In an effort to help communities find greater efficiency in shared services, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Local Government Services has awarded 24 Local Efficiency Achievement Program, or LEAP, grants, totaling $4.6 million.
These grants, given to both counties and individual municipalities, are intended to help local governments pursue shared services initiatives to reduce taxpayer costs and enhance services.
The grant awards will support the County Coordinator Fellowship program underway in several New Jersey counties while encouraging the design and implementation of a variety of shared services activities, including public safety, emergency dispatch, sanitation, public works, sewerage and wastewater services, and school feasibility studies.
The LEAP program is comprised of three grant opportunities:
- Challenge grants: They promote innovation and collaboration on more expansive projects that produce shared services of notable significance;
- Implementation grants: They assist in covering costs associated with the implementation of shared services and school feasibility studies;
- County Coordinator Fellowship grants: They support the position of a full-time or part-time County Shared Service Coordinator to identify and advance potential shared services within a county.
Gov. Phil Murphy, a big proponent of shared services, obviously was pleased.
“Shared services are a great solution for municipalities, enabling them to provide important services while also alleviating the financial burden on local taxpayers,” he said.
“These grants exemplify our administration’s continuous commitment to making New Jersey a more affordable state for our residents, and I look forward to more programs from DCA in the future that support our communities.”
A look at the grants to counties:
- Atlantic City, Implementation: $400,000;
- Atlantic County, Implementation: $45,000;
- Atlantic County, Challenge: $147,000;
- Atlantic County, Fellowship: $75,000;
- Bergen County Utilities Authority (Bergen County), Challenge: $125,000;
- Cumberland County, Fellowship: $56,301;
- Hudson County, Challenge: $150,000;
- Hudson County, Fellowship: $75,000;
- Somerset County, Fellowship; $75,000;
- Union County, Fellowship: $55,890;
- Union County (1), Implementation: $375,719;
- Union County (2), Implementation: $279,750.
A look at the grants to municipalities:
- Bergenfield Borough, Implementation: $300,000;
- Dennis Township Board of Education, Challenge: $150,000;
- Downe Township, Implementation: $150,000;
- Egg Harbor Township, Implementation: $400,000;
- Franklin Lakes Borough (Bergen County), Challenge: $50,000;
- Jamesburg Borough, Implementation: $363,328;
- Manasquan River Regional Sewerage Authority, Implementation: $221,250;
- Mount Olive Township Implementation: $342,465;
- North Plainfield Borough, Implementation: $400,000;
- Pine Hill Borough, Implementation: $99,204;
- Point Pleasant Borough: Implementation: $220,713;
- Sterling Regional High School District, Implementation: $125,000.
Total Amount Awarded: $4,681,619.