SPRINGFIELD, NJ — In a public hearing before the Springfield Township Committee, Assistant Recreation Director Brendan O'Reilly laid out why the department should be able to re-apply for a Community Development Black Grant (CDBG).
According to the state of New Jersey a CDBG "provides grants and loans for community development activities that benefit persons of low and moderate income, prevent or eliminate slums and blight, and meet urgent community development needs for which no other resources are available."
Additionally, for every project, one of those three conditions must be met. As O'Reilly explained in an interivew with TAPinto, the grant application would go towards funding a component of the department's budget that has a major return for them.
"It's going toward our senior citizen bus service, their drivers salaries," O'Reilly said. "It's very important because it does pay for a portion of their salary, which helps us in other places for our budget, so [it's] very important...Like I said in the meeting, the bus service really does help with a lot of people-130 i believe I said-and they go everywhere."
Last year, the department was allocated $7,500, a number they are aiming to repeat again this year an are asking for in the grant application. All money is allocated from a singular pool of funds.
Township Adminstrator John Bussiculo agreed with O'Reilly and said that making efforts to help the seniors stay mobile and engaged through the bussing program is a worthwhile effort.
"Our seniors are a very vital part of our community," Bussiculo said. "I think we need to do eveything we can to reach out to them and make sure we do what we can to support them and help them out."
With the approval of the township committee, the recreation department will be able to begin their formal aaplication process for the grant.