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Aberdeen and Matawan will combine construction departments

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Municipal officials in Aberdeen Township and in Matawan have each passed a resolution that will result in the consolidation of what are currently separate construction and zoning departments.

Officials said a shared services agreement will combine the personnel and services of each department to better serve residents and business operators in both municipalities.

The members of the Matawan Borough Council members passed their resolution on March 1 and the Township Council members in Aberdeen Township passed their resolution on March 3.

According to the agreement, Aberdeen Township will serve as the lead agency for the new combined department with the department’s staff operating out of offices at 1 Aberdeen Square.

Matawan Borough Council President Brian Livesey said the agreement provides benefits for both municipalities.

“Under this agreement, the functions of construction and zoning will cease to be a cost to Matawan taxpayers. While it is typical under a shared service for the municipality receiving the service to pay the lead agency for that service, this agreement is different.

“Aberdeen Township will pay for the operating costs of the department and collect all of the revenue the department generates.

“Aberdeen Township will then pay a percentage of that revenue back to Matawan. The percentage Matawan receives increases when the amount of overall revenue increases, making the deal beneficial for both towns,” Livesey said.

In addition, with a unified construction and zoning department, Livesey said residents and business operators will see an increase in efficiency for projects and repairs in Matawan.

“While most of the construction and zoning personnel currently work for both towns, in the past they only worked for one town at a time, part-time. Essentially, construction and zoning will change from a part-time service to a full-time …

“This (agreement) will give Matawan residents and businesses full-time access to construction and zoning officials where previously it had only been part-time. The staff will also become more efficient since they will no longer have to work out of two locations.

“Finally, the space in Borough Hall that was formerly used by our construction and zoning offices has been repurposed to be the new police records office now that the Matawan Police Department has moved to Borough Hall,” Livesey said.

The shared services agreement will begin on April 1 and continue until March 31, 2026. The municipalities retain the right to terminate and/or amend the agreement if needed.

Aberdeen Township Manager Bryan A. Russell said a plan to combine the two construction departments was tabled during the coronavirus pandemic. He said the action will create savings and revenue for both municipalities.

“This has been in the works for about a year, but with COVID-19 it was kind of put to the side. In late October and November, both municipal administrations worked hard to get an agreement in place to better serve the residents of Aberdeen Township and Matawan. The shared service will give Matawan a savings over time and revenue to Aberdeen Township.”

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