2013-10-03 / Front Page

Sayreville, South Amboy consider shared services

By STELLA MORRISON
Staff Writer

I n order to cut down on municipal costs, Sayreville and South Amboy will take the next few months to explore the option of shared services.

At the Sept. 23 Sayreville Borough Council meeting, Councilman Bill Henry proposed that a team of six officials from each municipality meet in order to explore the possibility of sharing different municipal services or facilities, such as a salt dome or garage bays. “We completely surround South Amboy, and we are eyeing a new public works building. And we would like to see if they also need upgraded facilities,” he said.

The long-discussed new public works facility is still only in its conceptual stage, with two location options — Main Street Extension or Cheesequake Road.

According to Bill Henry, the new facility would cost roughly $13 million to $15 million, but the borough has not been able to finance the project.

“The project has been pushed back in Sayreville, and discussions on areas that need to be upgraded have been going on and on,” he said. “A new facility is something that needs to get done at some given time.”

He said that if the two municipalities decide to share services, it will impact the future location of a new public works facility, as Main Street Extension is closer to South Amboy than Cheesequake Road.

“At this time, I think it’s our due diligence to ask them if they would be interested in sharing services,” he said.

Other shared services could range in scope and type of project, but all the suggestions will be hashed out in the meetings between the municipalities in the upcoming months. Bill Henry said that he will deliver a verbal report of the findings from the meetings once they are complete.

“We will, in all probability, set up a committee with Sayreville to explore any and all possibilities for shared services,” said South Amboy Mayor Fred A. Henry, who is Bill Henry’s brother. “And it does need to be a good fit for both communities, not just one. We will discuss this, most likely, at our next business meeting, and I will ask the council to adopt a resolution to affirm our commitment to this effort.”

Camille Tooker, business administrator for South Amboy, added, “As we have in the past, South Amboy is exploring options with Sayreville that will be beneficial to both communities and are a good fit.”

Bill Henry agreed to remove himself from the committee if the council feels that his participation presents a conflict because of his brother’s involvement, as mentioned by Sayreville Mayor Kennedy O’Brien.

However, Fred Henry said, “It could turn out to be a bit of a family effort to benefit both communities.”

Attorney Michael DuPont said the familial relation might not pose a conflict in the initial stages of discussion.

— Jacqueline Durett contributed to this article.

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