$125,000 Awarded by New Jersey Department of Community Affairs to Fund Revitalization
Phillipsburg, New Jersey, February 26, 2020- The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJ DCA) has approved a plan, jointly developed by the Town of Phillipsburg and Norwescap, to make improvements in the South Main Street District. The plan included input from hundreds of local residents, business leaders, elected officials and community-based organizations.
Through its ‘Neighborhood Preservation Program, the NJ DCA will provide the Town of Phillipsburg with $125,000 in funding to focus on branding the district, coordinating and expanding events, and attracting complementary businesses through micro-grant opportunities. In addition, strategies will be deployed to improve the look, feel and function of public spaces and foster a vibrant business district by connecting the “downtown” area with nearby parks and trails for biking and walking and by linking tourist attractions (such as the popular Delaware River Railroad Excursions) with local retail shops and eateries. The funding is renewable for up to four years.
The plan, authored by Norwescap and its partners at New Jersey Community Capital, has been cited as an example for other municipalities to follow. Jef Buehler, NJ DCA NPP Administrator said of the NPP Plan, “Your South Main Implementation Plan both fully meets and exceeds our requirements and is being used as a ‘best practice’ model for other NPP communities working with us in New Jersey. All who have seen and reviewed the South Main Implementation Plan, both at DCA and in other communities, have been very impressed”.
Norwescap and the Town of Phillipsburg have entered into a shared services agreement to implement the Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) program. For both entities, this District is a priority and its designation as a Neighborhood Preservation area is anticipated to leverage more than 1 million in public and private funds for projects for the next four years. Norwescap has two additional initiatives in the South Main Street District – the Parnassus Neighborhood Plan created as part of NJ DCA’s Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program, and the Community Based Crime Reduction (CBCR) program. These two programs and, Norwescap’s long history as a trusted social service provider, will ensure that additional resources and programs will enhance these efforts in the South Main Street District.
“We are honored to be given the opportunity to work with the Town of Phillipsburg on this project,” said Norwescap’s CEO, Mark Valli. “Together we can leverage our collective assets and resources to build a vibrant and thriving District. There are over 120,000 visitors to the Phillipsburg area and the goal of this program is to spark efforts to attract food and retail options or events that build on visitors’ experience while in Phillipsburg. Building a strong commercial District will improve the quality of life for local residents.”
Residents and visitors will soon begin to see improvements along the South Main District from Market Street to McKeen Street and an increase of events at Walters and Shappell Parks.
One way to become involved in this transformation is to join Norwescap and the Town of Phillipsburg Police Department for the 2nd Annual Community Day of Action planned for Saturday, April 18th. “The Phillipsburg Day of Action is a positive way for anyone to get involved in improving their community,” said NPP Coordinator Mary Jo Harris. “Last year we had students, retirees, elected officials, police officers, and a host of residents pitching in to beautify our community, this year will be bigger and better.”
If you would like more information on the NPP program or the 2nd Annual Community Day of Action please contact Mary Jo Harris at [email protected] or call Mary Jo at 908-454-7000, Ext. 1136.
Norwescap provides vital services to over 30,000 individuals and families in need in Northwest New Jersey. Our programs include strategies that address the critical areas of education, health and wellness, employment, housing, volunteerism, and financial capacity building. Since our inception, we have been dedicated to achieving the mission of creating opportunities to transform lives through innovative programs and partnerships. For more information, please visit www.norwescap.org