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Public Information » E-Newsletter » E-Newsletter Feb 12

New Era, New Span --- Bridge Commission's E-Newsletter --- February 2012


Use it or Lose it:
Shared Service Will Help Municipalities Salvage $14.7 Million in Valuable Affordable Housing Funds


Towns in Burlington County stand to lose millions—$14.7 million—in affordable housing trust fund dollars, if they fail to commit those funds by July 17, 2012.  The latest shared service initiative by the Burlington County Freeholders and the Burlington County Bridge Commission will help Burlco municipalities determine if they have trust fund dollars at risk and if so, how to commit those funds before they are forced to forfeit them. 

Continued from email below

“Most towns aren’t aware of this amendment to the Fair Housing Act and if they are, they’re not sure whether the change will even affect them,” said John Comegno, Chairman of the Bridge Commission.  “This shared service initiative will not only make that determination, it will take towns to the next step of actually saving those dollars.”

“When we learned about the potential loss for already struggling Burlco municipalities, we scrambled to find a way to help,” Freeholder-Director Bruce Garganio added.  “This service, offered at no charge, stands to save our taxpayers millions of dollars.”

Under an amendment to the Fair Housing Act, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has the authority to require municipalities to forfeit any trust funds which were deposited on or before July 17, 2008 and which are not encumbered by July 17, 2012.  DCA has indicated that municipalities must have Spending Plan approval from DCA and must have committed trust funds to implement approved activities. 

According to data posted on the DCA website, Burlco towns stand to lose $14,764,264 in affordable housing trust fund dollars. 

Funding commitments may include:
• Executed developer agreements;
• Executed contracts with providers or program administrators;
• Rehabilitation Programs;
• Affordability Assistance Programs;
• Implemented affordable housing programs; or
• The purchase of sites for municipally sponsored construction.
This shared service initiative can help municipalities determine if they have trust fund dollars at risk, review and update their existing spending plan, draft a new spending plan, and identify appropriate cost-effective ways to commit their trust funds dollars.

Community Grants, Planning & Housing will provide the service, which is sponsored by the Bridge Commission and offered free to Burlco municipalities. CGP&H already has assisted municipalities in the County in obtaining over $14.9 Million in grant monies at no cost to the taxpayers. 
To learn more about their affordable housing trust fund dollars and ultimately avoid losing funds, municipalities should contact Dave Gerkens of CGP&H at 609-371-1937 ext. 23 or dave@cgph.net.

“Towns have nothing to lose by inquiring, but they stand to lose plenty if they do nothing,” Garganio added.





Commissioner Singleton Sworn in for Second Three-Year Term on Bridge Commission

Having been reappointed by the Freeholders on February 8, Commissioner Troy Singleton was sworn in to his second three-year term as Burlington County Bridge Commissioner at the Commission’s February 14th’s meeting.  Chairman John Comegno administered the Oath of Allegiance and later congratulated Singleton, adding “You put people before politics. It’s a privilege to serve with you.”  Vice-Chairman James Fattorini echoed those words, applauding Singleton for his work on the Commission that preceded Fattorini’s tenure: “The good things we’re doing with Economic Development…speaks volumes of you and this agency.  I’m proud to have you here and glad to have you as part of the team.” 


Hands-on Photography Classes at PCNP

Two classes will be held this Saturday, February 18th at PCNP, offered by local 
photographer Christian Hochenberger.
“PhotoShop for Photographers,” offered from 10 AM to 12 noon, will focus on the photo editing capabilities of Adobe PhotoShop and how to get the most from this powerful software package.  “Teen Photography” is designed for teens who want to learn more about digital photography but have never had the opportunity to take a class before.  The basics of digital photography and overall technique will be the focus of this class to be held from 1 PM to 3 PM.

Continued from email below

Can’t make classes this weekend?  Sign up for three classes in March:

March 3rd, 10 AM to 12 noon:  Intro to Digital Photography, Part 1 — This class will cover the basics of digital photography equipment composition and overall technique.  It is for the beginner who has just started taking pictures and wants to learn more but needs a little help with the technology learning curve.

March 10, 10 AM to 12 noon:  Intro to Digital Photography, Part 2 — This class will pick up where Part 1 left off.  It will include a review of some of the compositional techniques learned in the first class and apply them in a field shoot. 

March 10, 1 PM to 3 PM:  Your Digital SLR Camera Simplified — This class will explore the digital SLR camera and go in-depth into your camera’s manual aperture and shutter priority settings.  It will also address when and how to use the camera’s priority setting for your creative control. 

All classes are $50 per person. For more information or to register, visit www.christianhphotography.com.

The Caterpillars are Back!

One of PCNP’s most popular programs, Cove Caterpillars, will be back this Spring!  Classes for preschool children ages 2 to 5 will start Monday, March 5th and continue through May 8th.  Three class times will be offered: Monday, 10 AM to 11 AM; Monday, 1 PM to 2 PM; Tuesday, 10 AM to 11 AM.  A different nature-themed topic will be explored each week.  The program is FREE for PCNP Members, $5 per week per child for non-members.  Registration prior to the beginning of class is required.  For information about Cove Caterpillars or how to become a PCNP member, contact Barbara Farnsworth, 856-829-1900, ext. 270, or bfarnsworth@bcbridges.org.




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