Christie Administration announces $81.75 million in Local Aid grants to help control property taxes
Municipal Aid grants among the 389 to be awarded
(Trenton) - The Christie Administration today announced 389 Local Aid grants totaling $81.75 million to help municipalities advance a variety of transportation projects without burdening local property taxpayers.
A total of 376 municipalities successfully competed for $78.75 million in Municipal Aid grants, while 13 other grants totaling $3 million were announced under the Transit Village, Local Bikeway, and Safe Streets to Transit programs. All of the grants are being funded through the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund.
“Most of the Municipal Aid grants will support road resurfacing or preservation projects, and will help towns make much needed repairs after a brutal winter,” NJDOT Commissioner Jamie Fox said. “These grants promote motorist, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, mobility and quality-of-life projects.”
The competitive Municipal Aid grant program attracted 630 applications worth $253 million in work. A total of 5 percent of the 376 successful applicants were awarded grants 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. Of the $78.75 million, there is $5 million allotted for municipalities qualifying for Urban Aid under state law, with the awards determined by the Department of Community Affairs.
When evaluating municipal aid grant applications, NJDOT gives an additional point to municipalities that have adopted Complete Streets policies. At the time municipal aid applications were due there were 108 municipalities with complete streets policies, and all but three submitted applications. Of them, 96 were recommended for grants totaling $23.5 million.
A total of 113 municipalities and seven counties now have adopted Complete Streets policies, which establishes 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 11 municipalities seeking funding for projects within their Transit Village zones, Transit Village grants worth a total of $1 million were awarded to Bloomfield (Essex County), Dunellen (Middlesex County), Netcong (Morris County), West Windsor (Mercer County) and Pleasantville (Atlantic 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 designated in the Transit Village program and 26 submitted Municipal Aid grant applications. Nineteen were selected for grant awards totaling $5.7 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 64 applications totaling $23.8 million for grants under the Bikeway program. Bikeway grants totaling $1 million are being awarded to Camden (Camden County), Atlantic City (Atlantic County), Newark (Essex County), and Voorhees (Camden County).
Safe Streets to Transit
Four grants worth $1 million are being awarded under the Safe Streets to Transit program to Pleasantville (Atlantic County), Voorhees (Camden County), Paterson (Passaic County) and Delran (Burlington County). The Department received 48 applications requesting $13.4 million for grants from this program.