Posted Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

The Morris County Freeholders last year saved municipalities in the county $52,236.50 by picking up the tab to remove deer carcasses from municipal roads.

According to Stephen W. Hammond, director of the Morris County Department of Public Works, 2,000 deer carcasses were removed from county and municipal roads last year, 363 more than were picked up in 2010. Of that total, 1,153 carcasses were picked up from municipal roads.

The Morris County Board of Freeholders in 2006 implemented a shared services program for the county’s 39 municipalities and assumed the cost of carcass removal when the New Jersey Department of Transportation transferred that responsibility to towns and counties, said Freeholder Gene Feyl, freeholder liaison to the Department of Public Works.

“The freeholders thought at the time that the state was placing an unfair burden on municipalities,” Feyl said. “We still do, which is why the county continues to cover the cost for the towns.”

According to Hammond, Morris County has a contract with Space Farms Zoo in Sussex, which has been picking up the carcasses since July at a rate of $42 per deer, compared with the $54.50 per carcass fee that had been charged by a previous company.

Figures show Washington Township led the way last year with a total of 210 deer carcasses picked up, 130 of them from municipal roads. That means the county saved the township $5,758, Feyl said.

The county saved Parsippany $4,194.50 last year by paying for the removal of the 99 deer killed on municipal roads in the township, while a savings of $3,891.50 was realized by Hanover when the county paid for the removal of 87 carcasses from municipal roads there, Feyl said.

Under the county program, each town is responsible for reporting deer carcasses on local and county roads within its municipality directly to the Space Farms. Space Farms Zoo removes dead deer from both county and local roads and uses the venison to feed the zoo’s more than 500 animals.

In 2011, the total cost to the county for carcass removal on all county and municipal roads was $92,400.

Other towns that realized savings were Boonton, $222.50; Boonton Township, $965.00; Butler, $96.50; Chatham Borough, $277; Chatham Township, $1,805; Chester Borough, $84; Chester Township, $1,754; Denville, $1,716.50; East Hanover, $2,832.50; Florham Park, $1,095.50; Harding, $1,255.50; Jefferson, $1,343; Kinnelon, $428; Lincoln Park, $1,036; Long Hill Township, $1,759.50; Madison, $734.50; Mendham Borough, $692.50; Mendham Township, $2,098; Montville, $2,610; Morris Plains, $42; Morris Township, $3,803; Morristown, $361; Mount Arlington, $54.50; Mount Olive, $1,942.50; Mountain Lakes, $42; Netcong, $42; Pequannock, $856; Randolph, $3,630.50; Riverdale, $54; Rockaway Borough, $138.50; Rockaway Township, $1,393; Roxbury, $3,101.50; Washington Township, $5,758; and Wharton, $126.