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Moorestown Explores Shared Services for Cost Savings

New township manager Scott Carew wants to see if the township can save money by sharing court costs with Maple Shade.

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.

The Situation November 15, 2011 at 01:32 PM
oh boy, now we've got a siuation...can we share Gary's Barber Shop on Main st Maple Shade? I could use a fade..
Pete November 15, 2011 at 10:13 PM
Shared services is the way to go. Did not the current Council effectivly do a similiar thing by going to County 911 dispatchers?
Jeff Tait November 17, 2011 at 03:20 AM
It was a prior council that finally switched the police dispatch to the county function. But that should have been done many years earlier because the township was effectively paying twice for the same function. It was the concern for jobs at stake that held it up. The same issue may come into play when shared services are looked at. Taxpayer saving versus township jobs. Always a difficult iasue for the council.
Pete November 17, 2011 at 03:30 AM
Yes Jeff, it takes a tough person to make the tough decisions. In today's environment, those decisions must be made.
Bob Gorman November 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM
Council should create a shared services committee and look at the overall picture. Unfortunately, we have spent millions on architectural and other professional fees and Council still does not know what kind of space is actually needed. We don't need architects at this time we need decision makers.
The Situation November 17, 2011 at 01:43 PM
Yes, we need yet another committee. At this point, i believe every Moorestonian is on a committee. We probably need a committee to study the number of committees and their uselessness. or maybe a waste more money committee. oh wait, we have those...
Fellow ship Rd November 17, 2011 at 07:22 PM
you are correct Pete, most of the current council were who led the analysis and decision on outsourcing dispatch, not a prior council .

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