Friday, February 7th, 2014

The Morris County Board of Freeholders has approved a shared services agreement with Morristown that calls for the county to provide the town with health services for the next five years, saving the town an estimated $575,000.

Morristown is the fourth municipality whose health services are being provided by the county’s Office of Health Management, with Morris Plains, Boonton Township and Denville being the other three.

“The freeholders have always said we are committed to sharing services with our municipalities and with other counties if it saves money for taxpayers,” said Freeholder Director Tom Mastrangelo. “This shared services agreement with Morristown does that.”

Under the agreement, which runs through 2018, Morristown’s payments to the county range from $131,654.72 this year to $142,506.77 in the contract’s final year. The county will supplement Morristown’s existing staff with personnel from the county’s Office of Health Management, including its licensed health officer.

The fees paid by Morristown, whose health officer retired last year, will help defray the county’s existing salary and wage costs and will allow it to hire an additional staff member to support Morristown.

The county will provide Morristown with services similar to those it provides Denville, Boonton Township and Morris Plains. Those services include public health administration; health education; public health emergency preparedness response and planning; and public health nursing supervision.

“Sharing or consolidating services can be a win-win situation for the county and participating towns,” said Freeholder Doug Cabana, liaison to Health Management. “The freeholders will continue to explore mutually beneficial shared services opportunities with other towns.”

Freeholder John Cesaro, who chairs the county’s Shared Services Advisory Committee, said the freeholders welcome suggestions from municipal officials.

“We want to work cooperatively with our local officials to identify county and municipal services that could potentially be provided in a shared environment,” Cesaro said. “We also want to be sure that such sharing achieves long-term economies of scale, while maintaining or enhancing service quality.”