WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Township of West Orange was among 13 Essex County municipalities and 36 non-profit community organizations that received part of a total of approximately $5 million from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program this week. The total amount presented to West Orange was $440,000.

According to Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr., who presented a $25,000 check to the Main Street Counseling Center and a $380,000 check to the township, government-sponsored projects in West Orange will include the accessible mental health program at the counseling center; the Bethany Center for Champions – Outreach for At-Risk Youth; and roadway improvements to Chestnut Street, Samuel Street and Ridge Avenue.

Pictured above with DiVincenzo are Essex County Director of Economic Development, Training and Employment Anibal Ramos, Jr.; Steve Margeotes from the Main Street Counseling Center; James Williams from the Township of West Orange; and Essex County Public Information Director Anthony Puglisi, who also serves as Essex County Liaison to West Orange.

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The CDBG and ESG programs are funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the Essex County Division of Housing and Community Development.

“Programs supported through the CDBG and ESG programs are direct investments to provide services that enhance our quality of life and help stabilize our neighborhoods by modernizing our infrastructure and supporting programs that assist vulnerable populations,” said DiVincenzo. “These federal grants enable us to upgrade our sidewalks and roads, enhance handicap access, address mental health needs, support food pantries, and stimulate the overall development in our communities.”

A total of $5,037,376 was allocated by the Federal Government to Essex County through the CDBG and ESG programs. During the program, it was announced that $4,694,220 was being awarded today while another $343,156 would be awarded later in the year.

“The beauty of the CDBG and ESG programs is their ability to fund a broad array of projects without affecting the budgets of the County, municipalities or organizations receiving the grants,” said Anibal Ramos, Director of the Essex County Department of Economic Development, Training and Employment. “This is a great example of a tax relief program that benefits all County citizens.”

Municipalities and non-profit organizations must meet specific criteria established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be eligible for grant funding. These funds have no impact on the county budget and cannot be used as revenue in the county’s operating budget.