FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, December 18, 2019


TRENTON – Building on the promise to help incentivize local governments to achieve fair and reasonable shared service agreements, the Murphy Administration announced today that the Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) is opening applications for three unprecedented grant funding opportunities for municipalities throughout the state. The Local Efficiency Achievement Program (LEAP) grants are aimed at encouraging towns to streamline their government services to increase efficiency and help reduce property taxes.

“We’ve learned from experience that shared services frequently require motivation and support to see them through to completion – which is exactly what these LEAP grants are providing,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “We are equipping the towns that are serious about achieving taxpayer savings through shared services with the funding and technical assistance they need to succeed.”

In 2019, the Murphy Administration has so far received more than 770 shared service agreements, nearly double the average amount of agreements received in the years between 2014 to 2018. In Spring 2018, the Governor appointed former mayors Nicolas Platt and Jordan Glatt to be “Shared Service Czars.” The Czars’ ambitious statewide outreach over the past year and a half has advanced many shared service efforts.   

The LEAP grants offer financial support to local government entities to identify and promote opportunities for shared services. By doing so, they help address common barriers to entry such as the dedication of limited local funds, thereby making shared services agreements more achievable. 

Additionally, the grants provide counties, municipalities, school districts, authorities, and fire districts assistance with the study or implementation of any local or regional service agreement, or for the coordination of programs and services authorized under the Uniform Shared Service and Consolidation Act. The program is available to all local governments.

“Sharing services is a win-win situation for participating communities. It reduces costs, delivers municipal services in a more efficient manner, and generates increased value for each dollar spent while remaining a responsible steward of the public trust,” said DLGS Director Melanie Walter.

“I’m excited at the prospect that this grant money will help ease some of the obstacles when implementing service sharing. We stand ready to assist communities throughout the state,” said Shared Service Czar Jordan Glatt.

“This is a major step forward to implement the Governor’s plan to provide elected officials the proper support needed for their towns to provide essential services more efficiently. That usually means sharing services, which has proven to be very effective at tackling our State’s crippling property tax burden,” said Shared Service Czar Nicholas Platt.

DLGS is responsible for administering the LEAP program. Eligible entities are invited to apply for grant funds under each of the LEAP grants: Challenge Grants, Implementation Grants, and County Coordinator Fellowship Grants.

Challenge Grants 

Challenge Grants will allocate funds to the most compelling projects in potentially each of New Jersey’s twenty-one counties. This grant program is designed to promote innovation among peer communities and counties across New Jersey, and challenge municipalities and counties to collaborate on more extensive partnerships that produce shared services of notable significance. LEAP Challenge Grants provide reimbursement for qualifying expenses incurred in the development of approved programs and services authorized under the Uniform Shared Services and Consolidation Act (N.J.S.A. 40:65-1 et seq.). 

Local units are invited to compete for a share of $150,000 in available funds within each county. New Jersey counties, municipalities, school districts, commissions, authorities and fire districts may apply. Any two or more of these entities may submit a joint application seeking funding for a proposal.

Application Deadline: 2/28/2020

For further details please see the Grant Guidelines and Application:

Challenge Grant Guidelines Challenge Grant Application 

Implementation Grants

Implementation Grants will allocate a total of $3.8 million to help cover costs associated with shared services implementation such as one-time reimbursable costs for project completion or transition support which may include, but are not limited to, new technology costs incurred as part of equipping a shared services program, rebranding costs, equipment and vehicle outlays, professional services, rent for facilities, payroll system conversion costs, and training. Funding is based on the total transition or implementation cost of a project.

This grant program also provides a total of $2 million for reimbursement of costs associated with school consolidation and countywide school district studies that support the creation of meaningful and implementable regionalization plans. K-12 regionalization and countywide school district studies will be given first priority.

Application Deadline: This is a rolling application process.  Although there is no deadline for submission, potential applicants are reminded that limited funding is available under the applicable FY2020 appropriation, and any award of funds in the FY2020 funding cycle must be made on or before June 30, 2020. 

For further details please see the Grant Guidelines and Application:

Implementation Grant Guidelines Implementation Grant Application Implementation Grant School Feasibility Study Application 

County Coordinator Fellowship Grants

County Coordinator Fellowship Grants will allocate funds to each county for the purpose of hiring a fellow to work full-time with the county and each local unit within the county or any entity with which they may be able to share services to identify and advance shared service opportunities. This grant is also available to supplement existing coordinator functions, but funds may only be used for a new position, not an offset of expenses incurred for an existing position.

Each New Jersey county is encouraged to apply for a $50,000 grant for the purpose of funding a one-year, full-time position.

Application Deadline: 2/28/2020

For further details please see the Grant Guidelines and Application:

County Coordinator Fellowship Grant Guidelines County Coordinator Fellowship Application

To learn more about LEAP Grants, please visit:

To request information about LEAP Grants, please email:

For information on shared services more broadly, please email

DCA was established in 1967 and today offers a wide range of programs and services, including energy assistance, housing vouchers, affordable housing production, fire and building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery.

For more information about DCA, visit or follow the Department on social media:      

   DCa on Twitter

Tammori Petty
Gina Trish
Lisa Ryan

(609) 292-6055