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Bridgewater to Receive Full State Aid

The township achieved a high enough score through its state best practices questionnaire.

The township has reviewed the list of best practices discussed by the state, and determined that it fulfills enough of the requirements to receive all of the promised state aid through the end of 2012.

“There is a requirement the state has for all municipalities for the CFO to certify answers to these questions,” said township administrator James Naples. “Bridgewater’s score will indicate that 0 percent of the state aid will be held.”

The only question for council members concerned the issue of whether elected officials in Bridgewater are required to attend at least one course offered by the Rutgers University Center for Government Services or an equivalent one through the NJ League of Municipalities. Bridgewater currently does not require this.

Councilman Howard Norgalis said he thinks the municipality should require it.

“Since we go to the League [conference] and the township pays, anyone who goes on the township’s dime should be required to go to at least one session so that we can say yes to this question,” he said. “Maybe we can consider that for next year.”

The rest of the council agreed that that requirement would be appropriate for the coming year.

The questionnaire developed by the state, and required to be answered each year, is used to determine whether individual municipalities are following certain issues the state has been pushing. A certain percentage achieved on the questionnaire ensures that a municipality will receive all of the state aid promised at the beginning of the year.

Questions include whether the municipality entered into at least one new shared service agreement in the previous year; whether there is a policy to prohibit personal use of municipal vehicles; and whether a municipality conducts a review of health benefits to delete employees who should no longer be receiving coverage.

In total, Bridgewater earned a score of 46, for a total of 92 percent, which means that the municipality will receive all of its state aid.

As promised in February, the .

The council approved receipt of the best practices survey at the Sept. 27 meeting.

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