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Resource Spotlight: Division of Local Aid and Economic Development

Once a SRTS grant has been awarded, Local Aid staff works with the recipient to oversee its performance in managing the project.  Local Aid project managers in the districts monitor the recipients’ compliance with federal, state, and local requirements governing the project development, award, progress, and completion.

 

Tips and strategies from Local Aid that SRTS applicants should know

 

Though future SRTS funding cycles have yet to be determined, division staff offered the following tips for potential SRTS applicants:

  1. Maintain good performance, a major factor in the rating score developed during the application evaluation.  Performance, in this case, means timely authorization, award, and closeout of prior grant-funded projects.
  1. Apply early.  The new SAGE online application system makes applying for a project easier with virtually no paper to submit to Local Aid.  However, the earlier an application starts, the more time the applicants have to provide required documents.
  1. Contact your Local Aid district office whenever necessary for assistance.
  1. Applications should be complete at the time of submittal; incomplete applications will be rejected.

 

Local Aid now and into the future

 

According to Local Aid managers, work on improving the federal aid process is underway.  Staffing levels have been described as “less than ideal”, but the current staff is working closely with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to continuously improve the project delivery and supervision of federal aid programs.  Local Aid has taken steps whenever possible to simplify some of the federal processes for the SRTS grant recipients.  For example, a blanket environmental document was established for all awarded non-infrastructure projects for the first year of the SRTS program.  This has saved time for the recipients in the authorization phase for these projects.

 

NJDOT’s goals for the future of Local Aid include “moving towards improved and expedient service for grant recipients while streamlining the project delivery process.” Local Aid has already taken a giant step toward this goal by moving to the SAGE interactive online application.  Division staff noted that “with this new interactive process, both the recipient of the funds and the Local Aid project manager can monitor the progress of

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