TRENTON, NJ – The Murphy Administration and New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) today announced that applications are currently being accepted for $10 million in available funding through the Local Efficiency Achievement Program (LEAP) that was allocated in the fiscal year 2022 budget. LEAP provides financial assistance to local government entities such as counties, municipalities, school districts, authorities, and fire districts across the State of New Jersey to identify, study, and implement shared services initiatives. The program is aimed at encouraging towns to streamline their government services to increase efficiency and help save taxpayer dollars.
“The LEAP grants have proven to be a very successful tool in getting shared service agreements across the finish line throughout New Jersey. These agreements are resulting in substantial cost savings for municipalities and local entities at a time when it is needed most,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “Governor Murphy and I look forward to continuing to carry out this incredibly important work with the help of our Division of Local Government Services and the Shared Services Czars Nicolas Platt and Jordan Glatt to support our 565 towns in their economic recovery after the pandemic and beyond.”
LEAP is comprised of three primary components: Challenge, Implementation, and County Coordinator Fellowship Grants.
The Challenge Grants promote innovation and collaboration on more expansive projects and levels of participation that produce shared services with increased significance to local communities.
The Implementation Grants support costs associated with implementation of shared services and school feasibility studies.
The County Coordinator Fellowship Grants support the identification and advancement of shared services opportunities through the hiring of a full-time fellow within the county.
“The LEAP Grant incentivizes shared services implementation across New Jersey's local government entities by providing funding for compelling new shared services, implementation costs, and grants for a shared services coordinator in each county. We encourage all locals to reach out to our Local Assistance Bureau for technical support in standing up a new shared service while capitalizing on this available funding,” said Jacquelyn A. Suárez, Director of DLGS.
With 565 local government entities, over 600 local school districts, and 21 counties, there is tremendous potential for shared services development that can assist local governments in achieving high-quality services at reduced costs for taxpayers.
To date, over $5.4 million in LEAP grants have been awarded in support of shared services throughout the state. LEAP grants have helped to produce tremendous savings for local governments while improving the lives of many. For instance, recent county correctional facility consolidations allowed for staff and inmates to be relocated to more modern, and up-to-date facilities. DCA recently helped facilitate and execute correctional facility shared services agreements in the following counties:
· Sussex and Morris Counties entered into a correctional facility shared services agreement yielding a yearly cost savings of $1.4 million.
· Cumberland and Atlantic Counties entered into a correctional facility shared services agreement yielding a yearly cost savings of $8.7 million.
· Union and Essex Counties entered into a correctional facility shared services agreement yielding cost savings of over $103 million for a 5-year period.
Shared Service Czars Jordan Glatt and Nicolas W. Platt, who were appointed by Governor Phil Murphy in 2018, travel across the state meeting with county and local government officials providing support, guidance, and education on the benefits of shared services. Since their appointment, DLGS has received over 2,300 shared services agreements.
“As many local governments experience unprecedented demands on budgets and operations as a result of the COVID-19 health emergency, the need to focus on recovery is paramount. With cost reduction, improved service delivery, and optimization of equipment and supplies, shared services can provide highly effective solutions which can help build resilience in our communities,” said Jordan Glatt, a former mayor of Summit, Union County. He added, “We need to build bridges to help support recovery efforts through the use of shared services.”
“Shared services are proven to be a win-win situation for local governmental entities regarding taxpayer savings and have opened doors to eliminating the stand-alone mindset that inhibits collaboration. The service sharing efforts in many counties and municipalities throughout New Jersey have already improved the quality and breadth of resources available to residents and have allowed many local governments to work together to overcome perceived hurdles to efficiency and taxpayer savings,” said Nicolas W. Platt, a former mayor of Harding Township, Morris County.
DLGS is responsible for administering the LEAP program. Eligible entities are invited to apply for grant funds under each of the LEAP grants: Challenge Grants, Implementation Grants, and County Coordinator Fellowship Grants. A full description of each grant is outlined below.
Challenge Grants will allocate funds to the most compelling projects in potentially each of New Jersey’s 21 counties. This grant program is designed to promote innovation among peer communities and counties across New Jersey, and challenge municipalities and counties to collaborate on more extensive partnerships that produce shared services of notable significance. LEAP Challenge Grants provide reimbursement for qualifying expenses incurred in the development of approved programs and services authorized under the Uniform Shared Services and Consolidation Act (N.J.S.A. 40:65-1 et seq.).
Local units are invited to compete for a share of up to $150,000 in available funds within each county. New Jersey counties, municipalities, school districts, commissions, authorities, and fire districts may apply. Any two or more of these entities may submit a joint application seeking funding for a proposal.
Application Deadline: January 15, 2022
For further details please see the Challenge Grant Guidelines and Application:
Challenge Grant Guidelines
Challenge Grant Application
Implementation Grants will allocate funds to help cover costs associated with shared services implementation such as one-time reimbursable costs for project completion or transition support which may include, but are not limited to, new technology costs incurred as part of equipping a shared services program, rebranding costs, equipment and vehicle outlays, professional services, rent for facilities, payroll system conversion costs, and training. Funding is based on the total transition or implementation cost of a project.
This grant program also provides monies for reimbursement of costs associated with school consolidation and countywide school district studies that support the creation of meaningful and implementable regionalization plans. K-12 regionalization and countywide school district studies will be given first priority.
Application Deadline: This is a rolling application process. Although there is no deadline for submission, potential applicants are reminded that limited funding is available under the applicable FY2022 appropriation, and awards under the FY2022 funding cycle must be made on or before June 30, 2022.
For further details please see the Implementation Grant Guidelines and Application:
Implementation Grant Guidelines
Implementation Grant Application
Implementation Grant School Feasibility Study Application
County Coordinator Fellowship Grants
County Coordinator Fellowship Grants will allocate funds to each county for the purpose of hiring a fellow to work full-time with the county and each local unit within the county or any entity with which they may be able to share services to identify and advance shared service opportunities. This grant is also available to supplement existing coordinator functions, but funds may only be used for a new position, not an offset of expenses incurred for an existing position.
Each New Jersey county is encouraged to apply for a $50,000 grant for the purpose of funding a one-year, full-time position.
Application Deadline: January 15, 2022
For further details please see the County Coordinator Grant Guidelines and Application:
County Coordinator Fellowship Grant Guidelines
County Coordinator Fellowship Grant Application
For further information about LEAP Grant guidelines and required documentation, visit the DLGS website:
To request information about LEAP Grants, please email: email@example.com.
For information on shared services more broadly, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Division of Local Government Services serves as an advocate for local government interests and provides technical and financial assistance in budgeting, financial reporting, joint services, purchasing, and management issues. They are responsible for the financial integrity of all local government units and review and approve all municipal, county, and fire district budgets. They also review many local government financial actions and govern and guide the conduct of local government officials.
DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including energy assistance, housing vouchers, affordable housing production, fire and building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery and mitigation.
For more information about DCA, visit https://nj.gov/dca/ or follow the Department on social media: