County budget introduced
County Executive Tom DeGise introduced the $304 million 2013 FY budget at the May 6 Freeholder Caucus meeting, saying that declining property values caused most of the nearly $8 million increase from the 2012 budget. Because of a state formula, increases in taxes generally fall hardest on communities that have seen a significant increase in development. This year, Weehawken, Hoboken, Secaucus, and East Newark all will see an increase in their share of the county tax burden while the remaining eight municipalities will see a slight decline.
Hudson County gets $4.3 million in state municipal aid
The Christie Administration announced last week that twelve Hudson County municipalities will share $4,314,355 in Local Aid grants to advance street, safety, and quality-of-life improvements without burdening local property taxpayers. Twelve Hudson County municipalities will receive a Municipal Aid grant worth a combined total of nearly $4.2 million. One Transportation Enhancement grant worth $118,000 million will benefit Hoboken, which also will be receiving a Municipal Aid grant. The grants are part of a package of 406 Local Aid grants worth $86.5 million announced for municipalities across the state. The bulk of the Local Aid grants will be awarded under the Municipal Aid program, with 377 grants totaling $76.2 million. Another 29 Transportation Enhancement grants for quality-of-life, bicycle, and pedestrian safety projects totaling $10.3 million were also announced. Both grant programs are competitive, with applications rated on their merits by NJDOT and other transportation officials.
“These grants enable municipalities to stretch their resources and advance important roadway projects and other safety and quality-of-life improvements that benefit all who share the road, including pedestrians and bicyclists,” said NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson. “The Christie Administration supports the Local Aid program because it helps relieve pressure on local property taxpayers.” The grants will provide resources to 382 different municipalities. In most cases the grant recipient is the municipality, but in a few instances the grant will go to a specific organization or other governmental unit advancing a project in one or more municipalities.
A total of 660 applications were submitted for this round of state-funded Municipal Aid grants. The Department encouraged municipalities to submit applications for bikeway, pedestrian safety, and streetscape projects. Six percent of the projects selected for funding represented such projects, with the remaining 94 percent going toward traditional road improvement projects. The federally funded Transportation Enhancement (TE) program supports projects that preserve and protect natural and cultural resources and promote alternatives to driving. The successful applications advance quality-of-life, bikeway and pedestrian-safety projects. A total of 149 TE grant applications were received. Under the Municipal Aid grant program, each county is apportioned a share of the total funding based on population and the number of local centerline miles. Municipalities compete for portions of their county’s share. NJDOT provides 75 percent of the grant amount when a town awards a contract and the remaining 25 percent upon completion of the project.
Sires appointed to bipartisan Freight Subcommittee
Rep. Albio Sires was selected by leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week to join 10 of his colleagues for a special subcommittee charged with identifying ways to improve our nation’s freight transportation systems. Members of the subcommittee, entitled the “Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation,” were named on Tuesday by Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), and Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall II, (D-WV). The committee will meet over a period of six months, beginning with their first scheduled hearing on April 24. “It is an honor to be selected to join my colleagues on this subcommittee,” said Congressman Sires. “Freight volumes are expected to more than double by 2040 to nearly $40 trillion annually, and in order to compete in a global economy, it’s critical that we find solutions to provide for the reliable, efficient, and safe movement of goods across our country.” Earlier this year, Congressman Sires introduced the MOVE Freight Act, which would direct the federal government to ensure the various and essential aspects of our freight network are accounted for and provide investment in freight transportation projects. “I am pleased to have the opportunity to continue bringing focus to an issue that is so vital to the health of our nation’s economy,” Sires said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues over the next six months to identify concrete, bipartisan solutions to improve our freight network.”
McCabe to speak at Ray Greaves Civic Association
Mickey McCabe, founder of McCabe Ambulance, will speak at the May 15 meeting of the Ray Greaves Civic Association in American Legion Post No. 19 at 7 p.m. The legion is located at 683 Broadway.
MFL Foundation to honor Dr. Anaka Prakash
The Madeline Fiadini LoRe Foundation for Cancer Prevention (MFL Foundation) has announced that Dr. Anaka Prakash, MD, FACG, AGAF will be the honoree at the organization’s 5th Annual Gala to be held at Puccini’s Restaurant in Jersey City at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 5, 2013. Puccini’s is located at 1064 West Side Avenue. The selection of Dr. Prakash was made in March, which was designated National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in 2000 by President Clinton and advocated for by the Colon Cancer Alliance. “Dr. Prakash is the area’s leading advocate for generating public awareness for both prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer,” said Madeline Fiadini LoRe, founder of the MFL Foundation. “His efforts have saved numerous lives, and together with the MFL Foundation, we will save scores more.” The MFL Foundation is focused on increasing awareness and funding cancer screenings to members of the area’s underserved communities, who may otherwise be denied treatment. The mission is to make cancer-prevention programs available to the community by granting access to tests and/or screenings necessary for the prevention and early detection of various forms of cancer in men and women. “The Gala is the single-most important event on the MFL Foundation calendar,” said Ms. LoRe. “This one event provides a significant portion of our funding for tests and screenings while providing a wonderful evening of entertainment with the added satisfaction of supporting a very valid need in our community.” Dinner and dancing will be the order of the evening, with a live orchestra, live auction led by a professional auctioneer, an elaborate cocktail hour, and a superb meal. Tickets to the black-tie-optional event are $160 per person and may be obtained by contacting the MFL Foundation at 605 Broadway, Bayonne, by calling (201) 437-9100, or by emailing Carol@mflfoundation.com.