Posted Thursday, March 28th, 2019
Focuses on Long-Term Financial Stability and Investing in the County’s Key Infrastructure
The Morris County Board of Freeholders last night adopted county government’s 2019 budget, which slightly increases the average tax levy to pay for enhanced social services, public safety, education, modern technology, and a strong emphasis on maintaining the county’s vital road, bridge, and facilities infrastructure.
County homeowners will pay an average of just $11 more annually, or 0.94 cents per month, in county taxes this year to finance programs and services included in the county’s $315.3 million 2019 county budget.
“We carefully scrutinized county operations to make sure we run a modern, efficient and cost effective county government,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “This is fair and balanced budget, which incorporates all current critical needs of our residents while taking a far-reaching look at the county’s future.’’
The operating budget incorporates important public safety and social services initiatives, offered in many cases with nonprofit providers, and dealing with school safety, the opioid epidemic, childcare, emergency medical services, and other services for the county’s most vulnerable residents.
The budget positions the county to address emerging challenges and needs by partnering with its 39 municipalities, constitutional offices, nonprofits, and others entities on a variety of programs and projects.
It also addresses the need to maintain the county’s roads and bridges, and its technology, law enforcement, public safety, educational and recreational infrastructure that are key to the county’s high quality of life.
“This 2019 budget ensures that our county will remain the premier place in New Jersey in which to live, work, and raise a family,’’ said Freeholder Heather Darling, chair of the freeholders’ budget subcommittee. Other members are Freeholders Kathy DeFillippo and Deborah Smith.
“It was developed in coordination with the county’s strategic plan, adhering to guiding principles developed in that plan, in concert with the county’s municipal, school, business, healthcare, nonprofit and community leaders,’’ said Freeholder Darling.
While maintaining a tight rein on spending, the 2019 budget invests in key programs and initiatives that maintain the high quality of life in the county:
The budget also supports countywide economic development, protects the top-ranked Triple A bond rating, and preserves a stable level of fund balance required for well-run county governments.
Some new and expanded programs, to be done through partnerships, include:
The 2019 budget strategically authorizes $33.5 million to responsibly deal with critical infrastructure needs, including county roads and bridges; public safety technology and security enhancements; parks, education and building maintenance needs.
This portion of the budget was reviewed by a subcommittee of the Freeholder Board that included Freeholders Tom Mastrangelo, John Krickus and Stephen Shaw.
The planned $7.8 million earmarked for bridge projects (combined with federal and state dollars) is the highest amount allocated for bridge repair and replacement in six years. Projects will target the county’s lowest rated bridges to ensure continued safety.
Some other major capital funding:
View the county’s 2019 budget: https://morriscountynj.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Morris-County-2019-Adopted-Budget_.pdf
View PowerPoint presentations of the 2019 operating and capital budgets: https://morriscountynj.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2019-Morris-County-operating-Budget.pdf and https://morriscountynj.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/capital-budget-2019.pdf
View previous years’ county budgets: https://morriscountynj.gov/transparency/finance/