Lawrence Township may be in line for additional American Rescue Plan Act funds


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Lawrence Township may be in line for additional American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The township and other Mercer County municipalities have already received American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds directly from the federal government, but Mercer County officials said they saw an opportunity to provide $3 million in additional money to the towns to help residents in the areas of health, social services and transportation.

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Lawrence Township is considering applying for a portion of the $3 million to make improvements to the parking lot and lighting of the Lawrence Nature Center at 481 Drexel Ave., said Municipal Manager Kevin Nerwinski.

“The goal is to make the nature center more accessible to visitors of all ages,” he said.

A grant from Mercer County – if approved – would be in addition to the $3.3 million in ARPA funds that Lawrence Township has received over the past two years, township officials said.

Lawrence Township earmarked its $3.3 million federal allocation for road projects. It used $1.6 million for the 2022 road improvement program, which consisted of resurfacing portions of Cold Soil Road, Teak Lane, Bergen Street, Blackwell Road and Province Line Road.

The 2022 road improvement program also included resurfacing Smithfield Avenue, Irwin Place, Fairfield Avenue, Skillman Avenue and the Lawrence Township municipal parking lot, township officials said.

The remainder of the town’s $3.3 million ARPA allocation will be applied to the 2023 road improvement program, which includes resurfacing portions of Van Kirk Road, Carson Road, Sturwood Way, Wexford Drive, Little Circle and Pembroke Court.

Princeton Pike, between Darrah Lane and Franklin Corner Road will be resurfaced. Eggert Crossing Road, between Drift Avenue and Dave Nevius Drive at Central Park, also will be resurfaced.

Gainsboro Road, Gedney Road, Fieldboro Road, Lake Drive, Polk Avenue, Winchester Avenue, Shinney Lane, Mulbery Street, Stratton Place and Carter Place also are included in the 2023 road improvement program, township officials said.

Mercer County is developing its own programs to distribute its $71.2 million in ARPA funds, said Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes. The programs may include a grant assistance program for small businesses, and more transportation opportunities to job sites, he said.

It may also provide expungement services to give eligible people a fresh start, as well as money to create a “more robust” county health department in response to numerous public health challenges, Hughes said.

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