PLAINFIELD, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy announced Tuesday that 96 percent of New Jersey municipalities will receive Municipal Aid grant awards, totaling $161.25 million for fiscal year 2020, of which Plainfield will be awarded $531,748. These are the first awards being made under the new Municipal Aid grant cycle that better aligns with the state’s construction season and municipal budget cycles.
A total of 542 cities and towns across the state are receiving grants to advance road, bridge, safety, and quality-of-life improvements, continuing the Department of Transportation’s Commitment to Communities initiative, according to a press release issued by Gov. Murphy’s office.
Union County municipalities will receive $8.319 million. Plainfield will use its funds for roadway preservation improvements for Prospect Avenue.
There were 545 awards to 542 municipalities. Click here to see list of FY20 grants.
Under the Municipal Aid 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 awards a contract and the remaining 25 percent upon completion of the project. Of the $161.25 million, there is $10 million allotted for municipalities qualifying for urban aid under state law, with the amounts determined by the Department of Community Affairs.
In past years, applications were due to NJDOT by October. By accelerating the process, applications for Municipal Aid grants this year were submitted to the Department by July 2019. They were judiciously reviewed this summer so the announcement could be made by November 30, according to the release.
There are seven project categories within the Municipal Aid program eligible for funding: roadway preservation, roadway safety, quality of life, mobility, bikeway, pedestrian safety, and bridge preservation. Past performance in connection with timely award of projects and construction close-out factor were part of the evaluation of the proposals. When evaluating applications, NJDOT also verifies if the municipality has adopted Complete Streets policies. Complete Streets policies, establishes guidelines that require consideration be given to pedestrians and bicyclists when local transportation projects are being planned, designed, and built.