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Posted Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

Law & Public Safety is a Priority; Plan Continues Aggressive Roads and Bridges Projects

The Morris County Board of County Commissioners unveiled a capital spending plan tonight that continues to improve public safety and support law enforcement, while aggressively improving the county road and bridge infrastructure, education, technology, county facilities, recreation and culture.

Worker at the communications center in front of many screens and monitors

Communications Center

To take advantage of favorable interest rates available in 2020, Morris County expedited the 9-11 Communications Center upgrades that were initially part of the 2021 capital spending plan, pushing the critical project underway early. The board’s Capital Budget Committee, which includes Commissioner Director Stephen H. Shaw, Commissioner Thomas Mastrangelo and Commissioner Tayfun Selen, outlined the $24.1 million spending plan during a work session held via Webex.

“This capital plan addresses the county’s need to maintain and improve infrastructure an county facilities as we work to maintain the quality of services residents of Morris County enjoy. Yet it recognizes the financial realities imposed by the continuing pandemic, and our need to be very, very responsible with the tax dollars we commit to any project,” said Commissioner Director Shaw.

 

The 2021 CAPITAL BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS Include:

Commissioner Director Stephen Shaw

Commissioner Director Stephen Shaw

Infrastructure:

  • $9.5 million for 28 miles of road resurfacing in 19 municipalities
  • $4.9 million for 9 bridge and culvert projects
  • $1.97 million for improvements to intersections and roadways

Public Safety

  • $606,000 for upgrades and equipment for the Sheriff’s Office
  • $450,000 for Office of Emergency Management medical/emergency response vehicles
  • $98,000 for personal protection equipment and facility upgrades to the Fire & Police Academy
  • $995,000 in fire alarm and sprinkler upgrades to county facilities

“Important to note is this plan does not reflect the $23 million the board approved last month

Commissioner Thomas Mastrangelo

Commissioner Tom Mastrangelo

to upgrade and double the operating capacity of our emergency radio network and infrastructure. We could not wait to act because we needed to take advantage of the lower interest rates available for the bonding that will be necessary,” said Commissioner Mastrangelo. “It is a critical project because most Morris County law enforcement, emergency management, and municipal first responders rely on this system every day. But we also needed to be fiscally responsible about it and seize an opportunity to save taxpayer dollars.”

Learn more about the project by clicking here.

Other 2021 Capital Spending Highlights Include:

Facilities and Technology:

  • $7.5 million in upgrades to county buildings, utilities and vehicles.
  • $802,000 to information and technology improvements

Recreational/Cultural

  • $1.4 million for Morris County Park Commission projects and equipment replacement

Education

  • $125,000 to upgrade science labs at Morris County Vocational School
  • $3.8 million to County College of Morris to improve accessibility, improve roads and walkways, address water infiltration issues and modify buildings
Commissioner Tayfun Selen

Commissioner Tayfun Selen

“We talk a lot about the great quality of life found in Morris County because it’s a fact, and our capital plan focuses heavily on maintaining it,” said Commissioner Selen. “We have the best park system in the state and our educational facilities consistently rank among the top. It’s why people and businesses relocate here, and why people raise their families here and continue to stay into their retirement.”

The slide-show presentation presented by the Capital Budget Committee may be viewed by clicking here.

The $24.1 million plan reflects a commitment of $34.4 million by the county, which will be offset by an anticipated $10.3 million in grants, particularly state grants for road and bridge improvements.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm: a snow covered field, bare tree, and logs for a fire

A winter’s day at
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm

Morris County government has a massive and diverse inventory of responsibility, ranging from the Morris County Administration Building in Morristown, to Human Services and Law & Public Safety complexes in Morris Township and Parsippany.  The infrastructure includes:

  • 20,197 acres of Parkland
  • 287 miles of county roads in all 39 Morris County municipalities
  • 1,000 bridges and culverts throughout all Morris County municipalities
  • 3 Freight Railroads
  • 3 million square feet of buildings and structures
  • Facilities required by the Judiciary, Sheriff, Law and Public Safety

The County of Morris also is responsible for:

  • Maintaining all trees within county road rights-of-way
  • Mosquito Control services throughout all Morris County
  • 1,185 vehicles and or pieces of equipment used by various county agencies