BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — Belmar and Lake Como will receive state funding totaling more than $670,000 next year for road improvement projects.

The recent announcement of the 2020 Municipal Aid grants — $337, 250 for Belmar and $290,000 for Lake Como — comes nearly four months earlier than in previous years, under a new grant cycle that state officials said makes it possible for municipalities to break ground for these projects earlier in the construction season.

Knowing the amount of Municipal Aid before the new year helps a municipality better determine which projects will move forward that year, according to a press release by Gov. Phil Murphy’s office.

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Both boroughs are among 542 municipalities receiving $161.25 million in Municipal Aid grants awarded through the state Transportation Trust Fund, which is fueled by the state’s gas tax.

Belmar will use its grant for repaving 15th Avenue, and Lake Como has designated its funding for road improvements to 17th Avenue and Newman Street.

This latest round of Municipal Aid grants represents a total $127,000 increase over funding awarded in April 2019, when Belmar garnered $260,000 to complete repairs to 12th Avenue and Lake Como received $240,000 to improve 17th Avenue at Oak Street.

READ MORE: NJ Transportation Grants Totaling $500,000 to Pave Way for Road  Improvements in Belmar, Lake Como

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, with 95 percent of all towns receiving a grant this year.

The state Department of Transportation (DOT) provides 75 percent of the grant amount when a town awards a contract and the remaining 25 percent upon completion of the project.

The full list of towns and awards for 2020 released on November 11 by DOT is available on its website by clicking here.

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