Today County Executive Brian M. Hughes and County Commissioner Chair Nina D. Melker together announced that the County will set aside $3 million from its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation to assist Mercer municipalities with programs and services aimed at older adults, veterans, and people with disabilities.
“Commissioner Melker and I are pleased to further support our 12 towns, and these funds for the municipalities will go a long way toward supporting our residents in need,” Hughes said at a news conference at the Hopewell Valley Golf Club, now part of Mercer County Parks.
“This set-aside grant program to provide additional funds directly to our local municipalities is a win for all of our residents and taxpayers here in Mercer County,” Melker added
Specifically, the set-aside must be used to support, create or augment municipal programs and services in the areas of health, social services and transportation. The program will be administered by GrantWorks, the firm managing the county ARPA allocation, which provides ARPA program compliance, documentation management and reporting.
Under the federal ARPA, Mercer County received $71.25 million in fiscal recovery funds intended to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As decided through a collaborative process, Mercer County plans to distribute our allocation in such a way to ensure we touch as many of our residents as possible, especially those most disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the County Executive added.
“The collaboration between the County Administration, the Commissioner Board and our local elected leaders is a perfect example how together we can work diligently in the best interests of our residents,” said Melker.
Among the County programs under development are a new grant assistance program for small businesses; more transportation opportunities to job sites; and expungement services to give those who are eligible a fresh start. The county is also creating a more robust health department in response to numerous public health challenges.
“Commissioner Melker and I recognize that meaningful and effective change can only occur when we work together, and we are excited to hear from the mayors about projects, programs and solutions that will strengthen our communities,” Hughes said.
Among those in attendance were Hopewell Borough Mayor Paul Anzano, Hopewell Township Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning, and County Commissioners Lucylle Walter, Terrance Stokes, and Samuel Frisby.
Representing the Disability and Disability Rights community, participants included Steve Cook, staff and clients from ARC Mercer, from the Veterans Community, Larry Rosenthal of the Jewish War Veterans of New Jersey, and Luddie Austin, FVW; and members of the aging community.
In addition to the Mercer County ARPA allocation, municipalities received the following in federal ARPA funds:
East Windsor: $2,680,560
Hopewell Borough: $187,230
Hopewell Township: $1,741,165
West Windsor: $2.740,187
Submitted by Mercer County. Edited 10/26 at 7:38 am to add quotes from Commissioner Nina Melker
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