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Allentown receives state grant for sidewalk improvements

ALLENTOWN – Municipal officials announced that Allentown has received a $375,000 municipal aid grant from the state for sidewalk improvements and a pedestrian safety program.

The grant application was completed and submitted by the Roberts Engineering Group, which is the borough’s enginer.

The application includes proposals for the replacement of all non-compliant handicap ramps, the replacement of crosswalks, the addition of a sidewalk where none exists on South Main Street and Lakeview Drive, and the replacement of deteriorated sidewalk as necessary.

The work will focus on Sandburg, Poe, Twain, South Main, Lakeview, Johnson, Greenfield, Pearl, Hamilton, Wilbur, Mechanic, Probasco, Allen, Hendrickson, Coates, Graham and Robinson, according to municipal officials.

The requested amount to complete the project was $575,000 ($500,225 for construction and $75,000 for inspection fees). That is typical for this type of grant program, according to municipal offcials.

The sidewalk repair application was designed to be open-ended so officials may cut various roads out of the program and focus only on what can be funded by the grant that has been awarded to the borough.

Municipal officials said Allentown should not have to pay any construction costs out of pocket as long as the borough does not repair all of the roads listed above during this grant cycle. The borough may resubmit an application next year for any outstanding roads.

This is the largest municipal aid grant Allentown has ever been awarded and it was the second largest grant awarded to a municipality in Monmouth County this year (Asbury Park received the most at $484,000), according to municipal officials.

“The Roberts Engineering Group did a great job securing this sidewalk grant for us. It really helps out the taxpayers to get a grant like that. We will begin the process of evaluating areas of the borough that are in need of repair,” Borough Council President Rob Strovinsky said.

In regular business during a recent council meeting, the members of the governing body accepted Mark Jasionowski’s resignation from the Board of Recreation Commissioners. Jasionowski’s term was due to expire on Dec. 31.

Eileen Kuzma, who had been serving in the board’s Alternate No. 1 position, was named a regular member of the board. Kuzma’s term will expire on Dec. 31.

Robert H. Schmitt Jr., who had been serving in the board’s Alternate No. 2 position, was moved to the Alternate No. 1 position. Schmitt’s term will expire on Dec. 31, 2024.

Kelly Owens was appointed by Mayor Thomas Fritts to join the board in the Alternate No. 2 position. Owens’ term will expire on Dec. 31, 2024.

— Examiner Managing Editor Mark Rosman contributed to this article.

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