ROSELLE/ROSELLE PARK, NJ - As part of the second annual infrastructure awards by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, 21 municipalities received a grant to help fund projects aimed at spurring economic development growth and street improvements. 

Roselle Mayor Christine Dansereau and Roselle Park Mayor Carl Hokanson were presented with checks in the amount of $50,000 for each town for improvements to East Second Avenue in Roselle and Larch street in Roselle Park. 

The matching grant initiative makes available approximately $1.5 million to Union County’s 21 municipalities, assisting them to accomplish tasks undertaken in calendar year 2016. The funding for the grant is provided through the proceeds from the sale of Runnells Specialized Hospital in 2014.

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Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen had asked that municipalities focus on street improvements, given the toll on local roads over the past several winters. As a result, 20 of 21 municipalities responding will use their award to make road improvements, many of which are repaving.

“The end result of several bad winters and tough budgets during a time of shrinking state and federal funding have placed a strain on local roads,” said Bergen. “With this in mind, our goal is to prioritize road projects, and our municipal partners responded with great interest in making these improvements.”

“Union County is a commuter County, and transportation—including our local roadways—is at the heart of this network,” said Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski. “Better roads not only ensure the safer flow of traffic with less stress on vehicles, but also the smoother flow of commerce, which is essential to the economic well-being of the County.”

Other projects awarded in the county were for roadway improvements to three local roads in Berkeley Heights, Westfield along with Avenue Streetscape project in Clark,  MacLennan Place Roadway improvements in Fanwood, Center Street milling project in Garwood, West Henry Street improvements in Linden, resurfacing on East Second Street in Plainfield, and the 2016 Union Township Road Rehab project. 

This year’s Fiscal Committee is chaired by Freeholder Alexander Mirabella, and includes Freeholders Hudak, Bette Jane Kowalski, and Vernell Wright.