BELLEVILLE, NJ — Gov. Phil Murphy and New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti announced $161.25 million in fiscal year 2022 municipal aid grants, with 541 cities and towns across the state receiving funds to advance road, bridge, safety and quality-of-life improvements, according to an Oct. 26 press release.
Essex County received $10,415,608 in grant monies and $3,159,414 in urban allotment, for a combined $13,575,022. Belleville received a grant of $615,000 and an urban allotment of $53,869, making for a combined $668,869.
According to Belleville township manager Anthony D. Iacono, the money will go toward reconstructing Harrison Street from Mill Street to the Bloomfield line, Belleville Avenue from Washington Avenue to Main Street, and Sanford Avenue from Harrison Street to Magnolia Street.
“The scope of work includes replacing concrete in disrepair, constructing compliant ADA ramps, drainage and sanitary sewer repairs, milling and paving,” Iacono told the Belleville Post on Nov. 13. “The grant reduces the amount of funds the township will have to permanently bond at the end of the project.”
The competitive municipal aid grant program attracted 625 applications from 547 municipalities, with a total of $363 million requested. Project applications were evaluated and rated on their merits by NJDOT staff and reviewed by an independent panel of New Jersey municipal engineers. This process resulted in 546 awards to 541 municipalities, totaling $161.25 million. The 2016 Transportation Trust Fund renewal has made it possible to continue to award $161.25 million annually — more than double the $78.75 million that was available before the TTF renewal. In addition, the extra funds have allowed the department to increase the number of municipalities receiving grants from approximately 370 a year prior to the TTF renewal to 541 municipalities this year.
“These funds are crucial to municipalities for the completion of projects that improve quality of life and safety for New Jersey residents,” Murphy said. “Under our administration’s leadership, the Transportation Trust Fund continues to bolster infrastructure statewide. I congratulate all municipalities that have received grants and look forward to them putting these dollars to use.”
“The Murphy administration is committed to improving local communities by providing millions of dollars in aid to municipalities to make important safety, infrastructure and quality-of-life improvements without burdening local property taxpayers,” Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “We are pleased to award grants to nearly every municipality in New Jersey.”
Under the 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. NJDOT provides 75 percent of the grant amount when a town is awarded a contract and the remaining 25 percent upon completion of the project. Of the $161.25 million, $10 million is allotted for municipalities qualifying for urban aid as defined under state law, with the amounts determined by the Department of Community Affairs.