will be making an application for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for 2013 for the purpose of creating crosswalks and making sidewalk ramps handicap accessible.
The CDBG program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the money is administered on a county level. HUD focuses on providing aid to low to moderate income citizens.
Currently, the Borough of Englishtown does not qualify for Community Development funds because it does not meet the percentage requirement of low to moderate income residents required to qualify.
Englishtown Borough Engineer Tom Harris said that Englishtown qualified 25 years ago, but the construction of new homes has brought a new demographic people to the Borough. Therefore, Englishtown cannot apply for a grant to fund larger scale projects, such as roadway and drainage improvements. However, the Borough can apply for a grant for projects that deal with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.
Englishtown Lieutenant Peter Cooke came up with the idea to install ADA compliant crosswalks at various locations:
- Tennent Ave. and Main St.
- Tennent Ave. and McDonald Way
- Tennent Ave. and Irving Place
- Tennent Ave. and Harrison Avenue
- Tennent Ave. and Victory Dr.
- Main St. and Dey St.
- Main St. and Hamilton St.
- Main St. and Center St.
- Main St. and West Dey St.
- Main St. and the entrance of Sanford Park
This project will update the handicap ramps at these crosswalks to meet the new Federal regulations, according to Harris. He also suggested that the Borough include crosswalk painting and signs associated with the crosswalks within the grant application.
“This is definitely a much needed project and it complies,” Harris said, citing the fact that two pedestrians were struck by a car while crossing the street to get into Sanford Park two years ago.
“Englishtown is one of the few towns that does have an expansive sidewalk network, not every town has that, so now people would be walking at a legitimate cross walk,” Harris said.
Englishtown has not applied for a CDBG in about five years. The application for the grant is due in June and Harris will be holding a presentation in front of the Monmouth County CDBG department, currently headed by Owen Redmond, where a board will vote to potentially approve the project.
The Englishtown Council passed a resolution permitting Harris to move forward in applying for the CDBG at their last meeting