On May 3rd, the Union County Chosen Board of Freeholders awarded Roselle Park a total of $80,470 through two grants.
The first was $55,000 from the Union County Infrastructure and Municipal Aid Grant. This matching grant is geared toward funding projects aimed at spurring economic development growth, making road, facility and other improvements. A matching grant means whatever amount is provided through grant money has to be matched by the recipient’s funds – in this case, 50% by the municipality.
During the March 26th municipal budget workshop, the governing body voted on an approved Resolution 111-18 which authorized the municipality to submit an application to the grant for a little under a quarter-of-a-million dollars. Three projects in order of priority were included in the resolution.
The first priority was improvements to Madison Avenue for a total anticipated project cost of $391,724.50 with half of it coming from the grant and the remaining $195,862.25 coming from the municipality.
Second on the list was improvements to the parking lot at Michael J. Mauri Park at the corner of Chestnut Street and East Grant Avenue. This project had a total budget of $127,707.50 with $63,853.75 coming from the county grant.
The last on the list was a downtown marketing study to conduct a demographic and marketing study to establish marketing materials and tools which stimulate economic growth and business attraction to Roselle Park’s downtown area – also known as the T-district – along with new development projects. This price tag of $30,000 was eventually included in the 2018 municipal capital budget under Buildings & Grounds and will be voted on later this year. If approved, these funds will come directly from local property taxpayers – not the grant.
It is expected that the $55,000 will go towards improvements to Madison Avenue with$336,724.50 to come from the municipality.
The Michael Mauri Park parking lot has been pushed off until 2019 for now.
The total amount available for the Union County Infrastructure and Municipal Aid Grant was $1.5 million with Roselle Park receiving more than just four other Union County municipalities.
Although both grant checks were presented on May 3rd at the County Freeholder’s meeting, previously, in March, $25,470 was awarded from the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund will go towards improvements to Aldene Park’s play surface under the county’s Leveling The Playing Field initiative designed to help municipalities provide inclusive playgrounds to children with disabilities.
To date, improvements to Aldene Park – most of which has come directly from Roselle Park taxpayers – have totaled $634,015.05 with approximately another estimated $52,000 which includes the new grant.