By Pat Loeb

COLLINGSWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — Seven Camden County towns are expected to sign an agreement this afternoon for sharing services, equipment, and some employees, as a cost-saving measure.

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The towns are motivated by the two-percent cap on property tax increases imposed two years ago by the State of New Jersey (see related story).

Collingswood mayor Jim Malley calls them the “White Horse Pike towns.”  They include Audubon, Haddonfield, Haddon Heights, Haddon Township, Mt. Ephraim, and Oaklyn.

They were part of larger discussions about regionalizing the police force — a proposal that remains up in the air (see related story) — but Malley says they realized there were other areas that offered savings opportunities (another related story).

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“One was easy, which was sharing public works equipment, to start out,” Malley tells KYW Newsradio.

Malley says the agreement also provides a backup construction code official for each town from a partnering town.

And he says these arrangements are essential as he expects more budget cuts to be imposed by Trenton.

“For controlling our budgets and to help alleviate property tax increases in the future, we’ve got to begin operating some of the business side between the towns in a sharing relationship,” he says.

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