Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hearing Set for 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday

New Jersey’s Local Finance Board to Hard Application for Municipal Consolidation Study Commission for Roxbury and Mount Arlington

ROXBURY AND MOUNT ARLINGTON – June 10, 2014 – The State Local Finance Board is set to hear an application tomorrow that calls for the creation of a municipal consolidation commission for Roxbury and Mount Arlington.

The meeting is scheduled for 11:30 am at the state Department of Community Affairs, 101 S. Broad St, Trenton. The board meets in Conference Room 129. If the board approves the application, representatives of both communities will be appointed to serve on the commission, which will undertake a comprehensive study into the pros and cons of consolidation.

Citizens representing Roxbury and Mount Arlington submitted nearly 400 signed petitions last year to clerks in both municipalities calling for the municipal consolidation study commission. It would comprise five residents of each town.

The process, which follows the Local Option Municipal Consolidation Law, is similar to what is now taking place in Scotch Plains and Fanwood, which formed their consolidation commission in early 2013 in partnership with local elected officials.

In Roxbury, the effort was put together by members of the Roxbury Taxpayer Association. In Mount Arlington, the effort was driven by former Councilman Gene Paradiso, a current school board member who joined a group to merge the towns in the 1990s, before the Local Option Municipal Consolidation Law was adopted.

“It is our hope that residents from both communities can attend the hearing in Trenton tomorrow and voice their strong support for this application,” Rogers said. “This is an important step in what could ultimately be very important decision for both communities.”

The effort to gather petition signatures began October 2012, with residents from both towns meeting to discuss the petition process.

Roxbury and Mount Arlington are not the first to pursue this initiative. Princeton Borough and Princeton Township conducted the study in 2011, and consolidated on January 1, 2013. The merged town has more than $3 million in tax savings and has received positive feedback from residents.