Last week the Christie Administration announced the approval of $507.7 million in state funds to help fund the cost of 1,538 individual school construction projects in 331 school districts throughout the state. Of the state funding $37.8 million will go to support 171 projects in 26 school districts in Monmouth County, supporting a total of $94.4 million in school construction throughout the county.
Between state and local contributions, the total project costs of the 1,538 eligible projects are estimated to exceed $1.1 billion. The state-funded grants represent at least 40 percent of eligible costs for projects in the Regular Operating Districts and address health and safety issues, student overcrowding and other critical needs. The grants are contingent on local approval of the remaining cost to school districts. Regular Operating District grants are separate from the funding for the 31 “SDA districts,” where the Schools Development Authority is responsible for financing 100 percent of eligible costs.
The Department of Education determines the selection of school projects receiving grant funds, which are administered by the Schools Development Authority. The State Department of Education received applications for more than 2,100 individual school projects.
There are 171 county school projects from 26 districts. The total cost of all projects is $94,369,731 in which the state share is $37,760,959.
The Board of Chosen Freeholders are extremely pleased to report the following schools and their districts have been awarded funding from the State in order to complete school repair projects: Atlantic Highlands, Avon Borough; Belmar; Colts Neck; Fair Haven Borough; Freehold Regional High School; Freehold Township; Hazlet; Henry Hudson Regional; Holmdel; Howell; Keyport; Little Silver Borough; Manasquan; Matawan-Aberdeen Regional; Middletown; Millstone; Oceanport Borough; Red Bank; Red Bank Regional High School; Roosevelt Borough; Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School; Tinton Falls; Wall Township; West Long Branch and Monmouth County Vo-Tech.
In other news…..Woody’s Roadside Tavern in Farmingdale was presented with a check last week as part of the Monmouth County Facade Improvement Program. On behalf of The Board of Chosen Freeholders I was on hand to award and present Chris Maltese and Rob Johnson, co-owners of Woody’s Roadside Tavern, with a check in the amount of $1,701.30 for façade improvements to their establishment. The grant was awarded under the county’s Grow Monmouth Façade Improvement Program. The program is funded through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Funding. All or parts of the 26 municipalities in Monmouth County are eligible for the grant program. The funds received by Woody’s Roadside Tavern were used for new awnings to improve the look of the restaurant.
As of this writing, there has been one other grant awarded and that went to Old Monmouth Candies in Freehold. Currently, there are over forty applications in process for approval. Applications are still being accepted and are available at www.visitmonmouth.com.
Thomas A. Arnone is Freeholder Director of The Board of Chosen Freeholders, Monmouth County