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Township Hopes to Maintain State Aid Through Best Practices Compliance

Failure to comply with New Jersey Best Practices can lead to a $250,000 reduction in state aid.

South Brunswick officials said Tuesday night they believe the township is in full compliance with New Jersey's Best Practices Worksheet and will avoid losing funds from the state.

Due in on Friday, the form questions a township’s business practices. The worksheet ensures that municipalities receiving state aid follow guidelines to achieve cost savings, maximize fiscal efficiency to insure increased operational efficiency, optimize facilities and resources, and increase accountability. Failure to comply with the regulations could lead to a fine of up to $250,000.

"We don't expect any penalties from the state," said Mayor Frank Gambatese. "It's crucial to be complaint because otherwise you get fined. We're lucky that the services we offer here are in greater abundance than most other towns."

Questions on the worksheet address general management, financial standards, budget preparation and presentation. It also questions the services a municipality provides in the areas of health, and agreements for shared services, Gambatese said.

South Brunswick rated compliant on 45 of the 50 question criteria.  

“It is important that township officials maintain this high rating in these hard economic times, so that we can continue to receive this funding for the betterment of the township,” said Councilman John O’Sullivan. 

State aid to South Brunswick stayed relatively flat last year. The township received about $5.1 million in aid, after receiving $5.2 million the previous year. If the checklist is approved by the state this would be the third consecutive year the township scored at the 90 percent level.  

"This checklist indicates that we go above and beyond the services the state thinks we should have," Gambatese said. "I'm pleased with the answers we have and I'm confident we'll be in compliance every year."

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