Last November New Jersey voters passed the NJ Library Construction Bond Act, making $125 million available in the future for public library construction. “In the future” have become the key words. According to the NJ State Library Website:
The State Library has submitted draft regulations to the appropriate [state] agencies for this program which we anticipate will appear in the New Jersey Register in late Summer 2018. After a public comment period of thirty days the regulations will be finalized and printed in final form in the New Jersey Register in Fall 2018. After the final printing of the regulations, guidelines and applications for the grant program will be sent to all New Jersey public libraries.*
If all goes as planned the township should be able to apply for the grant funds this fall.
Since last spring the library has been working with the township to prepare for the grant writing process. The library has been anticipating what information and documents will be required in the application. We are confident that we have whatever materials the State Library will require. Our project has been in the planning process for nearly 10 years and is shovel-ready. We have over $2 million raised so we easily meet the requirements for a 1:1 match of grant funds.
But the application is just the beginning. There will be a 3 month period when applications are accepted before any decisions are made by the state and grants are awarded. If we are fortunate enough to receive a grant we will be ready to go out for bid on the project immediately. Still we are looking at 2019 before construction can begin. It’s been a long wait but I am extremely hopeful that 2019 will be the year of the new library!