$4.2 million in Local Aid Grants to Address 18 Union County Towns' Property Taxes
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 • 10:46am
TRENTON, NJ - The Christie Administration Tuesday announced that 18 Union County municipalities will share $4,218,595 in Local Aid grants to advance street, safety and quality-of-life improvements without burdening local property taxpayers.
“These grants promote motorist, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, mobility and quality-of-life projects,” said NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson. “Most of the Municipal Aid grants will support street paving or preservation projects, and will arrive in time for towns to make much needed repairs after a brutal winter.”
The grants are part of a package of 391 Local Aid grants worth $81.6 million announced for municipalities across the state.
The bulk of the Local Aid grants will be awarded under the Municipal Aid program, with 377 grants totaling $78.6 million. In addition, $3 million is being awarded statewide with $1 million each for three grant programs—Transit Village, Local Bikeway, and Safe Streets to Transit. All of these grant programs are competitive, with applications rated on their merits by NJDOT and other transportation officials.
The competitive Municipal Aid grant program attracted 653 applications worth $255 million in work. A total of 6 percent of the successful applicants submitted proposals for non-traditional projects involving pedestrian safety, bikeways and streetscape projects.
Under the Municipal Aid grant program, each county is apportioned a share of the total funding based on population and the number of local centerline miles. Municipalities compete for portions of their county’s share. Past performance in connection with timely award of projects and construction close-out factor into the evaluation of the Municipal Aid grant proposals.
When evaluating municipal aid grant applications, NJDOT gives an additional point to municipalities that have adopted Complete Streets policies. Sixty-seven municipalities had done so at the time municipal aid applications were due, and all but two submitted applications. Of them, 56 were recommended for grants totaling $15 million.
A total of 90 municipalities and six counties now have adopted Complete Streets policies, which establish guidelines that require consideration be given to pedestrians and bicyclists when local transportation projects are being planned, designed and built. NJDOT adopted its award-winning policy in December, 2009.
NJDOT provides 75 percent of a municipal aid grant when a town awards a contract and the remaining 25 percent upon completion of the project.
Of the 15 municipalities seeking grants for projects within their Transit Village zones, Transit Village grants worth a total of $1 million were awarded to Pleasantville (Atlantic County), Burlington City (Burlington County), Dunellen (Middlesex County), and Somerville (Somerset County).
Under this program, municipalities that have transit facilities within their borders can seek to be designated as a Transit Village by developing plans for dense, mixed-use redevelopment that includes housing near their transit facility.
Additionally, at the time Municipal Aid applications were due, there were 27 municipalities in the Transit Village program, and all 27 submitted Municipal Aid grant applications. Twenty-six were selected for grant awards totaling $7.1 million. Participation in the Transit Village program earns municipalities an extra point when their Municipal Aid applications are considered.
Today there are 28 municipalities in the Transit Village program.
The Department received 71 applications totaling $22.6 million for grants under the Bikeway program. Bikeway grants totaling $1 million are being awarded to Hammonton (Atlantic County), Middle Township (Cape May County), West Windsor (Mercer County), and Barnegat Township (Ocean County).
Safe Streets to Transit
Six grants worth $1 million are being awarded under the Safe Streets to Transit program to Camden and Voorhees (Camden County), Millville (Cumberland County), Jersey City (Hudson County), Metuchen (Middlesex County), and Lincoln Park (Morris County). The Department received 78 applications worth $20.8 million for grants under this program.