Township manager Scott Carew is exploring shared service opportunities with a neighboring community to cut back on costs, which could change the complexion of the municipal complex project.
Carew, officially sworn in Monday night after , told council he would be having talks with Maple Shade in the coming days about the possibility of sharing municipal court office space and staff once Moorestown’s new municipal complex is built.
Moorestown and Maple Shade currently share court facilities, with Moorestown personnel heading to Maple Shade for court. But they do not share offices or staff, leaving an opening for potential cost savings, Carew said.
According to Carew, the essential question is: “If you combine the responsibilities of the two town’s courts, can you reduce the cost (of running them)?”
As township manager in Eastampton, Carew said he shared court costs with Westampton Township. The arrangement reduced the operating expenses of the court by nearly 40 percent, he said. “That happened to be the perfect storm of Westampton having an excess of resources and being on the verge of cutting staff and us filling that hole … It doesn’t mean the same thing will happen (in Moorestown).
“Even the (shared services) you’re sure are going to work, don’t always work.”
Depending on how Carew’s discussions with Maple Shade go, the complexion of the municipal complex project could be altered, so township council tabled an ordinance to appropriate $1.5 million in bonds for preliminary expenses associated with the project.
“This isn’t an effort to slow anything down,” said Mayor John Button, attempting to allay concerns related to the long-gestating project. “This is an effort to be detailed.”
Last month, council to combine the library, administrative offices and municipal court into one building. The police department would have a separate building, and the existing recreation center would be improved.
Carew said he would be able to provide council with more information about the potential for shared services by their next regular meeting on Nov. 28.