Berkeley Heights has secured a $2 million appropriation in the federal budget to help upgrade its sewer plant infrastructure and mitigate flooding. The news is encouraging as progress continues in securing federal and state funding for flood mitigation and sewer upgrades. The $2 million request is an early but significant milestone in the federal budget process, with all three Congressional representatives prioritizing funding for Berkeley Heights Wastewater and Stormwater efforts. This bodes well for addressing the urgent infrastructure needs at the sewer plant, which are exacerbated by flooding challenges faced by the Township, as waters from the Passaic River cause major flooding and disruptions throughout the area.
Mayor Devanney expressed her appreciation, stating, "Thankfully, our representatives on Capitol Hill grasp the urgency and severity of the flooding issues in our town. Their support is crucial as we work toward substantial improvements for Berkeley Heights through our collaborative efforts."
On June 20th, 2023, Mayor Angie Devanney, Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley, and Business Administrator Liza Viana made a proactive trip to Washington DC to advocate for the township's needs in person. There was a request made by Senator Booker for $18 million for Berkeley Heights, with Senator Menendez and Congressman Kean each proposing $2 million. Although the bills must navigate through both the House and the Senate before reconciliation, the priority given by our elected representatives marks a promising initial step.
“This Council and Administration are committed to improving our sewer infrastructure to ensure it can handle our growing town,” said Councilwoman Kingsley. “Together, we are working toward this important goal.”
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Once secured, the funds will address the urgent repairs required for the aging infrastructure of the Berkeley Heights Wastewater Treatment Department, which includes the Water Pollution Control Plant, six pumping stations, sewer mains, and collection facilities.
These funds would be in addition to the special appropriation of $750,000 to the New Jersey 2024 budget, signed by Governor Murphy on June 30th, and the $350,000 included in the New Jersey 2023 budget, for the Berkeley Heights Waste Water Treatment Plant. Over the last 12 months, a total of $1.1 million in outside funding has been allocated for infrastructure upgrades to the plant facility. The Township is planning an estimated $10 million more in vital infrastructure upgrades over the next two to three years.