Implementation Grants Are Designed to Defray the Costs of Sharing Services
The Murphy Administration and New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) announced the award of 10 Local Efficiency Achievement Program (LEAP) Implementation grants to local governmental entities across New Jersey. These grants, totaling over $1.4 million in this second-round of 2021 awards, will help local governments pursue shared services to reduce taxpayer costs and enhance services. The grant awards will support design and implementation of a variety of shared services initiatives including reconstruction, public safety, dispatch, sanitation, public works, transportation and school feasibility studies. The first round of 2021 LEAP grants were awarded in May to 23 local entities in the amount of $2.5 million.
“Shared services continue to prove their value as an effective tool for local governments to shave expenses and streamline resources. It’s a win-win for neighboring communities who are looking for innovative ways to coordinate and even enhance their existing services,” said Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA). “I’m pleased that local leaders across the state are taking advantage of this taxpayer-saving opportunity and look forward to the resulting shared service agreements that may come from this new round of LEAP grants.”
The LEAP program is comprised of three grant initiatives: Challenge Grants, which promote innovation and collaboration on more expansive projects that produce shared services of notable significance; Implementation Grants, which assist in covering costs associated with the implementation of shared services and school feasibility studies; and County Coordinator Fellowship Grants, which support the hiring of a full-time County Shared Service Coordinator to identify and advance shared service opportunities within a county.
“The best resolutions in government are often achieved by coming together to examine ways to break free from how things have always been done to improve services. I credit the local governments who are doing the hard work to shirk the status quo for the potential benefit of their constituents. We look forward to getting them across the finish line when they are ready to implement shared services,” said DLGS Director Jacquelyn Suárez.
The following local government entities will be awarded 2021 LEAP Implementation grants:
|Applicant||Project Type||Grant Award|
|Bloomsbury School District||Bloomsbury, North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High – School District Feasibility Study||$99,950|
|Buena Regional School District||Buena, Estell Manor, Weymouth – Regionalization / Consolidation Feasibility Study||$30,000|
|East Windsor Township||East Windsor and Hightstown – Police Dispatch Shared Services – Technology Upgrades||$100,000|
|Essex County||Essex and Union County – Jail Consolidation||$250,000|
|Estell Manor City||Estell Manor and Atlantic County -Snow Plowing Shared Services||$120,000|
|Hackensack City||Hackensack City and Township of Teaneck – Fire Dispatch Shared Services||$218,693|
|Metuchen Borough||Metuchen and Edison – Joint Sewage Pump Station Replacement||$250,000|
|North Warren Regional Board of Education||North Warren Regional, Knowlton, Blairstown, Hardwick – School District Regionalization Study||$30,000|
|Pittsgrove Township School District||Newfield and Pittsgrove Consolidation Feasibility Study||$65,000|
|Salem City||Fire Company Consolidation Plan||$250,000|
|Total Amount Awarded||$1,413,643|
Implementation Grants are used to help local governments defray costs associated with moving to a shared model. These include: regionalizing sanitation services across towns; shared records management systems; shared equipment programs; regional 911 systems; and a shared regional county municipal court.
To support local governments’ interest in shared services, DLGS established the Local Assistance Bureau (LAB), which provides technical assistance for each step of the shared services process from identification through implementation. The LAB team is comprised of municipal professionals who possess tremendous expertise and accumulated knowledge, skill sets and insights to bring a fresh, enthusiastic, progressive, and professional outlook to the field of municipal shared services.
Furthermore, in 2018, Governor Murphy appointed Nicholas Platt and Jordan Glatt to serve as Shared Services Czars, who are ready and available to provide guidance and support to local governments considering entrance into a shared service agreement.
“When we started on a joint mission to help New Jersey’s 565 municipalities find taxpayer savings we didn’t realize how well accepted or successful it would be. The LEAP grants have become a valuable tool for us to help give local governments the incentive they need to move forward from idea to reality,” said New Jersey Shared Services Czars Nicholas Platt and Jordan Glatt. “We’re proud to play a large role in supporting our communities to achieve savings, especially as they rebound economically from the pandemic and seek new ways to cut costs.”
Local governments interested in learning more about shared services can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.nj.gov/dca/services/sharedservices.html. The DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including affordable housing production, fire safety, building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery.