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news release

Contact: Jim Berzok
RELEASE: May 17, 2001


DiFrancesco Announces $11 Million in
Grants to Municipalities for Lcoal Road Projects


Also Announces $2 Million In FY2001 "Centers" Grants


Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco and Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein today announced the award of $11 million in grants for local road projects throughout the state. The funds are being allocated in a second round of funding to municipalities through New Jersey Department of Transportation's (NJDOT) FY2001 Local Aid program. The grants represent discretionary allotments.

DiFrancesco and Weinstein also announced the award of $2 million in grants under the New Jersey Department of Transportation's Local Aid for Centers of Place program. The grants were also awarded for FY2001.

"Our roads are the very lifeline of communities in New Jersey," Acting Gov. DiFrancesco said. "We use them to travel, to visit relatives and friends, to enjoy leisure time with our families, and to get to and from our work. The grants announced today will ensure that our roads are safe and that we can travel more efficiently to save time and money. "

"A transportation system as complex as New Jersey=s should not only allow people to move from one part of the state to another, but it should support community objectives by helping to rebuild local roads," DiFrancesco added. "The investments we make today in preserving and enhancing our local transportation system will pay for itself and then some, especially for future generations of New Jersey residents."

Discretionary funding is awarded to those projects that are deemed critical to a municipality or county but did not rate highly enough for formula allocations announced last year.

Local Aid for Centers of Place grants are awarded for non-traditional transportation projects that advance the development agenda in municipalities designated as "urban, regional, town or village centers" under the State Development and Redevelopment Plan (SDRP).

"The Local Aid for Centers program creates an excellent opportunity for towns to use state transportation funding to advance projects that are outside the traditional concept of a transportation project, such as the creation of bikeways, restoration of historic structures or beautification of downtown business areas," Commissioner Weinstein noted.

The Local Aid for Centers program is administered through the NJDOT's Local Aid Program and is supported by the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund. Under legislation sponsored by Acting Gov. DiFrancesco in 2000, the Transportation Trust Fund was renewed and local aid funding was increased from $130 million to $150 million per year.

Weinstein also noted that municipalities can receive 75 percent of the grant once a construction contract is awarded. The remaining 25 percent is released upon completion of the project. In prior years, a municipality had to pay for the construction first, then seek reimbursement from the state.

 
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