County presents $5.4M in grants to 14 municipalities, 34 community organizations

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ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County recently announced that approximately $5.4 million will be distributed to 14 Essex County municipalities and 34 community organizations through the Community Development Block Grant program and the Emergency Solutions Grant program. The CDBG and ESG programs are funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the Essex County Division of Housing and Community Development.

“Programs supported through the CDBG and ESG programs are direct investments to provide services that enhance our quality of life and help stabilize our neighborhoods by modernizing our infrastructure and supporting programs that assist vulnerable populations,” DiVincenzo said. “These federal grants enable us to upgrade our sidewalks and roads, enhance handicap access, address mental health needs, support food pantries, and stimulate the overall development in our communities.”

A total of $2,089,641 was awarded to 14 municipalities and county programs for infrastructure improvements and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance in the Essex County consortium. Grants ranged in size from $25,000 to Roseland to $370,500 to Orange. Essex County was provided with $1,039,263 for program oversight, monitoring and administration. 

Belleville received $334,760 for water main and valve replacement in various locations; Cedar Grove received $512,862 for ADA ramps at various intersections; Fairfield received $45,379 for phase III of the Sand Road sidewalk extension; Glen Ridge received $38,763 for ADA street ramp improvements at Washington Street; Maplewood received $164,840 for ADA curb ramps to various sidewalks; Millburn received $34,055 for ADA barrier-free access to the municipal train station; Montclair received $292,500, specifically receiving $196,580 for Maplewood/Woodland Avenue sewer repair, $19,600 for Interfaith Hospitality Network–Home for Food; $19,600 for MNDC–Project OASIS, $9,680 for Strategic Mentoring DBA Brother to Brother–Summer Youth Empowerment, $19,600 for Succeed2gether’s After School Tutoring Program, $19,600 for COPE Center–Families Empowered Health Services and $7,840 for S.O.F.I.A.–Soar to Success; Nutley received $156,800, specifically $125,450 for Witherspoon Street roadway reconstruction and $31,350 for an ADA pathway at Father Glotzbach Park; Orange received $370,500, specifically $140,500 for Colgate Park Pool, $140,000 for Central Park renovations, $20,000 for Orange’s Main St. Counseling Center and $70,000 for the purchase of an ADA senior transportation bus; South Orange received $102,900 for an ADA senior bus; Roseland received $25,000 for an ADA ramp at its First Aid Building; Verona received $104,432, specifically $49,412 for ADA ramps at various intersections and $55,020 improvements at Community Development Center; West Caldwell received $42,750 for an ADA ramp at the Civic Center; and West Orange received $345,100, specifically $191,500 for reconstruction of Watchung Avenue, $20,000 for the West Orange’s Main St. Counseling Center, $49,000 for Bethany Center for Champions–Outreach for At-Risk Youth and $64,600 for walkway improvements from Main Street to Parking Yard.

Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington and Newark apply for CDBG funding independently and do not participate in the Essex County consortium; Caldwell, Essex Fells, Livingston and North Caldwell did not submit applications. 

A total of $1,787,411 was awarded directly to nonprofit community organizations. Grants ranged in size from $7,800 to Jewish Family Services in Livingston to $48,500 to Wynona’s House in Newark. Essex County was provided with grants of $856,399 to repave roads, $79,200 to purchase a handicap accessible senior bus, $91,200 for landlord and tenant counseling and $467,172 for a home improvement program. 

1st Cerebral Palsy in Belleville received $11,340 for its afterschool enrichment program; ARC of Essex County received $29,400 for an ADA vehicle; Big Brothers & Big Sisters received $10,000 for its youth mentoring program; Family Connections received $18,400 for improvements and replacements to parts of its HVAC system zone; Family Service League received $11,000 for its rape victim service and family counseling; Jewish Family Services received $7,800 for its services to frail, homebound, older adults; the Mental Health Association of Essex County received $9,700 for an ADA vehicle replacement; NCJW/Essex of Livingston received $9,700 for its job readiness program; NJ Citizen Action received $19,600 for housing education and foreclosure prevention counseling; NorthwardCenter Inc. received $48,000 for Casa Israel Senior Services; Opportunity Project received $14,000 for pre-vocational training and work adjustment; Planned Parenthood received $9,800 for HIV prevention, testing and counseling; The Bridge received $11,200 for behavioral health counseling; and Wynona’s House in Newark received $48,500 for Family Resource Center renovations.

A total of $440,579 was awarded to eight local social service agencies through the Emergency Solutions Grant program. Grants range in size from $12,000 to the Salvation Army in Newark to $73,000 to the YMCA of Newark and Vicinity. Essex County was provided with a $33,043 grant to administer the program. There is $82,756 available for reprogramming.

Integrity Inc. in Newark received $20,000 for emergency shelter operations; Interfaith Hospitality Network in Montclair received $26,500 for emergency shelter operations and $70,000 for rapid rehousing activities; Isaiah House in East Orange received $20,000 for emergency shelter operations; Salvation Army in Montclair received $20,000 for emergency shelter operations, $10,000 for homeless prevention, $20,000 for the Street Outreach Drop-in Center and $10,000 for rapid rehousing activities; Salvation Army in Newark received $12,000 for homeless prevention; Turning Point received $23,280 for case management; YMCA of Newark and Vicinity received $73,000 for emergency shelter operations; and United Community Corp. received $10,000 for rapid rehousing and homeless prevention, and $10,000 for homeless prevention.

“The beauty of the CDBG and ESG programs is their ability to fund a broad array of projects without affecting the budgets of the county, municipalities or organizations receiving the grants. This is a great example of a tax relief program that benefits all county citizens,” said Anibal Ramos, director of the Essex County Department of Economic Development, Training and Employment.

Photos Courtesy of Glen Frieson