Bill aims to merge NJ towns - even when they aren't neighbors

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Ten years ago this month, a state law was enacted encouraging more municipal consolidations as a method for saving money and reducing property taxes.

In the decade since, there’s been just one merger – the combining of Princeton borough and township.

Now a less ambitious update to the effort is on Gov. Chris Christie’s desk. It seeks to clarify some of the rules and tools though does include a few wrinkles – such as allowing towns to merge that are near each other but aren’t directly neighbors.

Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, D-Monmouth, said it would be a big change to allow towns that aren’t attached to consolidate. They would have to be within a reasonable distance from each other and in the same county.

“We’re trying to do all that we can to give an option to a town to make that happen. And ultimately who has the final say is the residents that live in that town because they would have to vote on it,” said Houghtaling.

Read the full story here.

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