Murphy administration announces $161M in Municipal Aid grants

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Gov. Phil Murphy has announced that 96% of New Jersey municipalities will receive Municipal Aid grant awards, totaling $161.25 million for fiscal year 2020.

These are the first awards being made under the new Municipal Aid grant cycle that better aligns with the state’s construction season and municipal budget cycles, according to a press release.

A total of 542 cities and towns across New Jersey are receiving grants to advance road, bridge, safety and quality of life improvements, continuing the Department of Transportation’s “Commitment to Communities” initiative, according to the press release.

The following municipalities have received a grant:

• Allentown – improvements to Waldron Road, Quinn Road and Hamilton Street, $180,000;

• Colts Neck – improvements to Heulitt Road, $330,000;

• Englishtown – Heritage Drive and Raymond Court improvements, $154,000;

• Farmingdale – pedestrian crosswalk safety improvements, $300,000;

• Freehold Borough – Frances Drive road improvements, $310,000;

• Freehold Township – Stonehurst Boulevard, Phase I, road preservation, $200,000;

• Howell – Lanes Mill Road; road preservation; $250,000;

• Jackson – improvements to Wright-Debow Road, $425,000;

• Manalapan – Fiscal Year 2020 improvements to Gordons Corner Road, $270,000;

• Marlboro – Wyncrest Road; 2020 Marlboro Road Program; road preservation; $215,000;

• Millstone Township – Nurko Road; road preservation; $180,000;

• Upper Freehold Township – Burlington Path Road; road preservation; $330,000.

“Our administration sought to deliver a fairer approach to how government does business and this round of grants will, in the third straight year, reach more municipalities than in the previous fiscal year,” Murphy said.

“In addition, in the spring the Department of Transportation announced it was accelerating the Fiscal Year 2020 Municipal Aid grant cycle so we could make the awards months earlier than in years past to help municipalities better plan important infrastructure projects.

“Today, by awarding grants to 542 municipalities in the state, nearly 96% of all cities and towns in New Jersey will be poised to break ground as the construction season begins,” the governor said.

In addition to changing the grant cycle, the DOT created a Local Aid Resource Center this year to support local public agencies, fulfilling a pledge to offer proactive assistance, according to the press release.

The resource center assists communities with project planning, grant applications, project delivery and guidance through the federal grant process by offering customized in-person training sessions, webinars, a library of YouTube videos and a dedicated telephone hotline to receive technical assistance.

The competitive Municipal Aid grant program attracted 661 applications from 546 municipalities in Fiscal Year 2020 with a total of $368 million in work.

Project applications are evaluated and rated on their merits by DOT Local Aid staff and an independent panel of New Jersey municipal engineers reviews the Local Aid recommendations. This process resulted in 545 awards to 542 municipalities, according to the press release.

There are seven project categories within the Municipal Aid program eligible for funding: road preservation, road safety, quality of life, mobility, bikeway, pedestrian safety, and bridge preservation, according to the press release.