Today, Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Belvidere Mayor John Kennedy announced that the town has received more than $1 million in federal excess equipment grants — more than $857 per family. This is a huge return on investment for New Jersey and marks a big win for the Town of Belvidere. This will save Belvidere on their property tax line and allow the town to avoid bonding for new equipment; instead they are clawing back their federal tax dollars, so they don’t go to other states.
The federal excess equipment grant program provides new or slightly used federal equipment to police departments, departments of public works, and towns without any cost to taxpayers. This program spurs a more efficient use of federal resources to better equip communities like Belvidere with the tools they need.
In this case, thanks to the joint effort of the Mayor, the Council, and Gottheimer’s office, the program has delivered to Belvidere’s Department of Public Works a water rescue truck, a cargo truck, two dump trucks, two tractor trucks, a fork loader, various cargo trailers, a flatbed trailer, a pneumatic post driver, and six trailer mounted generators that can function as an electric power plant and provide electricity to the Municipal Building, Fire Department, Police Department, and two storm shelters/food pantries in the event of a major storm. These are all items the town doesn’t need to fund and can now save property tax dollars on.
The Belvidere Police Department received a diesel generator, fifteen workstation computers, and a network server. On both fronts, federal equipment is being used more efficiently locally by helping towns in North Jersey.
Said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), “Belvidere Mayor Kennedy has been a real leader in saving taxpayers’ money — clawing back our federal tax dollars, so other Moocher States don’t take them. We have already paid for this equipment and it’s our obligation to get it back, but we don’t get it here unless we ask. For too many years, we haven’t been asking, and in return, we’ve received back pennies on the dollar we send to Washington. I’ve been laser-focused on getting towns to compete and bring back federal tax dollars back to the Fifth District. Today, that has paid off to the tune of $1 million for North Jersey first responders and Belvidere families and I couldn’t be pleased. It’s a win-win, bringing home our tax dollars for those who put their lives on the line every day.”
Said Belvidere Mayor Joe Kennedy, “Congressman Gottheimer has been instrumental in assisting the Town of Belvidere in obtaining grants to obtain military surplus equipment for use by the Town’s police, DPW and first responders that the Town could not otherwise afford to obtain. This equipment will help make the Town of Belvidere safer, as well as the residents of neighboring communities that the Town supports with mutual aid, and these grants represent a great example of Congressman Gottheimer carrying through on his commitment to bring more of our tax dollars sent to Washington, D.C. back home.”
In February, Congressman Gottheimer discussed Warren County grant needs at his Washington Borough Office Opening. Then on April 19th, Congressman Gottheimer hosted Warren County Mayors, including Mayor Kennedy, at an Allamuchy Grant Roundtable, where he discussed federal programs to help Fifth District towns like Belvidere.
On April 24th, the Belvidere Town Council passed a resolution to enlist in the grant program and were finally accepted on June 26th.