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Federal government will fund improvements in Allentown

ALLENTOWN – The borough will proceed with the Downtown Streetscape Project – Phase IIB with funding provided by the federal government.

During a Borough Council meeting on Oct. 5, members of the governing body authorized Mayor Thomas Fritts to sign the project agreement.

According to a resolution that was passed by council President John A. Elder III, Councilman Robert Strovinsky, Councilman Michael Drennan, Councilwoman Martha Johnson and Councilman Dan Payson, the Federal Highway Administration awarded grant funding to Allentown for the project in an amount not to exceed $757,953.

Councilwoman Erica Torsiello was absent from the meeting.

The resolution states the improvements on Church Street will include the replacement of all curbs and sidewalks; the realignment of the lane striping from Main Street to a point approximately 400 feet west; new curb ramps; new signs; tree removal; and new tree plantings.

Curbs and inlet heads will be replaced to comply with required Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) standards, according to the resolution.

On-street parking will be delineated using pavement markings and new site lighting will be installed to enhance pedestrian safety, municipal officials said.

In other news, Business Administrator Laurie Roth reported that she has been informed Allentown will receive $137,280 in Community Development Block Grant funding for the 2022 cycle from Monmouth County.

“In September, Cameron Corini of Roberts Engineering Group presented the borough’s application. We requested $152,435 to remove existing non-compliant ADA deteriorated sidewalks and curbing in the borough and to replace those sidewalks with new concrete sidewalks with ADA compliant curb ramps, curbing and pedestrian sidewalks.

“This funding will supplement the $375,000 in grant funding the borough has already received from the DOT for the Municipal Aid Program Fiscal Year 2021 which was also another Roberts Engineering Group application.

“To say the borough is pleased would be an understatement. We can continue our work to promote pedestrian traffic in and around the borough for all, but specifically for pedestrians with disabilities,” Roth said.

Finally, Fritts reported that Allentown’s upgraded waste water treatment plant should be up and running by winter or early spring, and he said the project is on budget.

Work to upgrade the waste water treatment infrastructure is continuing at the project site on Breza Road.

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