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Fire Districts

08/09/2022   American Rescue Plan - Firefighter Grant Deadline - August 13, 2022
08/02/2022   School of Public Affairs and Administration - Fall 2022 Spring 2023
06/08/2022   FY2022 American Rescue Plan - Firefighter Grant
06/02/2022   Adopted Regulations - Design-Build Project Delivery
05/23/2022   Russia-Belarus List - Vendor Certification Not Currently Required For
05/13/2022   N.J.A.C. 5:39-1 Remote Public Meeting Regulations
05/10/2022   Fire District Audits in FAST
03/11/2022   Transmission of Fire District Budgets and Supporting Documentation
12/15/2021   2022 Fire District Budget Submission
10/27/2021   FY 2022 Local Efficiency Achievement Program (LEAP) Grants
09/21/2021   2022 Fire District Budget & Elections Guidance
05/04/2021   Fire District Audits
02/26/2021   Iran Investment Disclosure Now Pre-Award
01/12/2021   Volunteer Fire Appropriations & LOSAP CY 2020 Annual CPI Adjustment
10/14/2020   COVID-19 Deficit Financing
10/07/2020   LFN 2020-23 Calendar Year 2021 Municipal & County Budget Cap Info
09/24/2020   Remote Public Meetings-Newly Adopted Regulations
09/14/2020   2021 Fire Districts Budgets & FAST
08/25/2020   2021 Fire District Budget and FAST System Update
03/31/2020   Division of Local Government Services-Frequently Asked Questions

American Rescue Plan - Firefighter Grant Deadline - August 13, 2022 - 08/09/2022

The Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) would like to remind municipalities, fire departments, volunteer fire companies and fire districts that the deadline for filing applications for the American Rescue Plan - Firefighter Grant (ARP-FFG) is August 13, 2022 at 5:00 P.M. EST

The American Rescue Plan Firefighter Grant Program is open to all public local and regional fire departments in New Jersey and will help provide first responders with proper protective, cleaning, and sanitization equipment.

Applications must be submitted through the NJDCA SAGE Portal at:

https://dcasage.intelligrants.com/portal.asp

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Applicants are strongly encouraged to review their application and confirm that their application is submitted.  Click the Submit Application button to electronically send the application to DCA for review.  DCA will email you confirmation that your application has been received. 

Program Guidelines and detailed information about the FY 2022 ARPFFG Program is available at:

https://www.nj.gov/dca/dlgs/programs/arpffg.shtml

Questions regarding applications can be forwarded to: arpffg@dca.nj.gov

Notice sent to: Municipal Clerks; Municipal CFOs; Fire Districts, (Municipal Clerks please forward to Fire Department Volunteers)

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School of Public Affairs and Administration - Fall 2022 Spring 2023 - 08/02/2022

Rutgers - School of Public Affairs and Administration - is pleased to announce their upcoming Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 CPM Program.

- Sept 23, 2022, Fridays - Burlington County Emergency Services Training Center, 53 Academy Dr. Westampton

- Oct. 12, 2022, Wednesdays - Passaic County Police Academy, 214 Oldham Road Wayne, NJ 07470

- Feb. 2, 2023, Thursdays - Monmouth County Fire Academy 1027 NJ-33, Freehold, NJ 07728

- May 2023 - Newark, Date TBD

- September 2023 - Atlantic City, Date TBD Classes are held in person from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Virtual Cohort: Spring 2023, Date TBD

Classes are held on Zoom one day per week 8:30 AM - 1:30 PM, plus 3 hours independent study

The NJ CPM Program is administered by the NJ Civil Service Commission and delivered by Rutgers University. The NJ CPM program consists of 22 mini courses offered one day a week for 10 months on a variety of public service topics and includes a work-related project that will benefit the participant's organization.

Up to 15 undergraduate credits or 9 graduate credits can be applied toward a degree at Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration. All CPM Graduates receive 30.2 CEUs.

CPM graduates report improved leadership and organizational skills as well as opportunities for career advancement.

Tuition is $4,100 per student for cohorts starting after Sept. 30, 2022. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has approved CPM for GI Bill educational benefits. Payment plans are available.

For more information, contact Jane Sharp at 973-353-3979 or by email at: cpmspaa@newark.rutgers.edu

Applications can be found at: http://spaa.newark.rutgers.edu/cpm.

Notice sent to: Municipal & County Clerks; Municipal & County Finance Officers; Qualified Purchasing Agents; Public Works Managers; Tax Collector; Fire Districts and DLGS List Serv.

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FY2022 American Rescue Plan - Firefighter Grant - 06/08/2022

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs' (DCA) Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) and Division of Fire Safety (DFS) today announced that the application period is open for the American Rescue Plan Firefighter Grant Program, which will help local and regional fire departments in New Jersey provide first responders with proper protective, cleaning, and sanitization equipment. The application announcement comes on the heels of Governor Murphy appropriating $10 million from the American Rescue Plan State Fiscal Recovery Funds last month to support the purchase of firefighter equipment during this time of heightened community need.

All local and regional fire departments in New Jersey are eligible to apply.

Applications must be submitted through the NJDCA SAGE Portal and are due no later than 5:00 P.M. EST on August 13, 2022.

Program Guidelines and detailed information about the FY 2022 ARPFFG Program is available at: https://www.nj.gov/dca/dlgs/programs/arpffg.shtml

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Adopted Regulations - Design-Build Project Delivery - 06/02/2022

The Department of Community Affairs has adopted regulations allowing local governments and school districts to utilize the design-build method of project delivery for construction projects equal to or exceeding $5,000,000. Codified at N.J.A.C. 5:34-10 and effective as of May 27, the Notice of Special Adoption and Concurrent Proposal is expected to be published in the July 5, 2022 New Jersey Register. Pending final processing and publication of the regulatory text by the Office of Administrative Law, the rules can be found on the DLGS Rules and Regulations website at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/resources/rules_docs/5_34/NJAC_53410.pdf. Further guidance will follow.

Any formal comments on the regulations should be emailed to dlgs@dca.nj.gov with the heading Design-Build Regulations-Rule Proposal Comment. The deadline for comment submission is expected to be September 3, 2022. Please email any questions on the use of design-build project delivery to lpcl@dca.nj.gov.

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Russia-Belarus List - Vendor Certification Not Currently Required For - 05/23/2022

P.L. 2022, c. 3 requires the State Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to develop, based on credible information available to the public, a list of persons and entities engaging in prohibited activities in Russia or Belarus. Once the list is established, a contracting unit shall, prior to contract award, require a vendor or contractor to certify that they are not identified on Treasury's Russia-Belarus list and review the Russia-Belarus list to determine whether the vendor or contractor appears on the list. 

Please be advised that the vendor/contractor certification requirement is not currently in effect for local governments and boards of education, and will not take effect until such time as Treasury finalizes the Russia-Belarus list. The Division of Local Government Services will provide further updates as needed.

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N.J.A.C. 5:39-1 Remote Public Meeting Regulations - 05/13/2022

N.J.A.C. 5:39-1, the regulations for remote public meetings held by local public bodies during a declared emergency, remain in effect and are posted on the DLGS Rules and Regulations webpage at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/resources/rules_docs/5_39/njac_5391.pdf.

N.J.A.C. 5:39-1 was extended when the Public Health Emergency was extended pursuant to Executive Order 281, the Appendix of which references the regulations.  Pursuant to Paragraph 6 of Executive Order 292, the EO lifting the Public Health Emergency, N.J.A.C. 5:39-1 remains in effect unless or until revoked or modified by the Division of Local Government Services or the State of Emergency is lifted.

Notice sent to:  Municipal Clerks; County Clerks; Clerks-County Boards of Commissioners; Authority Officials; Fire District Officials; DLGS Listserv

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Fire District Audits in FAST - 05/10/2022

Please note the change, Fire District Officials must upload the required documents, NOT Fire District Auditors.

2021 Fire District Audit records are now available in the FAST portal. Fire District Officials must upload the required documents, including, the Audit, Group Affidavit, Synopsis, Questionnaire, and Corrective Action Plan and click the "Submit" button for the Audit to be considered successfully submitted to the Division of Local Government Services.

For technical support with FAST, contact Matt Gallello at Matthew.Gallello@dca.nj.gov. For questions regarding fire district audit requirements, contact Melissa Ford at Melissa.Ford@dca.nj.gov.

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Transmission of Fire District Budgets and Supporting Documentation - 03/11/2022

N.J.A.C. 5:31-2.4 entitled Preparation and content of fire district annual budget; budget introduction and adoption for fire districts states: (a) Every fire district shall prepare an annual budget for each fiscal year in which an expenditure of money is expected. Each budget shall include an operations section, capital budget and program section, and supplemental schedule and necessary certifications relating thereto. The Board of Commissioners shall introduce its annual budget by resolution, passed by not less than a majority of the full membership.

N.J.A.C. 5:31-2.4 subsection (L) (1) states: Two certified copies of the budget, as adopted, shall be transmitted to the Director within three days after adoption. Upon implementation of the FAST system, or such other automated system as may be implemented by the Director, the district shall electronically submit the certified adopted budget to the Director within three days after adoption.

To date, many fire districts have not submitted their election certification and ballot following the annual election and the required budget and supporting documentation. In accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:14- 79, the Municipal Tax Assessor shall not distribute tax levy monies to the Fire District until all budget documents and election documents are submitted to the DLGS for final review/approval. All submissions shall be done through the FAST system as instructed. Once final approval is given by the Division of Local Government Services, the fire district levy certification will be issued to the Municipality. At that time, the tax levy monies may be distributed to the individual Fire Districts.

To date, many fire districts have not submitted their 2020 audit and related documents. The Division is aware of the delay in the release of the GASB reports required for the audits. Given the current time frame and the length of time the reports have been made available, the audits should be submitted as soon as possible. Once the fire district submits the audit and required documents, the Division will proceed with the certification of the tax levy.

If you have any questions on these procedures, please email Melissa Ford at melissa.ford@dca.nj.gov or call Melissa at 609-633-6238.

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2022 Fire District Budget Submission - 12/15/2021

The Division is aware of the delay in the release of the GASB 75 pension reports and have not been given a specific timetable as to their availability.  The Division encourages all Fire Districts to submit their 2022 Introduced Budget into FAST along with a draft copy of your 2020 Audit Schedules to begin the budget review process.  The final date for 2022 budget submission is January 22, 2022.  Upon the availability of GASB 75 reports and the completion of your 2020 audit, the final audit report must be submitted to the Division through FAST

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FY 2022 Local Efficiency Achievement Program (LEAP) Grants - 10/27/2021

The Division of Local Government Services and New Jersey's Shared Services Czars are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for FY 2022 Local Efficiency Achievement Program (LEAP) Grants. LEAP affords an unprecedented opportunity to incentivize shared services implementation across New Jersey's local government entities, advancing the mission of the Shared Services Program. LEAP facilitates exploring and establishing shared services by providing counties, municipalities, school districts, commissions, authorities and fire districts assistance for the study or implementation of promising shared services projects undertaken pursuant to the Uniform Shared Service and Consolidation Act.

 

Applications are due no later than January 15, 2022. 

 

Applications, Program Guidelines and detailed information about the FY 2022  LEAP Program is available at:

https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/programs/leapgrants.html

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2022 Fire District Budget & Elections Guidance - 09/21/2021

Local Finance Notice 2021-16 addresses the CY2022 fire district budget process, including use of the FAST (Financial Automation Submission and Tracking) System for budget submission and other key updates.  The fire district budget now includes questions concerning municipal approval of both elected commissioner compensation and emergency appropriations by the district.  The Notice can be accessed at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/21/2021-16.pdf.

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Fire District Audits - 05/04/2021

The Division of Local Government Services is pleased to announce that the Financial Automation Submission Tracking (FAST) platform has been expanded to include a section for submitting Fire District Annual Audit Reports. All Fire District Annual Audit Reports that were previously submitted to the Division via paper documents are now required to be submitted via file upload to the internet-based FAST portal.

The FAST portal will contain an audit section similar to the budget.  Fire district representatives will use the same username and password combination to access the FAST audit section.  Please note that it is the responsibility of fire district personnel to upload and submit the reports, not the auditor or auditing firm performing the audit.

In addition, due to a number of calls received by the Division regarding the fire election results, the Division would like to clarify that reporting election results is required in the Adopted Budget section in FAST.  To access and submit the fire district election results, please first click on District Name, Adopted Budget, then the tab on the left that reflects "Elections."  Please use the Elections tab to record your election results and upload related documents.

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Iran Investment Disclosure Now Pre-Award - 02/26/2021

Effective January 29, 2021, P.L. 2021, c. 4 amends the law requiring vendor and contractor disclosure of investment activities in Iran. The law allows the Iran investment disclosure form to be submitted prior to contract award and at the time the contract is renewed rather than with the bid or RFP submission. Although the law refers to State contracts, it also applies to contracting units subject to the Local Public, Public School, and County College Contracts Laws because N.J.S.A. 40A:11-2.1; 18A:18A-49.4; and 18A:64A-25.43, respectively, require these contracting units to follow the Iran disclosure procedure for State contracts. Contracting units are encouraged to review the new law with legal counsel and revise their procurement forms as necessary.

Notice Sent To: Procurement Officials; Chief Financial Officers; Authority Officials; Fire District Officials; Auditors

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Volunteer Fire Appropriations & LOSAP CY 2020 Annual CPI Adjustment - 01/12/2021

Local Finance Notice 2021-01, accessible on the DLGS website at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/21/2021-01.pdf provides municipalities and fire districts administering a Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) with information on LOSAP award increases and the annual cost of living adjustment to the maximum LOSAP award amounts.  For LOSAPs with automatic annual cost of living adjustments, the CY2020 CPI adjustment (for use in CY2021) is 0.8% for Municipal LOSAPs with a maximum LOSAP award of $1,718; and 2.6% for Fire District LOSAPs with a maximum LOSAP award of $1,787.
 
For CY 2021/SFY2022 and CY2022/SFY2023 municipal budgets, the DLGS Director has increased to $156,064.00 the annual cap on municipal appropriations to volunteer fire companies or fire districts.  In any municipality with more than three volunteer fire companies or fire districts, the governing body may appropriate an additional $50,000 annually for each additional company or fire district.  Please review Local Finance Notice 2020-02 at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/21/2021-02.pdf for further details.

Notice has been sent to:  Municipal CFOs; Municipal Clerks; Fire District Officials; Auditor Listserv

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COVID-19 Deficit Financing - 10/14/2020

Local Finance Notice 2020-24, accessible at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/20/2020-24.pdf, explains new tools available to New Jersey local units for alleviating fiscal impacts related to the COVID-19 emergency. The provisions discussed in the Notice aim to maintain local government financial integrity while minimizing taxpayer hardship. One provision allows local units, upon certification to and approval by the Division of Local Government Services, to qualify a COVID-19 related operating deficit as a special emergency. Please review the Notice for further details.

 

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LFN 2020-23 Calendar Year 2021 Municipal & County Budget Cap Info - 10/07/2020

This Local Finance Notice addresses issues related to CY 2021 Municipal and County Budgets and the 1977 and 2010 cap laws. It includes information on the 1977 cap law Cost of Living Adjustment and the use of the COLA ordinance (resolution) and Group Health Insurance increase thresholds.

Please be advised that Local Finance Notice 2020-23, accessible at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/20/2020-23.pdf

 

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Remote Public Meetings-Newly Adopted Regulations - 09/24/2020

The Division of Local Government Services is pleased to announce that fire districts will submit their FY2021 budgets through FAST. All fire districts are required to enter their data into the standardized Excel workbook budget template. Upon completion of the fire district budget workbook, each fire district shall upload and submit the completed and certified document to the Division through the FAST portal budget record for the district.

Local Finance Notice 2021-19 addresses the CY 2021 fire district budget process, including use of the FAST (Financial Automation Submission and Tracking) System for budget submission and other key updates. The Notice can be accessed on the DLGS website at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/20/2020-19.pdf.

Notice Sent to: Fire District Officials; Municipal Clerks; Auditor Listserv

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2021 Fire Districts Budgets & FAST - 09/14/2020

The Division of Local Government Services is pleased to announce that fire districts will submit their FY2021 budgets through FAST. All fire districts are required to enter their data into the standardized Excel workbook budget template. Upon completion of the fire district budget workbook, each fire district shall upload and submit the completed and certified document to the Division through the FAST portal budget record for the district.

Local Finance Notice 2021-19 addresses the CY 2021 fire district budget process, including use of the FAST (Financial Automation Submission and Tracking) System for budget submission and other key updates. The Notice can be accessed on the DLGS website at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/20/2020-19.pdf.

Notice Sent to: Fire District Officials; Municipal Clerks; Auditor Listserv

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2021 Fire District Budget and FAST System Update - 08/25/2020

LOCAL FINANCE BOARD

Will the Local Finance Board (Board) application due date be extended?

Applications for the April 8,2020 meeting were due March 18, 2020. However, you may email the application to Local Finance Board staff in lieu of submitting paper copies this month. The submission cut-off will be posted when a meeting date is determined.

Will the Local Finance Board meet on its scheduled date of Wednesday, April 8, 2020?

No, the Local Finance Board will not hold a meeting on April 8, 2020. Staff is analyzing the applications submitted and the Board will schedule a meeting later this month if necessary. Information about the meeting, including any applicable web or telephonic access information will be distributed when the meeting date is announced. You may check the Board website https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/programs/lfb.html for additional alerts and developing information about the April and future meetings.

Should you have additional questions regarding the Local Finance Board, please send an email to Patricia.McNamara@dca.nj.gov.

Will the current March 27, 2020 deadline to update Financial Disclosure Statement (FDS) Rosters for the 2020 filing year be changed?

No, the due date for updating the 2020 Financial Disclosure Statement roster will remain March 27, 2020. However, please be reminded that the rosters are available for updates throughout the entire year and you may continue to make edits after the March 27, 2020 due date. The 2020 roster will not be locked until the new 2021 roster is opened during 2021.

Will the Financial Disclosure Statement deadline of April 30, 2020 be extended?

No, the deadline for filing is set by New Jersey Statute and the Local Finance Board does not have the power to change the filing deadline. However, the Board has been reasonable in its enforcement of the filing deadline in past years and anticipates extending the same courtesies borne of a reasonable understanding of individual circumstances during the current year.

What date will Local Government Officers be able to access the FDS system to file an individual Financial Disclosure Statement?

The filing system was opened on Monday, March 30, 2020. You may visit https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/resources/fds.html for more information on the Financial Disclosure Statement filing process.

For additional questions regarding the FDS filing system, please send an email to LFB_FDS@dca.nj.gov.

TAX COLLECTION

Can a municipality extend the grace period for property taxes?

No, at this time no authority exists that would allow a municipality to extend the grace period more than 10 days. This is only authorized during natural disasters, under present law:

"in the case of a municipality that has experienced a flood, hurricane, superstorm, tornado, or other natural disaster, interest shall not be charged by the municipality to a delinquent taxpayer if: . . . a state of emergency has been declared as a result thereof by the Governor less than 30 days prior to the date upon which a property tax installment payment is payable"(N.J.S.A. 54:4-67).

Below is the link to for this Notice on the DLGS website:

https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/pdf/DLGS_FAQs.docx

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Division of Local Government Services-Frequently Asked Questions - 03/31/2020

LOCAL FINANCE BOARD

Will the Local Finance Board (Board) application due date be extended?

Applications for the April 8,2020 meeting were due March 18, 2020. However, you may email the application to Local Finance Board staff in lieu of submitting paper copies this month. The submission cut-off will be posted when a meeting date is determined.

Will the Local Finance Board meet on its scheduled date of Wednesday, April 8, 2020?

No, the Local Finance Board will not hold a meeting on April 8, 2020. Staff is analyzing the applications submitted and the Board will schedule a meeting later this month if necessary. Information about the meeting, including any applicable web or telephonic access information will be distributed when the meeting date is announced. You may check the Board website https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/programs/lfb.html for additional alerts and developing information about the April and future meetings.

Should you have additional questions regarding the Local Finance Board, please send an email to Patricia.McNamara@dca.nj.gov.

Will the current March 27, 2020 deadline to update Financial Disclosure Statement (FDS) Rosters for the 2020 filing year be changed?

No, the due date for updating the 2020 Financial Disclosure Statement roster will remain March 27, 2020. However, please be reminded that the rosters are available for updates throughout the entire year and you may continue to make edits after the March 27, 2020 due date. The 2020 roster will not be locked until the new 2021 roster is opened during 2021.

Will the Financial Disclosure Statement deadline of April 30, 2020 be extended?

No, the deadline for filing is set by New Jersey Statute and the Local Finance Board does not have the power to change the filing deadline. However, the Board has been reasonable in its enforcement of the filing deadline in past years and anticipates extending the same courtesies borne of a reasonable understanding of individual circumstances during the current year.

What date will Local Government Officers be able to access the FDS system to file an individual Financial Disclosure Statement?

The filing system was opened on Monday, March 30, 2020. You may visit https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/resources/fds.html for more information on the Financial Disclosure Statement filing process.

For additional questions regarding the FDS filing system, please send an email to LFB_FDS@dca.nj.gov.

TAX COLLECTION

Can a municipality extend the grace period for property taxes?

No, at this time no authority exists that would allow a municipality to extend the grace period more than 10 days. This is only authorized during natural disasters, under present law:

"in the case of a municipality that has experienced a flood, hurricane, superstorm, tornado, or other natural disaster, interest shall not be charged by the municipality to a delinquent taxpayer if: . . . a state of emergency has been declared as a result thereof by the Governor less than 30 days prior to the date upon which a property tax installment payment is payable"(N.J.S.A. 54:4-67).

Below is the link to for this Notice on the DLGS website:

https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/pdf/DLGS_FAQs.docx

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Updated: 08/09/2022