Morris County Consortium of Towns Wins $90,000 Shared Service Grant from NJ
Madison, NJ – June 1, 2021 – Six Morris County towns collaborating together have been awarded a $90,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to identify and implement a program to share costly public works equipment and maintenance functions. The six towns comprise Madison, Morristown, Morris Plains, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township and Morris Township.
The consortium has agreed to a group-wide assessment of how to reduce costs and improve services by sharing public works equipment, some of which is highly specialized, costly, and does not require full time work. The consortium will also examine ways to regionalize some maintenance and repair functions for their fleets, which also often requires specialized skills, equipment, and certification.
“All of our towns share the same challenge of needing specialized equipment, often costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, to maintain our roads, sidewalks, water and sewer systems, and other infrastructure,” said Morris Township Mayor Jeff Grayzel, whose town is the lead agency on the effort. “By working together we are looking to reduce some of these costs and maintain – or even improve – our services.”
This award is one of only the 22 Local Efficiency Achievement Program (LEAP) grants to local governmental entities across New Jersey.
“In the wake of the pandemic, local governments are looking for innovative ways to cut costs to offset unexpected expenses incurred this past year. Shared services are a proven way to accomplish this while preserving and even enhancing existing services,” said Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA). “The LEAP Challenge Grant that has been awarded to Morris Township is specifically designed to help streamline their resources to achieve taxpayer savings without sacrificing the quality of services their residents need.”
The LEAP program is comprised of three grant initiatives: Challenge, Implementation, and County Coordinator Fellowship. The Challenge grants promote innovation and collaboration on more expansive projects that produce shared services of notable significance. The Implementation grants help cover costs associated with the implementation of shared services and school feasibility studies and the County Coordinator Fellowship grants support the hiring of a fellow to work full-time to identify and advance shared service opportunities within a county.
“Shared service is something that Madison has been doing for years, and we are looking forward to extending it through this LEAP grant,” said Mayor Robert H. Conley. “Working together with the five other towns will provide us access to beneficial public works equipment, while also saving taxpayer dollars,” continued Conley.
The six-town project is expected to get off the ground shortly with the hiring of a consultant who specializes in municipal fleet management, maintenance, and repair.