November 16, 2012
DLGS Storm Recovery Update
The Division of Local Government Services has issued a Storm Recovery Update, which includes the following information.
On October 27, 2012 Governor Christie declared a state of emergency for the response and recovery efforts required by Hurricane Sandy. The following information summarizes Hurricane Sandy related EGG notices that have been issued by the Division of Local Government Services up to and including the date of this notice and provides additional storm related news to local units.
October 29, 2012 - EMERGENCY FINANCING AND PROCUREMENT
Local Finance Notice 2012-22 (www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/12/2012-22.pdf) covers matters related to emergency appropriations relative to the emergency response and funding for long-term recovery. Emergency expenses are those related to the response, recovery, and restoration of services due to the hurricane that were not anticipated in the current year's budget. Only the portion of costs that exceed the cost of providing services under non-emergency conditions may be granted as levy cap exclusions.
November 2, 2012 - STORM DEBRIS REMOVAL
To assist State government and local units on an expedited basis with storm cleanup, the NJ Division of Purchase and Property executed a contract for debris removal with AshBritt, Inc. (State Contract # AG-0630). The company's services will supplement other State, county and municipal cleanup efforts on an as-needed basis. If you are in need of an emergency vendor to remove storm debris from public properties and public rights of way, or if your current vendor is not available or unable to adequately address your emergency debris removal needs, your local unit may contract with AshBritt, Inc. under the terms of this contract. However, it is important to note that this contract is optional; your local unit does not have to utilize the contract or the services of AshBritt. For questions, please email Gordon.Ball@dca.state.nj.us.
November 5, 2012 - EMERGENCY CONTRACT WITH LOWE'S
The NJ Division of Purchase and Property announced a contract award to Lowe's (State Contract # 82951) which permits walk-in purchases of various building products during the emergency. State departments/agencies and eligible local units have access to over 40,000 products stocked in their local store through Lowe's Walk-In Building Supply Contract. See Local Finance Notice 2012-24
(www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/12/2012-24.pdf) for details.
November 5, 2012 - MANAGING CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS
Many local governments plan to or have already collected funds, or have been asked to establish funds for making contributions to national charities, local organizations, or residents affected by Hurricane Sandy. In cases where donations are intended for third parties rather than for the local government's own storm related needs, the Division of Local Government Services strongly encourages local governments to instruct persons to make donations directly to appropriate non-profit organizations (e.g., Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund https://sandynjrelieffund.org/index.html) rather than assuming the responsibility for re-distributing donations. However, if local units are given contributions or gifts for support of disaster related purposes, the local unit may appropriate funds and spend them for the purpose for which they are donated. Please refer to Local Finance Notice 2012-25 (www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/12/2012-25.pdf) regarding procedures for accepting and appropriating funds.
November 7, 2012 - USE OF SNOW REMOVAL FUNDS FOR HURRICANE SANDY RECOVERY
Governor Chris Christie signed Executive Order No. 111 allowing local government units that have established a snow removal fund to utilize existing reserves as necessary in response to damages caused by Hurricane Sandy. Please review Local Finance Notice 2012-26 (www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/12/2012-26.pdf) for details.
November 9, 2012 - PROTECTING ACCESS TO FINANCIAL MARKETS
Certain municipalities will be financially stressed in the period ahead due to the loss of ratables. Concerns of some investors about how municipalities respond to the financial implications posed by Hurricane Sandy may restrict access to financing. It is important that we all take actions to show the investment community we will do what we must - as we always have - to maintain their confidence. Local Finance Notice 2012-27
(www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/12/2012-27.pdf) provides direction to help ensure that New Jersey municipalities protect their access to financial markets to maintain operations and rebuild in the face of challenges posed by Hurricane Sandy. It is very important to underscore that, if your municipality has made a late debt payment or is having cash flow problems that could affect future debt payments, your CFO should promptly contact DLGS Division Director Thomas Neff or Executive Secretary to the Local Finance Board, Patricia McNamara at 609-292-4648.
November 9, 2012 - EXTENSION OF PROPERTY TAX GRACE PERIOD
Local Finance Notice 2012-28 (www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/12/2012-28.pdf) provides guidance regarding Executive Order 113 extending the grace period for payment of fourth quarter property tax payments to November 16, 2012. This mandatory grace period extension does not apply to those municipalities with accelerated tax sales. The Executive Order also gives municipalities the option to extend the fourth quarter property tax grace period, by resolution of the governing body, to no later than December 31, 2012. For questions, please contact Pat Turin of the Division of Local Government Services at 609-292-6858.
November 9, 2012 - EMERGENCY APPROPRIATIONS AND PROCUREMENT UPDATE
Local Finance Notice 2012-22 outlined procedures for adopting emergency appropriations and financing same, and briefly reminded local units of their emergency procurement powers. Local Final Notice 2012-29 (www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/12/2012-29.pdf) provides further clarification of these procedures.
DIVISION OF TAXATION
The Division of Taxation has been meeting with tax assessors and county tax administrators to consider the storm's impact on ratables. We will relay the Division of Taxation's formal guidance to local units once we receive same.
OFFICE OF STATE COMPTROLLER
The response to Hurricane Sandy will result in the award of many emergency contracts and other public contracts through regular contracting processes, some of which are expected to be substantial in scope and cost. Local units are reminded of their obligation to comply with certain pre-advertising and post-award reporting requirements (http://www.nj.gov/comptroller/compliance/index.html).
In accordance with N.J.S.A 52:15C-10, contracting units must notify the Office of State Comptroller as early as practicable, but no later than 30 days before advertisement, of any negotiation or solicitation of a contract that may exceed $10 million.
Contracting units must also provide post-award notification for any contract that exceeds $2 million. Notification must be given within 20 days of the award.
Contracting units include: "the principal departments in the Executive branch of the State Government, and any division, board, bureau, office, commission or other instrumentality within or created by such department, any independent State authority, commission, instrumentality and agency, and any State college or university, any county college, and any unit of local government including a county, municipality, board of education and any board, commission, committee, authority or agency, thereof which has administrative jurisdiction over any project or facility, included or operating in whole or in part, within the territorial boundaries of any county, municipality or board of education which exercises functions which are appropriate for the exercise by one or more units of local government, and which has statutory power to make purchases and enter into contracts for the provision or performance of goods or services."
- State of New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Information Center http://www.state.nj.us/nj/home/features/spotlight/hurricane_sandy.shtml
- NJ Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) http://ready.nj.gov/
- NJOEM Public Assistance Program
- FEMA Hurricane Sandy Recovery Page
- Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund
- NJ Department of Environmental Protection Hurricane Sandy Information Page http://www.nj.gov/dep/special/hurricane-sandy/
- NJ Department of the Treasury Hurricane Sandy Information Page http://nj.gov/treasury/news-sandy.shtml
- NJ Division of Purchase and Property Hurricane Cooperative Contracts http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/purchase/hurricane-coop.shtml
We hope you find this helpful.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.