SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — South Orange will receive $300,000 from the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Fiscal Year 2019 Municipal Aid Program for improvements to Grove Road.
“NJDOT’s Municipal Aid Program is a very competitive program. This year the department received 681 applications requesting more than $337.9 million. There is $161.25 million available in funds from the Transportation Trust Fund supported by the state gas tax,” NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti wrote in a March 25 letter to the village. “Again, thank you for your support of this program and good luck with your project.”
According to the village, the purpose of the proposed project is to improve the drainage, aesthetics and driveability of the roadway while decreasing maintenance issues. The village proposes to replace the existing concrete curb with new granite block curbing; the existing curbs are no longer uniform or maintained, having been neglected for many years.
In addition, the roadway requires resurfacing. The surface course of the road consists of no more than two inches of asphalt above an asphalt paver subsurface. The surface course is cracked and spalling. There are also areas with large potholes.
As a result of replacing the existing asphalt surface with a two-inch surface course lined with granite block curbing, the village can create a new driving surface while maintaining the historic nature of the area for many years to come.
In an April 3 Facebook post, village President Sheena Collum explained what this means for taxpayers.
“$300,000 is roughly a tax point so hypothetically speaking, we just introduced our municipal budget with a 1.9973-percent increase — I told you I’d keep it below 2 percent. If we were to put Grove Road into operating expenses — it’s normally in capital expenses through bonding, I’m just drawing a comparison — your tax increase would be 3 percent as opposed to 2 percent and the average household would pay $58.35 more to do this project.”