NEW BRUNSWICK – Middlesex County Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano unveiled last night the County’s 2012 Operating Budget, a proposal that includes a $1.18 million decrease in spending from 2011 budget, and a $2 million decrease in spending from 2010.
Rafano said the 2012 plan reflects a savings of more than $5 million in salary and operating expenses. This was achieved through a reorganization of the County’s operating structure. He said those savings helped offset increases in mandated expenses, such as mental health costs and medical services, and a loss in state aid.
Rafano added: “To ensure that Middlesex County will retain its Triple A bond rating, we are eliminating the reliance on surplus funds to balance the 2012 Operating Budget. We are one of only 67 counties in the nation that has a Triple A rating, underscoring our sound financial practices. We are proud of this achievement.”
A Triple A bond rating means the county can borrow funds to complete needed infrastructure and capital improvements at the lowest available rates, which saves taxpayer money.
Rafano said the 2012 budget process began in earnest in August of 2011: “The Freeholders worked closely with Finance and Administration and all Department Heads and Office Directors to complete a line-item by line-item review between September and December. I wish to especially recognize County Comptroller Al Kuchinskas, Joseph Pruiti and their staff, who since the process began last August, have worked tirelessly so that we could put forth this solid proposal tonight.”
The Freeholders plan to formally introduce the 2012 Middlesex County Operational Budget on Feb. 2. A public hearing and possible adoption of the budget is scheduled for Feb. 23.
“I believe that all the hard work and dedication that has gone into this budget proposal is exactly what we, as elected officials, should do to ensure that our residents receive the best services for costs they can afford,” Rafano said.
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