40:14B-74. Payments to professionals for services rendered to municipal authority
12. a. The chief financial officer of a municipal authority shall make all of the payments to professionals for services rendered to the municipal authority for review of applications for development, review and preparation of documents, inspection of improvements or other purposes under the provisions of sections 11 through 16 of P.L.1999, c.11 (C.40:14B-73 through C.40:14B-78). Such fees or charges shall be based upon a schedule established by resolution. The application review and inspection charges shall be limited only to professional charges for review of applications, review and preparation of documents and inspections of developments under construction and review by outside consultants when an application is of a nature beyond the scope of the expertise of the professionals normally utilized by the municipal authority. The only costs that shall be added to any such charges shall be actual out-of-pocket expenses of any such professionals or consultants including normal and typical expenses incurred in processing applications and inspecting improvements. The municipal authority shall not bill the applicant, or charge any escrow account or deposit authorized under subsection b. of this section, for any municipal authority clerical or administrative functions, overhead expenses, meeting room charges, or any other municipal authority costs and expenses except as provided for in this section, nor shall a municipal authority professional add any such charges to his bill. If the salary, staff support and overhead for a municipal authority professional are provided by the municipal authority, the charge shall not exceed 200% of the sum of the products resulting from multiplying (1) the hourly base salary, which shall be established annually by resolution, of each of the professionals by (2) the number of hours spent by the respective professional upon review of the application for development or inspection of the developer's improvements, as the case may be. For other professionals the charge shall be at the same rate as all other work of the same nature by the professional for the municipal authority when fees are not reimbursed or otherwise imposed on applicants or developers.
b.If the municipal authority requires of the developer a deposit toward anticipated municipal authority expenses for these professional services, the deposit shall be placed in an escrow account pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1985, c.316 (C.40:14B-20.1). The amount of the deposit required shall be reasonable in regard to the scale and complexity of the development. The amount of the initial deposit required shall be established by the rules and regulations of the municipal authority or by resolution of the municipal authority, or both. For review of applications for development proposing a subdivision, the amount of the deposit shall be calculated based on the number of proposed lots. For review of applications for development proposing a site plan, the amount of the deposit shall be based on the area of the site to be developed, or the square footage of buildings to be constructed, or both. Deposits for inspection fees shall be established in accordance with subsection h. of section 11 of P.L.1999, c.11 (C.40:14B-73).
c.Each payment charged to the deposit for review of applications, review and preparation of documents and inspection of improvements shall be pursuant to a voucher from the professional, which voucher shall identify the personnel performing the service, and for each date the services were performed, the hours spent to one-quarter hour increments, the hourly rate and the expenses incurred. All professionals shall submit vouchers to the chief financial officer of the municipal authority on a monthly basis in accordance with schedules and procedures established by the chief financial officer of the municipal authority. If the services are provided by a municipal authority employee, the municipal authority employee shall prepare and submit to the chief financial officer of the municipal authority a statement containing the same information as required on a voucher, on a monthly basis. The professional shall send an informational copy of all vouchers or statements submitted to the chief financial officer of the municipal authority simultaneously to the applicant. The chief financial officer of the municipal authority shall prepare and send to the applicant a statement which shall include an accounting of funds listing all deposits, interest earnings, disbursements, and the cumulative balance of the escrow account. This information shall be provided on a quarterly basis, if monthly charges are $1,000 or less, or on a monthly basis if monthly charges exceed $1,000. If an escrow account or deposit contains insufficient funds to enable the municipal authority to perform required application reviews or improvement inspections, the chief financial officer of the municipal authority shall provide the applicant with a notice of the insufficient escrow or deposit balance. In order for work to continue on the development or the application, the applicant shall within a reasonable time period post a deposit to the account in an amount to be agreed upon by the municipal authority and the applicant. In the interim, any required health and safety inspections shall be made and charged back against the replenishment of funds.
d.The following close-out procedure shall apply to all deposits and escrow accounts established under the provisions of sections 11 through 16 of P.L.1999, c.11 (C.40:14B-73 through C.40:14B-78) and shall commence after the municipal authority has granted final approval and signed the subdivision plat or site plan, in the case of application review escrows and deposits, or after the improvements have been approved as provided in section 11 of P.L.1999, c.11 (C.40:14B-73), in the case of improvement inspection escrows and deposits. The applicant shall send written notice by certified mail to the chief financial officer of the municipal authority, and to the relevant municipal authority professional, that the application or the improvements, as the case may be, are completed. After receipt of such notice, the professional shall render a final bill to the chief financial officer of the municipal authority within 30 days, and shall send a copy simultaneously to the applicant. The chief financial officer of the municipal authority shall render a written final accounting to the applicant on the uses to which the deposit was put within 45 days of receipt of the final bill. Any balances remaining in the deposit or escrow account, including interest in accordance with section 1 of P.L.1985, c.316 (C.40:14B-20.1), shall be refunded to the developer along with the final accounting.
e.All professional charges for review of an application for development, review and preparation of documents or inspection of improvements shall be reasonable and necessary, given the status and progress of the application or construction. Review fees shall be charged only in connection with an application for development presently pending before the municipal authority or upon review of compliance with conditions of approval, or review of requests for modification or amendment made by the applicant. A professional shall not review items which are subject to approval by any State governmental agency and not under municipal authority jurisdiction except to the extent consultation with a State agency is necessary due to the effect of State approvals in the subdivision or site plan. Inspection fees shall be charged only for actual work shown on a subdivision or site plan or required by an approving resolution. Professionals inspecting improvements under construction shall charge only for inspections that are reasonably necessary to check the progress and quality of the work and such inspections shall be reasonably based on the approved development plans and documents.
f.If the municipal authority retains a different professional or consultant in the place of the professional originally responsible for development, application review, or inspection of improvements, the municipal authority shall be responsible for all time and expenses of the new professional to become familiar with the application or the project, and the municipal authority shall not bill the applicant or charge the deposit or the escrow account for any such services.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016