Princeton Consolidation: Achieving a landmark municipal restructuring

Scenario: A community of 31,000 is served by two governments, and over many decades, three government consolidation efforts had been rejected by voters.

Challenge

  1. Determine if it makes operational and fiscal sense to share municipal services or fully consolidate government
  2. Reimagine the local government structure and design an innovative, efficient municipal model

What CGR Delivered

Expert project management support, encompassing:

  • Comprehensive review of existing conditions
  • Design of inter-municipal collaboration and consolidation options
  • Analysis of the impact of each option on the community (i.e., operational, fiscal)
  • Facilitation of the community's selection of preferred alternative
  • Extensive public engagement effort to inform stakeholders about implications of merger

Result

  • Following a year-long process, both governments endorsed a consolidation plan 
  • Voters in both jurisdictions overwhelmingly approved consolidation plan (2011)
  • The merger – the most significant municipal consolidation in NJ in a century – took effect (2013)

Impact

  • $750,000 in savings during the transition year (2012)
  • $1.3 million in savings and 1% tax rate reduction in year one of merger (2013)
  • $1.4 million additional savings, plus tax rates stable in year two (2014)