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Grant Funds Awarded for Various Township Groups

Block grants distribute funds to programs that serve seniors, disabled or low-income individuals.

The Township Council approved recommendations from the Housing and Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee to award grants to various community projects at Tuesday's meeting.  Each year the township receives money from the federal government for a Community Block Grant and the committee makes recommendations on which local institutions receive funding based on their applications.  

In order to receive funding, the application needs to provide a service for seniors, disabled or low-income individuals.  The total grant amount received was $88,200. The committee received about $116,000 in funding requests, but they had to choose the requests that would have the greatest impact.  

Committee chairwoman Ellen Gambatese and Affordable Housing Officer Arlyne DeSena presented a list of township groups that will receive grant funding for the upcoming year.

"The requests that were approved effect the quality of life for more people than the requests that were rejected," Gambatese said.  

The Oak Woods Senior Residence will receive $8,046 for replacement of 74 room air conditioners and $6,900 to replace a concrete dumpster pad and apron, as well as curb replacement.

The Pioneer Recreation Program, which provides recreational opportunities for adults with developmental or physical disabilities, will receive $14,500. Charleston Place will receive $2,400 for a part-time assistant to help elderly residents with various tasks.

The South Brunswick Community Development Corporation Congregate Housing Services Program will receive $5,400.  These funds go towards providing meals to the frail and elderly low income seniors at both Oak Woods and Charleston Place.

A $4,019 grant will be awarded for a Housing Rehabilitation Coordinator to conduct outreach meetings with clients and assist the Block Grant Committee by preparing the annual grant package.  

A $20,000 grant will be awarded to the Citizens for Independent Living to support their programs for adults with developmental disabilities.  A $20,000 grant will also go to provide a social worker for township senior citizens.

The South Brunswick Food Pantry will receive a $6,935 grant for a part time assistant to maintain and organize the flow of goods throughout the year.

"A tremendous amount of work goes into deciding who gets what for these grants," said Councilman Joseph Camarota during Tuesday's meeting.  "That is not a job I would want and I applaud the committee for their hard work."

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