MANCHESTER – Summit Park needs some updates.
Manchester Township is seeking a community development block grant to replace old sidewalk and handicap ramps at Summit Park, a neighborhood off Route 37 East by the Toms River and Lakehurst borders. The neighborhood has about 140 homes built in the 1960s.
Summit Park is one of the few places within the township that has sidewalks and curbs, many of which have seen upgrades through the years, specifically in 1995, 2002 and 2009, Manchester official Al Yodakis told The Manchester Times.
Yodakis, the director of public works, said the township is requesting a $40,000 Community Development Block Grant to make those upgrades.
“…[S]ome sections are still quite old and have deteriorated,” he said.
Federally, CDBGs are provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Municipalities not eligible for grants or loans directly through HUD can apply through the state.
The township will be applying for the grants through Ocean County.
The NJ Recovery and Reinvestment web page, which details CDBGs, explains that funds can be used for “public facilities, community revitalization, housing rehabilitation and innovative development leveraging private investments.”
While urban areas get money directly from the federal government, other municipalities must go through a competitive bid process. “Applications that meet the basic requirements of the program will be scored based on municipal distress, readiness to proceed, balance ratio (the remaining balance of grant awards received in a funding category over a three-year period and including all open grants), and past performance,” the program website said.
Grants are awarded in September. If the township does get the grant money, work will begin in the fall or next spring or summer, Yodakis said. While it’s unknown at this point, the work may be contracted out, he added.
The township has benefitted from CDBG in the past as well. The Cheer Barn, the centerpiece of Pop Warner Football Complex off Route 571, will have ventilation installed with CDBG money, as was reported by The Manchester Times back in January.
“Refurbishing the cheer barn will be a huge benefit to AYF and the township. We now have a place to run programs,” Mayor Kenneth Palmer said in January. “It’s definitely a win for the entire town.”
The township was able to install the playground at Harry Wright Lake through CDBGs. Schoolhouse Road and Route 530 sidewalks were also installed with that grant money.