Beachwood To Share Berkeley’s Construction Office

Berkeley Town Hall (Photo by Jason Allentoff)

BERKELEY – A shared service agreement between the two towns would let Beachwood make use of Berkeley’s construction code enforcement and housing inspections.

Many towns have shared service agreements with each other. They are designed to cut down on the costs of running a town. Sometimes, a smaller town does not have the need for a full department, so they opt to pay a larger town to have the larger town do work for them.

Beachwood has a construction code official, Mayor Ron Roma said. Through shared services agreements, he was also handling work in South Toms River and Island Heights for two days a week.

The problem was, there wasn’t enough building going on to fully make use of the employee, he said.

“Beachwood is almost completely built out. It isn’t financially feasible for us to have a full time inspector,” he said. The borough was partially subsidizing his pay with work from the other two towns. “It was always a losing proposition for us.”

The Beachwood Water Tower. (Photo by Micromedia Publications)

Prior to this, South Toms River announced that they will be pulling out of the agreement, which would mean less income for Beachwood, he said. This caused Beachwood officials to look harder at whether they need a full time employee or if they could have the work done elsewhere for less money.

Beachwood will follow civil service rules for what happens to an employee when their position is no longer needed, Roma said.

Ideally, it would be nice to have all services inhouse, he said. However, you have to make financial decisions. Residents will still be filing all paperwork in Beachwood; they won’t have to go to Berkeley.

At the most recent Berkeley Township Council meeting, Berkeley authorized their side of the agreement.

Beachwood would reimburse Berkeley for any manpower and materials used in code enforcement and housing inspections, Berkeley Mayor Carmen Amato said.

The agreement was made for one year, and if the agreement continues to be in everyone’s best interest, the deal can be renewed, Amato said.