Hillsborough has passed its annual fiscal physical.
Not only has an audit and the state found the township in good financial shape, its per capita spending is the lowest of neighboring municipalities of similar size.
That news was given at Tuesday’s Township Committee meeting as the governing body accepted the annual audit with two minor recommendations and received word that Hillsborough’s fiscal procedures and policies meet the state’s “best practices” standard. That qualifies the municipality to receive 100 percent of the eligible state aid.
The audit, prepared by independent auditors, recommended only that the township make sure deposits are made within 48 hours of receiving funds and that outstanding open purchase orders should be cancelled. Mayor Carl Suraci said corrective procedures have already been instituted.
Nancy Haberle, the township’s chief financial officer, said the audit’s results help earn the “best practices” ranking.
“Best practices helps to ensure that a system of checks and balances is in place for purchasing, financial transactions and payroll processing through policies and procedures set by the township,” Haberle said. “The annual audit is a confirmation of our compliance with the financial standards.”
Haberle’s annual financial report can be found at the township's website.
Hillsborough has qualified for the “best practices” ranking since the program began three years ago.
“Hillsborough has an outstanding record for best practices when it comes to municipal finances,” Suraci said. “We pride ourselves in operating local government in a business-like manner."
Committeeman Frank DelCore said the township has adopted a “pay-as-you-go” policy which has reduced debt.
Haberle’s report also found that Hillsborough, with a population of 38,308 and a $26.5 million budget, spends $692 per resident. Bridgewater (population 44,464 and $38.3 million budget), spends $862 per resident and Franklin (population 62,300 and $55.1 million budget) spends $885.63 per resident. Neighboring Montgomery, though smaller with a 22,254 residents, has a larger budget, $33.7 million, $1,517 per resident.
The key to Hillsborough’s lower numbers was a 6 percent decrease in spending this year, Suraci said.
“We continue to take a hard line on spending,” Suraci said.