Photo Credit: Mt Holly Township
On July 30, 2019, Mount Holly Township Mayor Jason Jones proudly announced that Mount Holly Township will be the recipient of two grants through the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to help advance downtown and neighborhood revitalization efforts. Mount Holly was one of 20 municipalities throughout the state of New Jersey to receive a Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) grant, totaling $125,000.
Additionally, the Township’s volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization Main Street Mount Holly was named one of 17 Main Street district organizations throughout the state to receive a Main Street New Jersey (MSNJ) grant, totaling $20,750. Mount Holly is one of only four municipalities throughout the state to be awarded both grants.
“This funding will further support the downtown and neighborhood revitalization efforts already underway in our community,” explained Mayor Jones. “Mount Holly has experienced quite the transformation in recent years – particularly in our Downtown district, where residents and visitors alike can now visit an array of shops, enjoy delicious eateries, breweries and bars and partake in various entertainment and special events. Any efforts to further improve these vital neighborhood spaces are positive not only for our town, but also the greater Burlington County region as a whole.”
The DCA’s NPP program provides direct financial and technical assistance to municipalities over a three- to five-year period. These grants must be used to conduct activities that strengthen each neighborhood through local planning, community participation and the building of local capacity and coordination. Eligible grant activities include community development planning, commercial retail and residential property renovations, code enforcement, historic preservation, support of community/neighborhood organizations and public facilities improvements. Each municipal grantee must show a commitment of resources from the neighborhood and municipality, as well as the support from community organizations and residents.
In Mount Holly, the NPP grant will be utilized to demolish any final vacant homes located in the town’s Gardens community, which is located within walkable distance to the town’s core Downtown Business District. The demolition of these homes is part of the town’s West Rancocas Redevelopment project, designed to help to revitalize the community, attract new residents and further support the 15 households that remain in the Gardens neighborhood. A neighborhood committee will also be formed, giving stakeholders in the West Rancocas community the opportunity to develop activities that will further engage residents and spur future redevelopment efforts. The MSNJ grant will be utilized by Main Street Mount Holly to help rehabilitate and beautify the perimeter of the corner lot at the intersection of High and Washington Streets, the site of the town’s seasonal Farmers Market which made its debut in June 2019.
The MSNJ grant program was designed to help municipalities improve the economy, appearance and image of their central business districts through the organization of local citizens and resources. Communities eligible for grant assistance were awarded funding to assist with various improvement projects, such as storefront improvement, placemaking and transformation strategies, that could be completed in a six-month period or less. Each municipal grantee must be officially designated as part of the Main Street New Jersey program to be eligible for grant assistance.
As part of this designation, each municipality receives technical support and training to assist in the restoration of their Main Streets, reestablishing them as hubs of economic and social activity.
“We have been working hard to transform Mount Holly’s Downtown District into a place where people can live, work, socialize and enjoy,” continued Mayor Jones. “On behalf of the Township and our residents, we thank the DCA and Main Street New Jersey for their continued support of our efforts. We are excited to be able to move forward with our revitalization plans for the Downtown District and see our vision become a reality.”
For more information and current updates on Mount Holly Township’s improvements initiatives and additional projects, visit the township’s website and click the “Township Projects” tab at the top of the homepage.