KENILWORTH, N.J. – Joined by Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-Union), Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union), Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Union), Kenilworth Mayor David Gregg and Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Susan Bass Levin today announced the award of a $104,500 County Coordination (COUNT) Grant to Union County at the Kenilworth Senior Center.

“Sharing services is an integral part of increasing government efficiency as well as a vital component of Governor Corzine's property tax reform plan,” said Commissioner Levin.  “This COUNT grant will help to provide more efficient government for Union County, while at the same time lowering the costs of local services.”

Union County will be using the COUNT grant to fund a Shared Services Coordinator.  The County also intends to establish a Shared and Regional Services Coordinating Steering Council, both with the intention of creating initiatives on shared and regionalized services.

"With property taxes at the levels they are today, local and county government needs to be more creative in how they get the most out of every tax dollar," said Senator Lesniak.  "Establishing shared services programs like these will be a critical part of any effort to find new efficiencies in government and drive property taxes down."

"As we work over the summer in Trenton to find solutions to the State's property tax woes, Union County is already taking the first step by hiring a Shared Services Coordinator.  The county is a statewide leader in regionalization and shared services and will serve as a model as we go forward," said Assemblyman Cryan.

Assemblyman Neil Cohen, D-Union, added, "The benefits of a county-wide Shared Services Coordinator will be two-fold - not only will we see savings for property tax payers, but residents should also expect a higher quality of service that comes from pooling resources and expertise." 

“I would like to thank the Department of Community Affairs for this grant and for sharing our vision of regionalized services in Union County,” said Mirabella. “We will use this funding to develop a blueprint for shared services that will help provide long-term property tax relief to our residents.”

COUNT Grants offer state financial assistance to help county governments facilitate, study, develop, or establish new shared and regional services.  The program is designed to support county developed initiatives to meet the shared service needs of the county and its constituents.  The grants are part of the department’s Sharing Available Resources Efficiently (SHARE) program.  COUNT Grants became available through the Department of Community Affair’s SHARE program for the first time this year.

The Department of Community Affair’s SHARE program provides assistance for the study or implementation of any regional service agreement, or for the coordination of programs and services authorized under the Inter-local Services Act, the Municipal Consolidation Act and the Consolidated Municipal Services Act.  These grants are funded through the New Jersey Regional Efficiency Development Incentive Program and are available to local governments and nonprofit organizations.

More information on COUNT or the SHARE program can be obtained by calling 609-984-7764, or by going online at