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Swain & Tully Bill Authorizing County-Municipality Shared Services Clears Committee

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Lisa Swain and Assemblyman Chris Tully authorizing a county government to adopt an ordinance appointing a construction official to enforce the “State Uniform Construction Code Act” was approved by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee on Thursday.

The bill (A-3731) would allow the construction official to administer this act in regards to buildings and structures owned by the county. In addition, the bill would allow a municipality to enter into a shared services agreement with its home county.

“The goal of this bill is to provide an additional opportunity for counties and municipalities to work together,” said Swain (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Allowing towns to enter into a cost-saving shared services program is beneficial to both counties and their municipalities by increasing access to resources which will enable projects to get done in a timely, efficient manner.”

Regardless of any shared service agreement with a municipality, the measure would authorize the county construction official to assume code enforcement responsibilities as opposed to them just being the municipality’s obligation. However, regardless of the property’s ownership, county construction officials would not be authorized to assume code enforcement responsibilities that the Department of Community Affairs is required to administer.

“In many cases, construction code enforcement for schools and other large buildings is lengthy and costly to municipalities,” said Tully (D-Bergen/Passaic). “By entering a shared services agreement with their county, towns would be able to help ease the burden on their residents dealing with unfinished or time consuming projects – which can sometimes come at an unfair cost.”