FLEMINGTON, NJ – Hunterdon County freeholders introduced their 2017 budget at a special meeting this week, but no one from the public was in attendance.

The budget will be subject to a public hearing that will be held at 5:30 p.m. May 16. That will take place at the Freeholders’ meeting room at the County Administration Building on Main Street here.

The $88.761 million 2017 spending plan is actually slightly less than last year’s $88.764 million budget. It marks the fourth consecutive year that the county’s tax rate will remain unchanged, at 30.89 cents per $100 of a property’s assessed value.

Sign Up for E-News

Freeholder Director John Lanza said the savings are the result of the county’s implementation of shared services and other efficiencies.

If adopted, the 2017 budget will be $4.658 million less than the county’s 2006 budget. “That is a record hard for any other county in New Jersey to match,” Lanza said.

Lanza also credited “a thoughtful, business-oriented approach” for the budget, which county Chief Financial officer Janet Previte called, “Tight. Very, very tight.”

Freeholder Deputy Director John King noted that more than 55 percent of the county budget is allocated to funding for public safety; health and human services; education; engineering, road and bridges; and capital improvements. He expressed gratitude to county department heads, Previte, Lanza and Freeholder Matt Holt for drafting the plan without his hands-on involvement.

The budget’s major expenditures include public safety, $13.8 million; health and human services, $9.8 million; education, $6.6 million; capital improvements, $9.8 million; and engineering, roads, and bridges, $8.9 million.

The full budget is available at the Hunterdon County website.