SOMERVILLE, NJ - A four-year shared services agreement between Hunterdon and Somerset counties to house inmates from Hunterdon at the Somerset Jail in Somerville has been terminated in favor of a new shared services agreement between Hunterdon and Warren counties.

The Hunterdon County Freeholders authorized an official 30-day notification to Somerset County at its Dec. 30th meeting ending the month-to-month agreement that had been in effect since September after the initial four-year agreement to house Hunterdon inmates expired in September.

"There are operational improvements and additional cost savings that can be achieved for Hunterdon County taxpayers by moving to the Warren County correctional facility," said Hunterdon County Sheriff Fred W. Brown. "The proposed new agreement will enhance the operational efficiency of the county's correction program and ensure a more streamlined processing experience for inmates within our custody."

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Brown said it is only about 9 miles farther to go to Belvidere in Warren County than Somerville in Somerset County, which would not be a problem for the transportation of inmates.

Hunterdon and Somerset counties entered into an agreement for jail consolidation in September 2015, which led to a number of cost savings for Hunterdon County. 

"We greatly appreciate the relationship our county had with Somerset County because it saved significant tax dollars," Freeholder John Lanza said. "Hunterdon County benefited from the professional service of Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano and his staff. The county is now moving on to a relationship with Warren County that is even better for the taxpayers."

The shared services agreement will be considered this month by both freeholder boards. Hunterdon County is anticipating a savings in excess of $250,000 with the new agreement.

The Hunterdon County Sheriff's office anticipates inmates will be housed at the Warren County facility by February.