Consent order to cost Gloucester an estimated $5M-$7M

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Feb 29, 2012 - 03:20 PM

For years, the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors has heard of looming, seemingly rather ambiguous and costly consent orders mandated by the federal and state governments.

The orders, aimed at cleaning up the environment by requiring regular public utilities maintenance and improvements, were better explained to the supervisors during a meeting Feb. 21 in the colonial courthouse.

When all is said and done, the projected repairs and rehabilitation needed to comply with the orders is estimated at between $5 million and $7 million, according to Marty Schlesinger, Gloucester’s director of public utilities. "However, I am hopeful that we will be able to achieve the desired results for less than that," he said.

The Gloucester County Board of Supervisors agreed to transfer $500,000 from the county’s fiscal year 2011 general fund budget to the utility fund during its June 7, 2011 meeting. The costs relating to the consent orders, as well as a revenue shortfall, were included in the issues faced by the utility fund.

Supervisors appropriated $480,000 from the county’s general fund to the utility fund after it voted in late April 2011 to adopt the fiscal year 2012 budget. The appropriation was included in the county administrator’s budget because, again, several issues were pushing the decision, including a revenue shortfall in the department and the costs relating to the consent orders.