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Pinelands Infrastructure Trust Fund

Overview

The Pinelands Infrastructure Fund (PITF) was established in 1985 to help local governments and utility authorities defray the costs associated with supporting the population and economic growth targeted to Pinelands Regional Growth Management Areas. The Pinelands Infrastructure Bond Act became law on August 23, 1985. Voters subsequently approved a bond issue that raised $30 million to fund the PITF. The funds are disbursed through grants and loans for certain types of infrastructure projects that serve the needs of Pinelands Regional Growth Areas. The types of infrastructure that may be funded pursuant to the Act include wastewater treatment and collection systems, stormwater management facilities, water supply systems, and transportation projects. Only wastewater projects were funded in previous rounds.

The Pinelands Commission prepared a Pinelands Infrastructure Master Plan as required by the PITF Act. The Infrastructure Master Plan accomplished three things. It delineated a funding structure for loans, grants, and local matching funds. It created a ranking system by which proposed infrastructure projects would be judged for funding eligibility. Lastly, it generated the list of projects that were deemed eligible for the initial round of funding. Projects proposed for funding must first be approved by the Pinelands Commission and are then forwarded to the State Infrastructure Bank for legislative approval.

The funding structure set in the first Infrastructure Master Plan provided that a portion of the funding was to be distributed as loans. Repayment of those loans has replenished the PITF. Consequently, the Pinelands Commission intends to offer a new round of funding. Prior to commencing the next round of funding, the Commission will review and potentially modify the financing structure and at the project ranking system, as well as reevaluate the infrastructure needs in the Regional Growth Areas.

Currently, the Commission's staff is reaching out to local entities requesting that they evaluate the infrastructure needs of the Regional Growth Areas. (Please click here for the sample letter of July 16, 2018). Staff also delivered a PowerPoint presentation to the Commission's CMP Policy & Implementation Committee to outline the proposed PITF process. (Please click here for the presentation.)

Following the evaluation of local infrastructure needs, an Infrastructure Master Plan amendment will be prepared and adopted by the Pinelands Commission through a public hearing process. The amendment will structure the funding and project ranking system. Following that amendment, the Commission will solicit applications for infrastructure projects. Applications will be reviewed and ranked for funding eligibility, probably in late 2018. Available funding is estimated to be approximately $15 million.

For further information, please contact Gina Berg or Ed Wengrowski of the Commission's Planning Staff at (609) 894-7300.