The City of Summit is announcing that at its December 5 meeting, Common Council approved the consolidation of its municipal court as part of a shared services agreement with New Providence, NJ and Berkeley Heights, NJ. The shared municipal court will be housed at 360 Elkwood Ave. in New Providence, NJ.
“Reductions in state aid, a broken school funding formula and waste at the county level means it is imperative that local municipalities think creatively about shared services to help keep our communities affordable” explains Summit Common Council President Michael McTernan. “The consolidation of Summit’s municipal court with New Providence and Berkeley Heights will save money and directly benefit taxpayers by reducing the number of court facilities and staff size, as well as required court security measures and administrative oversight. This is the latest in a series of shared services implemented by the Common Council over the last several years.”
The transition will take effect immediately in December 2017 and involve the temporary housing of shared court services in Summit during three to four months of renovation work at the New Providence court facility to accommodate increased capacity. The city estimates that the consolidation of its municipal court through the shared services agreement will save the municipality more than $100K annually once renovation costs of the New Providence court facility are repaid within three years.
McTernan continues: “Although the participating municipalities will share resources and a physical location, Summit residents will still be served by their own court with its own jurisdiction. While we recognize that residents using the court will need to drive a few minutes farther, the cost savings for all our taxpayers should compensate for any inconvenience.”
The New Jersey Judiciary estimates that “about one in five New Jersey municipal courts is currently part of a joint or shared services arrangement” with 18 of the state’s 21 counties having “at least one merged municipal court.”
For more information on the City of Summit consolidation of its municipal courts and shared services agreement, please go to cityofsummit.org.