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Public Information » E-Newsletter » E-Newsletter May 09

New Era, New Span --- Bridge Commission's E-Newsletter --- May 2009


Commission’s Grant Assistance Secures $5 Million for Burlco Municipalities

Burlco Agency Continues Tax-Saving Measures

At the May meeting of the Burlington County Bridge Commission, Commissioners announced that $3.67 million dollars in federal funds recently awarded to Willingboro and Burlington City resulted from grant applications prepared on behalf of the towns by the Commission. 

Continued from e-mail below

“Through the Bridge Commission’s work with Community Grants, Planning, and Housing (CGP&H), we have brought more than $5.2 million to cash-strapped towns in Burlington County,” said Commission Chairman John B. Comegno II. “This is just the latest success from our aggressive plan to garner all the dollars available for municipalities,” he added.
Willingboro and Burlington City were awarded $2 million and $1.67 million, respectively, from grant applications prepared by CGP&H for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The federal program is intended to acquire, restore, and rehabilitate homes in neighborhoods threatened by crime and blight and remarket them to low-income families. Funds are part of the $700 billion Federal bailout that is targeted to aid communities in addressing foreclosures; towns can receive $2.5 million per neighborhood, up to the max. 
Deputy Mayor of Willingboro Township, Paul L. Stephenson, Ed.D., applauded the successful partnership: “We appreciate the exemplary work of the Burlington County Bridge Commission to make this happen.”
Last December the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders asked the Commission to prepare grant applications on behalf of Burlco towns. “We directed staff to make it a priority to help towns get the funds they are entitled to—and desperately need,” said Vice-Chairwoman Priscilla B. Anderson.
Additional grants being pursued by CGP&H, as per Commission direction, include:
  • COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP), which provides funding for hiring and rehiring of additional career law enforcement officers. Applications have been submitted for 4 municipalities.
  • NJ Board of Public Utilities Energy Audit Program, a state incentive program which will reimburse municipal and county governments costs of performing energy audits of their facilities. Applications are in process on behalf of the Bridge Commission and 8 municipalities.
  • The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, a program which funds innovative programs to address drug and violent crime issues and improve New Jersey’s criminal justice system. Applications are in process on behalf of 17 municipalities.
  • Centers of Place, which provides funds to support non-traditional transportation improvements that advance municipal growth management objectives. Applications are in process on behalf of 2 municipalities.
  • NJ Department of Transportation’s Transportation Enhancement Program, which is designed to foster more livable communities, preserve and protect environmental and cultural resources, and to promote alternative modes of transportation. Applications are in process on behalf of 2 municipalities.
  • NJ Department of Transportation Bikeways, which provides funds to promote bicycling as an alternate mode of transportation (e.g., constructing additional dedicated bike paths). Applications are in process on behalf of 2 municipalities.
  • NJ Department of Transportation Safe Streets to Transit, which provides funding to improve access to transit facilities and all nodes of public transportation and improve safety.  Applications are in process on behalf of 1 municipality.
  • Community Grants, Planning and Housing (CGP&H) has expertise in soliciting county, state, federal, and private sector grant and low-interest loan programs.
Bridge Commissioners remain impressed with CGP&H’s return on investment—for every dollar spent, $22 in grants were awarded. Commissioner Troy E. Singleton said, “By partnering with CGP&H, the Commission is investing in our towns, saving our taxpayers millions of dollars. And with that rate of return, it’s money very well spent.” 

Added Chairman Comegno, “Now more than ever, our taxpayers need the relief this kind of shared service brings.” 

*    *    *

The Burlington County Bridge Commission manages the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges, and through its economic development and improvement authority powers, assists Burlington County municipalities in economic development and community revitalization projects and extends pooled financing options to local governments and nonprofits in Burlington County. These initiatives have resulted in a savings of approximately $13 million dollars.


Upcoming Meeting Features 6 County Shared Services Coordinators

A panel of six Shared Services Coordinators from 6 counties throughout New Jersey will talk about shared services programs underway throughout the state at the Burlington County Shared Services Forum to be held May 26th from 12 noon to 2 PM at the Westampton Township Municipal Complex. Panelists will talk about their successes, their method of operation, and the challenges they and program participants face when starting and, subsequently, maintaining these partnerships.

Continued from e-mail below

This general membership meeting of the Burlington County Shared Services Forum is a great opportunity for elected and appointed officials to hear about innovative solutions created through the institution of shared services programs and discuss the costs, benefits, difficulties and potential savings generated as a result of share arrangements. Continuing education credits may be available; check our website for more information and registration form. For questions, contact Gary LaVenia at (856) 829-1900, ext. 242, glavenia@bcbridges.org.

Wine-Tasting Fundraiser at Palmyra Cove Nature Park Friday, May 15th

It's not too late to sign up for tonight's event!

Come to the wine-tasting event that will introduce you to the Palmyra Cove Nature Park as well as unusual wines from around the world paired with delicious cheeses!  All to support Environmental Education Programs and Activities at PCNP.

Tickets are only $35 per person, even at the door tonight!  For more information, contact Pam Reid, (856) 829-1900, ext. 270, preid@bcbridges.org.  

Continued from e-mail below

Seen at PCNP's Annual Bird Quest -- A Bald Eagle & an Oprey!

The results? Eighty-seven individual species of birds were observed throughout the drizzly day. Let's thank the weather, to some extent, for this success. The overcast day allowed for a continual dawn-effect, with birds singing throughout the morning, as well as preening themselves whenever the rain stopped. This made them an easy target to catch sight of through binoculars. Participants grouped into teams for this lighthearted competition and teachers received Professional Development credits for participation.

A few interesting species observed were: American Bittern and Caspian Tern at Palmyra Cove; Bonapart's Gull at Amico Island; White-breasted Nuthatch in Tabernace, Eastern Bluebird and Bobolink at Brightview Farm and Hooded Warbler at Hawkin Road. (Also visited were Bear Swamp, Chairville Elementary School, Kirby's Mill, and Harrington Middle School.) The number of species found per group ranged from 40 to 47. The winning team was the Palmyra Pied-bills. Other teams participating were Burlington Township Raptops, Olson Owls, and Horn Harriers. But the most exciting sightings of the day were a Bald Eagle and an Osprey at PCNP!


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