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Murphy Administration Announces $100M in Boardwalk Preservation Fund Grant Awards

Murphy Administration Announces $100M in Boardwalk Preservation Fund Grant Awards

From the state Department of Community Affairs

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Grants Awarded to 18 Municipalities to Help Strengthen Boardwalk Infrastructure 

The Murphy Administration today (Feb. 23) announced the award of $100 million in Boardwalk Preservation Fund grants to 18 municipalities (including Cape May City, North Wildwood, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Wildwood City, and Wildwood Crest) to assist them in addressing the most critical and necessary capital needs of boardwalks in their communities. Administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), the grant funding also aims to help Jersey shore communities remain vibrant tourism destinations in the long term by investing in state-of-the-art materials that increase storm resiliency and ensure longer lasting infrastructure.

“So many of us have created memories with family and friends at the boardwalks of the Jersey shore. Our boardwalks have long been a prized destination and we want to keep them that way by helping shore communities repair and maintain these wooden main streets,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “We look forward to all the vital projects that will result from our Boardwalk Preservation Fund investments. The grant awards announced today are a meaningful step in preserving the health and dynamism of these special places.”

“We recognize that boardwalks are the economic driver for many shore towns and cities. They are also incredibly expensive for local governments to maintain, repair, and strengthen,” said DCA Acting Commissioner Jacquelyn A. Suárez. “To support this significant state asset, the Murphy Administration created the Boardwalk Preservation Fund to ease the financial burden on local governments when improving their boardwalks. We are confident these grant awards will help our boardwalks thrive and continue to inspire and delight visitors for years to come.”

The Boardwalk Preservation Fund is made possible through federal funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Coronavirus State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which have been dedicated by the Governor and the Legislature to an array of economic recovery and revitalization projects across New Jersey.

New Jersey coastal counties and municipalities with existing boardwalks that sought funding for boardwalk construction, repair, and maintenance were eligible to apply. Applications were due by October 31, 2023.

Eligible projects had to meet at least one of the following criteria: boardwalk construction that adds new boardwalk components, boardwalk maintenance, boardwalk reconstruction, or repair of ancillary or appurtenant structures.

Examples of projects include replacement of old and crumbling decking along the boardwalk with resilient, longer lasting materials; replacement of deteriorating pilings and boardwalk infrastructure; improving access and safety by building ADA compliant ramps and railings; expanding an existing section of the boardwalk; and providing grant funds to businesses that need to complete upgrades to align with the proposed boardwalk construction.

Applications were scored on the clarity and detail of the project description, objectives for the funding, breakdown of phases and timelines for completing all work in compliance with ARP deadlines, demonstrated ability to meet project deadlines, and identification of other federal, state, or local funds to match grant dollars. Municipalities that have one of the highest 50 distress scores on the 2020 Municipal Revitalization Index, which is the State’s official measure of municipal distress, were not required to identify a local match.

To ensure that the Boardwalk Preservation Fund addresses the most pressing boardwalk needs along the shore, funding was prioritized to shore municipalities experiencing financial distress by ranking projects in Municipal Distress Measure order.

The following are the Boardwalk Preservation Fund grant recipients:

Grant RecipientAward Amount
Asbury Park$20,000,000
Atlantic City$20,000,000
Belmar Borough$1,504,184
Berkeley Township$448,125
Bradley Beach$4,275,000
Brigantine$1,185,838
Cape May City$6,722,552
Carteret Borough$2,417,339
Keyport Borough$800,694
Long Branch$3,249,000
North Wildwood$10,259,827
Ocean City$4,859,175
Sea Isle City$1,997,000
Seaside Heights$4,795,362
Toms River$1,018,441
Ventnor$7,110,689
Wildwood City$8,269,013
Wildwood Crest Borough$1,087,425

All grants funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024, and must be expended by the grant recipients by December 31, 2026.

DCA’s Division of Disaster Recovery and Mitigation promotes the long-term resilience of New Jersey’s communities by supporting initiatives to fortify housing, businesses, and infrastructure against severe weather events and flooding damage. The Division is also the grant manager for the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund (SFRF) and the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, allocated to New Jersey through the American Rescue Plan Act. In addition to disaster recovery and mitigation, DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including local government management and finance, affordable housing production, fire safety, building safety, community planning and development, historic preservation, and information privacy.

For more information about DCA, visit https://nj.gov/dca/.

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