In 2015, the Cumberland County Improvement Authority was charged by the Board of Chosen Freeholders to serve as the county’s economic development and redevelopment entity. The Authority took on this role in addition to operating one of the most innovative solid waste facilities in the state. In just 7 years, The Authority has advanced construction projects, collaborated with municipal governments, and facilitated many development and redevelopment initiatives throughout the County.
The Authority’s management of the landfill offers a model of innovation for solid waste operations throughout the state. Methane gas is captured and used to power the facility. Alternative fuels are now used by trash collection and Authority vehicles, with a compressed natural gas station and solar grid onsite. Additionally, bonding capacity has been used to construct state-of-the-art education and public facilities, while The Authority’s engineering and construction management expertise has championed 26 new public facility or renovation projects.
Through an aggressive and targeted approach, The Authority is helping to develop Cumberland County into a magnetic and diverse business community, while preserving the open space that has been such an integral part of its culture and heritage. We invite you to explore all of the programs and services that The Authority offers, from providing financing and construction management services for major projects to operating a first-class Solid Waste Complex. In all that we do, our consistent goal is to provide outstanding services and value to the community.
In 1960, New Jersey legislature adopted the County Improvement Authorities Law. The idea was to have a county-wide authority that could undertake a variety of public projects primarily dealing with public transportation and provision for governmental buildings for use by the State or local governmental units. The powers were very broadly stated, but the overall scope of the activities of an improvement authority was perceived to be relatively limited. Since that time, a variety of amendments to the purposes of the authority have been adopted by the State which in effect have made county improvement authorities the single most comprehensive regional authority in the State.
One of the significant benefits to the local governmental units that use an improvement authority as a financing vehicle is that there is a much more flexible means of financing available than would otherwise exist under either the Local Bond Law or Title 18A, Education, or similar laws forming the basis of debt obligations of the local governmental units. Bond issues are able to be timed in such a way that the authority can take advantage of changes in the marketplace to enter into purchase contracts in a more flexible way than the advertising requirements of the Local Bond Law, Title 18A and related statutes. Assuming sophisticated financial advice by financial advisors to monitor the contracts entered into with investment bankers, this can provide significant advantages particularly on transactions that involve large capital expenditures and which affect more than one municipality.
Counties that have utilized improvement authorities to the maximum extent provided in the law have found that they can become much more creative and much more responsive to the developing needs of their county as Federal dollars shrink and local initiatives become more difficult. When the improvement authority and county government work together as a team, the authority becomes a vital tool in making county and local government more responsive, more creative and more effective.