Morris County Launches Ambitious $35 Million Capital Plan for 2024

January 2, 2024

Morristown Minute

By John Lange Jr.

Focused Investments on Infrastructure, Education, and Public Safety to Enhance Community Well-being.

Morristown, NJ – In a significant move to bolster community welfare, the Morris County Board of County Commissioners has revealed an extensive $35 million capital spending plan for 2024, addressing critical areas such as education, public safety, health, and infrastructure. The announcement, made during a public meeting in Morristown, highlights the board’s dedication to supporting the county’s veterans, and vulnerable residents, and the overall upkeep of county roads, bridges, and facilities.

The Capital Budget Committee, comprising Commissioners Tayfun Selen, Stephen H. Shaw, and Deborah Smith, emphasized the multi-faceted nature of the plan. It allocates significant funds for educational facilities, human services, public safety, health, county parks, and infrastructure improvements, excluding state grants and ongoing legacy commitments.

Commissioner Shaw, leading the budget committee, detailed the early commencement of the capital budget process, emphasizing the diverse and extensive inventory of county assets. This includes 287 miles of roads, 1,000 bridges, 3.4 million square feet of buildings, 20,000 acres of parkland, and three freight railroads.

A notable aspect of the plan is the strategic use of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to reduce future borrowing for capital projects. Commissioner Selen highlighted significant investments in bridge upgrades, including improvements in Dover, Mount Olive, and Parsippany, totaling $5.4 million. The plan also anticipates resurfacing 30 miles of county roadways, adding to the impressive 220.8 miles of roads revamped since 2016.

Commissioner Smith focused on the commitment to educational excellence, with a $4.2 million investment in constructing a 70,000-square-foot Center for Health Professions at the County College of Morris (CCM). The plan also includes investments in public safety agencies’ equipment and training, addressing human services needs, and ensuring the safety of the largest county park system in New Jersey.

The 2024 Capital Spending Highlights feature:

  • $2.6 million for intersection improvements in various townships.
  • $16.5 million for roadway resurfacing across 15 municipalities.
  • $5.4 million for bridge and culvert projects in several locations.
  • A $4.2 million investment in CCM’s new Center for Health Professions.
  • Substantial funds for HVAC upgrades at the Votech’s Denville campus and IT enhancements at the Votech’s Career Training Center at CCM.
  • ARPA funds augment traditional capital projects, including Votech and the County Correctional Facility.

The Morris County government, responsible for a vast array of assets and services, demonstrates a robust commitment to improving infrastructure and community services across its 39 municipalities. The 2024 capital plan not only underscores this commitment but also sets a precedent for responsible and forward-thinking municipal governance.