BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — Belmar and Lake Como will get a total of $500,000 in state funding this year for road improvement projects.
Both boroughs are among 537 municipalities receiving $161.25 million in Municipal Aid grants awarded through the state Transportation Trust Fund. Monies generated through the controversial gas tax hike signed into law by then-Gov. Chris Christie in 2016 are keeping those coffers filled. In two years since taking effect, the tax has climbed to 41.4 cents per gallon, making it the fifth-highest gas tax in the country.
Belmar’s $260,000 grant will be earmarked once again for improvements to 12th Avenue. This is the third consecutive year that the borough has chosen 12th Avenue to be the beneficiary of these grants — for a total of nearly $867,000 in road improvements. The long-awaited project work is expected to get under way between D Street and Route 35 this summer.
After Lake Como was among 27 communities that did not receive funding in 2018, it will use this year’s $240,000 allotment to improve 17th Avenue at Oak Street,
Legislators in the 30th District, which include Belmar and Lake Como, applauded the news that the 12 Monmouth County municipalities in its district will receive more than $3 million in state funding.
“Securing this state funding allows these important projects to move forward without placing the cost entirely on local property taxpayers,” said Assemblyman Sean Kean (R-Monmouth/Ocean).
As the former mayor of Wall, Assemblyman Edward “Ned” Thomson (R-Monmouth/Ocean) said, “I have seen firsthand how maintaining and repairing our infrastructure puts a tremendous strain on municipal budgets. These grants are incredibly valuable because they help towns improve roads without requiring property taxpayers pick up the entire burden for these often costly projects.”
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.
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 2019 released on April 5 by the N.J. Department of Transportation (DOT) is available on its website by clicking here.
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