Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The Morris County Freeholders on April 6 adopted a $298.5 million county budget that reflects a reduction of $2.2 million in the total county tax levy, which includes the amount of taxes to be raised for county operations and open space and other preservation projects.

According to Gene Feyl, freeholder director, the 2009 budget contains 76 less employees than were on the county payroll in 2008, saving the county approximately$3.8 million. Operational efficiencies at Morris View Healthcare Center last year resulted in actual cost reductions of another $2.2 million, Feyl said.

Feyl, a member of the freeholders’ budget committee, said the 2009 budget is only 1.4percent higher than last year’s spending plan. Most of the increases are either state or human service mandates, or are the result of rate increases is areas such as health insurance premiums and pension costs, Feyl said.

Included in the budget is money for an additional 30,000 meals for senior citizens and 6,400 additional transportation rides for the elderly, ill and disabled.
Additional funds to address an increase in the caseload of individuals applying for food stamps and direct assistance are also included in the 2009 budget.