In last week's town council debate and in their campaign literature, my opponents complain about a lack of grants. I find this surprising because this year has been a fantastic year for Scotch Plains with regards to the amount of grant money received.
We received a grant for our police department for $100k for new backup generators. We received a $91k Union County Kids grant for the Recreation department. We received a $244k grant from the State to repave West Broad Street, which will be completed in 2015. We are about to decide whether or not to accept an $85k grant to do soil remediation work at the Frazee House property. (This money has strings attached that would preclude further development on that site).
Specifically, my challengers lament a lack of grants from the county's CDBG program (they administer federal HUD grant monies). However, Scotch Plains Senior Housing has received 2 grants from CDBG this year, $20k for new windows, and another $26k for new zone valves and thermostats. The primary challenge with CDBG funds are the federal income restrictions applied to them, that aside from the documented instances that are known at the Senior Housing, are generally not something our residents qualify for.
The other example they cite is a lack of application for Safe Routes to Schools grants for sidewalks. SRTS grants require an official plan from the School district. Our school district is working on such a plan, and when it is ready, the Township of Scotch Plains will be glad to assist in the corresponding grant applications. In the meantime, it makes no sense to use considerable township resources to apply for grants when we know some of the necessary parts of the application are not yet available.
On Tuesday, November 4th, I ask for your support at the polls for myself and my running mates Mickey Marcus, and Bo Vastine.
Councilman Llewellyn Jones