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Swain, Tully & Wimberly Bill Authorizing County-Municipality Shared Services Gains Assembly Approval

Bill Establishes “County Code Enforcement Pilot Program”

(TRENTON) – Promoting shared-service resources to maximize efficiency for municipalities’ construction projects, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Lisa Swain, Chris Tully and Benjie Wimberly that creates a pilot program allowing counties to enter an agreement with municipalities for broader code enforcement responsibilities was approved by the full Assembly on Monday and now heads to the Governor’s desk.

The bill (A-3731) would allow a 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. By entering this pilot program, a county’s municipalities would be able to enter into a shared service agreement with the county for the purposes of administering and enforcing construction codes.

“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.”

“Simply put, this piece of legislation will save both time and money for our counties and their residents,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). “It is common sense to take advantage of everything this shared services program has to offer; especially as a municipal cost saving measure.”

This bill was approved Monday by the Assembly with a vote of 76-0 and the Senate with a vote of 40-0.