Above (left to right): Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Allamuchy Mayor Keith De Tombeur, and Belvidere Mayor Joe Kennedy tour some of the more than $1 million of equipment the town of Belvidere has clawed back through federal excess equipment grants.
BELVIDERE, N.J. — On Friday, May 11, 2018, Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) gathered Sussex and Warren County mayors, chiefs of police, and directors of public work departments (DPWs) for a bipartisan roundtable on applying for and winning federal excess equipment grants.
Since taking office, Gottheimer has been laser-focused on encouraging North Jersey towns to apply for these grant programs, which help lower taxes by clawing back tax dollars residents already send to Washington. In March, Gottheimer announced that, by working together to get a better return on investment, the Fifth District clawed back from the federal government $290 per household — a 16 percent increase from recent years.
At the Belvidere Town Hall, Gottheimer and Belvidere Mayor Joe Kennedy shared best practices for applying for federal grant programs like the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) Excess Equipment Program and the General Services Administration (GSA) Surplus Transfer Program, which provide excess equipment to state and local governments at no additional cost to the taxpayer. After the roundtable, the group toured some of the trucks, trailers, and diesel and trailer-mounted generators the town of Belvidere has already received for its Police Department and Department of Public Works. All together, Belvidere has received equipment worth more than $1 million — saving their taxpayers $857 per family on their property tax bills.
Gottheimer was joined by Belvidere Mayor Joe Kennedy, Belvidere Police Chief Matt Scott, Belvidere DPW Chair John Snyder, Allamuchy Mayor Keith De Tombeur, Vernon Police Chief Randy Mills, Andover Township Police Chief Eric Danielson, Andover Township Committeeman John Carafello, Blairstown Officer in Charge (OIC) Captain Scott Johnsen, Newton Police Chief Mike Richards, Hardwick Mayor Kevin Duffy, and Hope Township Committeeman Terry Urfer.
“I can tell you that, to this day, when Congressman Gottheimer and his team say they’re going to help, they’re going to help. When they say they’re going to guide you, they’re going to guide you. So come aboard on some of these programs. I think you’re going to see some great value,” said Belvidere Mayor Joe Kennedy.
“It’s no secret I think that our taxes are too high at all levels. My District pays some of the highest federal taxes in the nation, and historically has only gotten back 33 cents on the dollar for what is sent to Washington. That’s compared to Mississippi which gets $4.38,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Fifth District mayors, chiefs of police, and local officials to save residents tax dollars and help get towns and first responders the resources they need. We’ve already seen record successes this year to support our cops, firefighters, and towns. I am here to fight for you and fight to make living in New Jersey more affordable, and I’m leaving no stone unturned. I encourage every Fifth District town, mayor, and chief of police to contact my office so we can help save money for New Jersey families. There is nothing partisan about this work; it’s just good for Jersey.”
See video of the equipment Belvidere has received through federal grants HERE and additional photos HERE.