Transitional Aid awards for five towns announced

TRENTON – Addressing one of the lingering issues of the budget battles last summer, Gov. Chris Christie today announced the Transitional Aid awards for 5 municipalities operating on a fiscal year budget: Camden City, Lawnside Borough, Paterson City, Trenton City, and Union City.

Bridgeton had applied, but was not awarded aid because of its improved financial condition.

Camden received the largest award: $61.4 million, and Lawnside the smallest amount, $700,000.

However, as he previously had made clear, Christie reiterated that the awards are contingent on the Legislature advancing his proposal to restore oversight and reporting requirements.

 “We’ve shown that our approach of holding towns and cities accountable for the transitional aid they receive and requiring them to implement fiscal and management reforms is working, as evidenced by the fact that fewer municipalities need assistance this year than last year,” said Christie in a release. “I encourage the Legislature to quickly approval my proposal to restore funding for transitional aid with state oversight so we can continue to assist these municipalities with responsible spending and budgeting practices.”

A list of the fiscal year recipients, their requested amounts, and aid awards can be viewed at http://www.nj.gov/dca/lgs/muniaid/11_aid/11tran_aid/2011trans_aid.shtm on the DCA website. For comparison, a list of last year’s fiscal year recipients can be viewed at http://www.nj.gov/dca/lgs/muniaid/10_aid/cy2010_transitional_aid_to_localities.htm.

The program required applicants to reduce their labor costs, modify the services they provide, document efforts to maximize revenues, and eliminate all non-essential spending as a precondition to receiving aid. Applicants also had to prove that despite meaningful cost reductions and services changes, they needed Transitional Aid to avoid a significant increase in their property tax rate.

The governor had initially vetoed Transitional Aid from the Democratic-passed budget, then said he would restore Aid so long as the lawmakers passed legislation ensuring there would be money to fund oversight of the program.

The Transitional Aid program is implemented through the Division of Local Government Services, which works with local governments throughout the state to ensure their fiscal integrity and to support their efforts to comply with state laws and regulations.

Transitional Aid Awards for Fiscal Year Budget Municipalities

Municipality

County

Award

Camden City

Camden

$61,400,000

Lawnside Borough

Camden

$700,000

Paterson City

Passaic

$21,000,000

Trenton City

Mercer

$22,000,000

Union City

Hudson

$12,000,000

Transitional Aid awards for five towns announced