BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — Belmar and Lake Como will receive a total of $430,000 in state Municipal Aid grants for road improvement projects.

While Belmar will utilize its $185,000 in funding for repairs to 15th Avenue, Lake Como’s $245,000 grant will fund ongoing road improvements on 17th Avenue.

Both municipalities are among 534 in the state sharing $161 million in Municipal Aid grants awarded for 2021 through the Transportation Trust Fund, which is fueled by New Jersey’s per-gallon gas tax to pay for road, bridge and mass-transit projects across the state.

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In 2020, Belmar received a $337,250 Municipal Aid grant for road improvements to 15th Avenue — a project that will soon get under way with that funding. At its November 4 meeting, the borough council approved a $353,333 contract with Fernandes Construction Co. of Monroe for road paving and related work.

In addition, the governing body introduced a $300,000 bond ordinance to replace a water main along 15th Avenue from East Railroad Avenue to D Street. A public hearing and final vote on the measure is expected at its December 1 meeting.

In Lake Como, road work was completed this spring on 17th Avenue from Oak Terrace to Main Street with a $240,000 Municipal Aid grant awarded in 2019. The borough also received a $290,000 grant in 2020 for improvements to 17th Avenue and Newman Street.

The competitive Municipal Aid grant program for 2021 attracted 635 applications from 549 different municipalities with a total of $342 million requested, according to state officials. The $116.25 million awarded this year is unchanged from 2020.

Project applications were evaluated and rated on their merits by N.J. Department of Transportation staff and reviewed by an independent panel of New Jersey municipal engineers.

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, which for Monmouth County totaled nearly $12.9 million in 2021.

DOT provides 75 percent of the grant amount when a town awards a contract and the remaining 25 percent upon completion of the project.

Click here for the breakdown of 2021 Municipal Aid grant recipients by county and town.

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