FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios County Administrator John Pulomena
Middlesex County Adopts Budget That Holds Line on Spending,
Continues Full Menu of Quality Services
County’s Excellent Fiscal Management Practices
Earn Triple A Bond Rating
MARCH 8, 2013 – The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders last night adopted a 2013 Operating Budget that once again holds the line on spending through its continued efforts to streamline operations and maintains its delivery of quality services.
The $410.96 million dollar budget represents a less than 2 percent increase from the 2012 budget. The budget also is more than $2.5 million under the State Mandated CAP. Middlesex County continues to offer the second lowest per capita cost of County government in the State.
In addition to presenting the budget at the Freeholders’ regular meeting last night, Freeholder Carol Barrett Bellante, chair of the County’s Finance Committee, announced that a leading bond rating firm awarded the County a Triple A bond rating, the highest rating possible.
“This was achieved by giving a complete picture of the County’s fiscal policies,” Barrett Bellante said. “We demonstrated our leadership in taking a balanced approach to planning Open Space, recreational facilities and commercial development. We explained our plans for quality service and program delivery for our residents, and we proved our ability to keep a lid on our spending, while exploring revenue growth opportunities.”
Barrett Bellante said the Freeholder Board effectively managed the downturn in the economy since 2008: “We immediately took aggressive steps to do business differently and more efficiently.”
She said the County put a freeze on hiring and non-essential purchases, established shared service opportunities with its 25 municipalities and neighboring counties, and perhaps most significantly, completely overhauled its operational structure to bring down the cost of running government.
“I am pleased to note that these austere practices have saved the County more than $20 million in operating expenses since 2008. These very same practices were a key element to our reaffirmed Triple A rating,” Barrett Bellante said.
Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios said: “Since 2008, we have made strategic, systematic changes to the way we do business, and the efforts are illustrated in the 2013 Budget. It is a budget that enables us to provide the services and programs our residents need. It will enable to maintain our parks, recreational facilities and infrastructure. It also enables us to expand our public safety, health and human services. At the same time, it puts our taxpayers first. We have cut every item we control and continue to seek out ways to generate new revenue.”