ROXBURY, NJ – The state last month turned down a request by Roxbury for a grant to install curbs and sidewalks on Main Street in Succasunna, but the rejection doesn’t mean the project is dead.
In a Dec. 21 letter to the township, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) said it was not going to give Roxbury the Local Aid Infrastructure Funds grant the town wanted. Roxbury sought about $360,000 when it filed the grant application in April 2016, Township Engineer Michael Kobylarz said.
The township hoped to use the money to install on the south side of Main Street curbs and sidewalks similar to those recently installed on the north side of the street as part of the so-called “streetscaping” effort, said Kobylarz.
Michael Russo, director of the DOT Division of Local Aid and Economic Development, sent the rejection letter. “Many of our Local Aid funding programs are very competitive and need far exceeds available funds,” he wrote. “After careful consideration, a decision has been made to not fund the project at this time.”
However, Kobylarz said Roxbury has an application pending for a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant, something separate from the Local Aid grant the township didn’t get. Roxbury is seeking $950,000 from the TAP grant program, enough to do the work mentioned in the Local Aid grant and a whole lot more.
“The TAP … is for a complete project which includes not only new curbs and sidewalks, but also decorative streetlights, conduit and electric services for those lights on the southerly side and to complete the decorative lighting on the northerly side,” Kobylarz said.
As described in October, the project funded by the TAP money would also include the painting of a bicycle lane on Main Street all the way from Black River Park to Commerce Boulevard and on Commerce Boulevard to Route 46.
Kobylarz said he expects to find out “in the first half of this year” whether Roxbury is getting the TAP program grant. He said he doubted the township would have received both grants, so not being approved for the Local Aid money isn’t such a bad thing.