February 2, 2014 at 6:55 AM
LIVINGSTON, NJ - On Tuesday, January 28, Essex County Executive, Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. made an announcement about a $5 million grant to be divided between 15 Essex County municipalities and 35 non-profit community organizations including Livingston and West Orange. This grant will be delivered through the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG) and the Emergency Solutions Grand program (ESG)
Exactly $3,212,216 was awarded to 15 municipalities and County programs to aid in repaving roadways, improving handicap accessibility at public buildings and upgrading sidewalks, reconstruction of parks and irrigation system upgrades.
And, a total of $1,499,216 was given to non-profit community organizations for things ranging from facility renovations and vehicle purchasing to vocational training and services to benefit the frail and elderly.
Both of these programs will go toward increasing and renewing the infrastructure of the existing towns in various ways, as well as to providing much-needed financial support to a number of non-profit organizations like the YMCA in Newark and the Salvation Army in Montclair.
DiVincenzo stated, “Programs supported through the CDBG and ESG are direct investments to provide services that enhance our quality of life and help stabilize our neighborhoods by modernizing our infrastructure.”
Assemblywoman Oliver commented, “For 40 years, the CBDG program has enabled communities to target business development, social services and infrastructure improvements to aggressively support the working class and moderate to low-income families. We commend our grant recipients for continuing to provide these valuable services and quality of life upgrades in your community.”
The criterion that must be met to receive these grants is very specific and established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Also these funds will hold no impact on the County budget as well as they cannot be used as revenue in the County’s operating budget.
“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 tax relief program that benefits all County citizens,” said Lucia Guarini, Director of the Essex County Department of Economic Development, Training and Employment.
Among some of the grants that Livingston is to receive is one item for $48,980 that will be used to make improvements to Monmouth Court Community Center. Mayor Michael Rieber commented. “We’re grateful for everything we can get from the county, state, and federal governments, obviously, and we will continue to apply for more grants as needed.”
According to Rieber, “this grant, in specific, is something that the Assistant Town Manager, Russ Jones, applied for a while ago, and the town is always applying for more grant money. “
Livingston also received another grant for ARC, a non-profit that provides support for people with developmental disabilities. ARC received $7,900 for a “disabilities maintenance coordinator.”
West Orange Township also received some grant money. A total of $351,300 was awarded to the township, including money given to residential nonprofits. $10,000 was awarded to Main Street Counseling for “counseling services, and $65,000 was given to the Bethany Center for Champions for an after school program.