Denville, Others Save Taxpayers $500,000 by Using Improvement Authority

Denville, the Educational Services Commission of Morris County and Brick Township in Ocean County will save taxpayers more than half a million dollars by financing essential projects through the Morris County Improvement Authority.

The transactions, approved June 8 by the Local Finance Board in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, use Morris County’s Aaa rating to guarantee the bonds used to finance the projects, enabling all participants to benefit by achieving the lowest possible interest cost.

Denville will save its taxpayers an estimated $200,000 by utilizing the Improvement Authority to borrow $13.4 million, most of which will be used to help finance the renovation of the township’s municipal building. Denville Mayor Gene F. Feyl said the transaction also includes the purchase of capital equipment and the rolling over of existing short term debt.

“The Morris County Improvement Authority is the perfect example of what county and local government can do to share services and reduce costs,” Feyl said. “The Morris County Freeholders are absolutely on the right course by developing innovative programs that reduce costs and help municipalities deliver the services expected by their residents.”

By using the Improvement Authority to borrow $1.7 million for vans and school buses, the Educational Services Commission will save an estimated $300,000.

The ESC, which provides a variety of services to schools in Morris County including transportation and special education programs, recently saved more than $1 million when it financed $5.5 million worth of improvements to its facilities through the Improvement Authority, according to Angelo Vilardi, superintendent of the commission.

Brick Township, the first out-of-county town to use the MCIA, is borrowing almost $4 million to finance public works and other capital equipment and will save an estimated $30,000.

Under state law, improvement authorities have more flexibility in financing and issuing bonds.

“Using the Improvement Authority can be a win-win situation for any local government or school district planning a construction project or purchasing or leasing equipment or vehicles,” said Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino. “Vital needs are met and tax dollars are saved.”

The Improvement Authority was established in 2002 by the Morris County Freeholders to give towns and school boards an innovative method of funding public projects and saving tax dollars at the same time.

Since then, it is estimated a total of $9.7 million in tax savings has been realized for the entities that have used the authority to finance critical projects or refinance their pension debts.

Those entities include the communities of Butler, Denville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Morristown and the County of Morris as well as the Boonton, Chester Township, Denville, Jefferson, Morris Hills Regional, Mount Olive, Parsippany, Roxbury and Washington Township school districts.