PATERSON, NJ - A $95,000 grant awarded to the Paterson’s Division of Health and Human Service in 2019 to create a communicable disease outbreak strike team, and therefore strength the city’s capacity to investigate communicable diseases by funding new tech software and allowing for more staff to be available when responding to outbreaks in the region, was worth well more than the funding itself in efforts to combat COVID-19 through a nationally recognized contact tracing operation.

And this, Mayor Andre Sayegh outlined in a statement Monday, was in addition to almost $12 million in grant funding secured by his Administration in 2020. “Each grant secured by the City of Paterson is paramount in our overall infrastructure,” Sayegh said. “Grant funding alleviates the burden on the general operating budget and allows us to pursue our priorities: public safety, public health and public administration.”

Grants listed in the statement included a $500,000 award from the Department of Transportation to bring streetscaping to the busy 21st Avenue business district. The dollars, Mayor Andre Sayegh announced with Sixth Ward Councilman Al Abdelaziz, will bring further vitality to the area that has recently been transformed through the introduction of a one-way traffic system and an additional 65 angled parking spaces.

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Making families healthier in their homes, through more than $3.7 million in funding by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA), will help eliminate lead hazards in the homes of low-income Paterson families with children, while an $80,000 grant through the state’s Neighborhood Preservation Program will help bring renewed health to the Vreeland Avenue corridor. 

A number of agencies including St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Department of Human Services, and the Health Coalition of Passaic County, are working more closely together in a battle against opioid abuse through the support of the $600,000 Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-based Program by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

More than $734,000 in funding through the NJ State Library, Library Construction Bond Act, just one of 38 awards in the state, will bring renovations to the Children’s Department and the Community Literacy Center at the Paterson Library, as well as roof replacement and repairs to existing retaining walls and the installation and modification of an ADA compliant elevator.

Finally, in response to concerns raised by area residents of drug use and other illicit activity in the area, city officials welcomed the award of a $50,000 grant from the NJ Historic Trust to rehabilitate and install new fencing at the former Allied Textile Printers (ATP) site. 

“Reaching this level of grant funding is a testament to the type of organization Mayor Andre Sayegh has brought to Paterson City Hall,” Ed Farmer, CEO of Millennium Strategies, the city’s grant writing firm said when asked about the awards. “It takes both vision and a coordinated effort to be successful, and in regard to these grants it is great to see the Administration and Paterson City Council working together to make Paterson better.”

“When we talk about partnerships, this is what we mean,” Mayor Andre Sayegh said. “Revitalizing Paterson requires a total team approach, and we are almost $12 million closer to our goal.”

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