Hunterdon County Freeholders continue ‘no debt’ capital improvements for sixth straight year
HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – Hunterdon County’s Freeholder Board this week introduced no debt capital improvement ordinances for the sixth year in a row, providing funds for county roads, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure improvements, the continuation of the county’s open space and farmland preservation programs, and the purchase of needed vehicles and equipment.
“These ordinances provide appropriations necessary to ensure effective operation of county government. As has been the case for the last six years, these improvements will be funded without resorting to debt,” Freeholder Board Director Shaun Van Doren said.
“The County’s pay as you go capital program, which results in no debt service in the county budget, continues to benefit our taxpayers. It is a major fiscal strategy that has helped to freeze the tax rate again this year,” Van Doren said.
Public hearings on each of the seven ordinances will be held at the July 7 Freeholder meeting that will continue to be held by teleconference.
“Similar to the action we took with the county budget, at the outset of the pandemic, the Budget Committee revisited the initial capital improvement proposals to determine if there could be further adjustments. A great deal of triage has taken place to fund only projects that are absolutely essential,” Freeholder Matt Holt, a member of the Board’s Budget Committee, said.
The introduced ordinances include:
- Ordinance 2020-01 provides $327,700 in funding for replacement of vehicles.
- Ordinance 2020-02 provides $387,200 in funding for replacement of heavy equipment, including replacing a 20year old Public works dump truck used for snow removal.
- Ordinance 2020-03 provides $3,054,000 from the open space trust fund for the preservation of open space and farmland properties and the re-habilitation of ponds at Deer Path and Echo Hill parks.
- Ordinance 2020-04 provides $3,500,000 for improvements to the Historic Courthouse and the connected Historic Jail, funded through Historic Preservation funds and a $1.5 million State Historic Trust grant.
- Ordinance 2020-05 provides $4,569,000 for improvements and upgrades to County buildings and facilities, including emergency generators, HVAC and roof improvements, IT infrastructure, improvements to the crime lab, and a county match for a $980,000 state grant for Library improvements.
- Ordinance 2020-06 provides $3,385,000 for improvements at ten county bridges.
- Ordinance 2020-07 provides $6,600,000 for county road improvements part of which will be funded by $4 million in state grants from the Transportation Trust Fund.
Freeholder Board Deputy Director Sue Soloway said she supports the proposals, “Because these ordinances anticipate continuing the pay as you go program that has been part of the Freeholder Board’s fiscal plan for the last six years. Keeping the county debt free, to me, is an important part of protecting our taxpayers.”
To view the ordinances listed above, click here.