David Klein also receives a $2,000 car allowance).

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