Six Morris County (New Jersey) towns 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 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 22 Local Efficiency Achievement Program (LEAP) grants to local governmental entities across New Jersey.
Mayor Grayzel added, “After completion of the assessment our objective is to then file for an implementation grant with the goal of our towns working together to share costly equipment and its maintenance in order to save taxpayer dollars in each of our local budgets.”
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. As the lead agency, Morris Township will administer the grant funding and contract consultants on behalf of the group.