The 2014 capital budget proposed by the Morris County Freeholders continues to reduce the county’s debt, while at the same time meets the county’s ongoing capital needs. Freeholder Deputy Director David Scapicchio, in outlining the $23.9 million capital budget, said it continues the overall reduction of capital projects from previous spending levels, thus reducing the county’s debt. “The key component to reducing taxes is debt reduction,” Scapicchio said. “At the end of 2013, the county’s debt was $246.1 million. By the end of 2014, our debt will drop by $7.3 million to $238.8 million.” Scapicchio said the overall reduction of capital projects from previous spending levels will not impact much needed infrastructure improvements. He noted the freeholders will be investing $775,900 more this year to repave county roads than they did in 2013.
The capital budget also focuses on public safety and law enforcement, with these areas seeing an increase of $1.3 million in their capital allocation for this year, according to Freeholder Doug Cabana. Upgrades to the fire safety and security systems in several county buildings, including the Morris County Courthouse, and the purchasing of driver and firearms safety simulators to enhance training for law enforcement personnel around the county are among the items being funded. “This capital increase maintains the freeholders’ longstanding commitment to public safety,” Cabana said. Funding levels have been maintained for projects at Morris View Healthcare Center and for those served by the county’s Division on Aging, Disabilities and Veterans. The capital budget is part of the overall county budget, which is in the process of being developed.