(The Center Square) – New Jersey officials are doling out more than $161.2 million in taxpayer money in grants to 541 municipalities across the Garden State to help with safety and “quality-of-life improvements.”
A total of 547 municipalities submitted 625 applications by July 1 for $363 million in fiscal 2022 competitive Municipal Aid grants before officials whittled it down to $161.2 million. According to a news release, New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) staff and an independent panel of New Jersey municipal engineers reviewed the submissions.
In a Tuesday announcement, NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said the grants will help municipalities “make important safety, infrastructure, and quality-of-life improvements without burdening local property taxpayers.”
The state awarded grants in seven categories, ranging from roadway preservation to pedestrian safety.
Officials credit the 2016 Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) renewal for making it possible to award $161.25 million in grants annually. Officials said that is more than double the nearly $78.8 million available before the TTF renewal.
Additionally, officials said the state has increased the number of municipalities receiving grants from about 370 annually to 541 municipalities this year.
Of the $161.2 million awarded, $10 million went to municipalities qualifying for Urban Aid under state law. According to an announcement, the Department of Community Affairs determined the amounts awarded.