Improvements to the house where Gen. George Washington once danced during the Revolutionary War construction of a Veteran’s Freedom Plaza in Manville, and programs for youth mentoring and food security in Plainfield, were among 15 projects in New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District that will receive funding in the new federal budget.
In all, Congressman Bonnie Watson Coleman announced, the funding for public facility restorations, flood mitigation initiatives and youth programs amounted to $15 million.
“As New Jersey’s sole congressional appropriator, I take great pride in making sure my constituents’ federal tax dollars come right back to their communities,” Watson Coleman said. “From mental health services to infrastructure improvements, these investments will make Central Jersey a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”
The Somerset County Historical society will receive $2,443,000 for major restorations to the Van Veghten House on Van Veghten Drive in the Finderne section of Bridgewater.
According to local historian Bruce Doorly, the house, which dates to the 1720s, was the site of a party for the officers during the Revolutionary War on March 19, 1779.
Gen. Nathanael Greene, who was staying at the house, wrote a letter to a friend that Washington danced for three hours with his wife, Catharine Greene. Martha Washington also attended the party but had “sworn off dancing,” according to Doorly.
The grant will fund major interior and exterior restorations of a building and renovations for handicapped accessibility and inclusivity including the creation and installation of signage for greater visibility.
The house is a museum, library, and headquarters of the Somerset County Historical Society.
Manville will receive $325,000 for the construction of a 9/11 and first responders memorial dedicated to the Manville Purple Heart designated community.
Preliminary plans indicate the plaza will be created on South Main Street near the American post.
In Franklin, The Center for Great Expectations was awarded $500,000 for its Roots to Recovery program.
More:Pallone secures $18.3 million in federal funds for 9 Middlesex County projects
The funds will support an outpatient program to serve men and women referred through the criminal justice system, the state Division of Child Protection & Permanency, insurance companies, and other treatment providers, who have been discharged from substance abuse and mental health residential programs and require continuing care. The program also serves self-referrals from individuals in the community.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties will receive $1 million for its Plainfield Mentoring Program. The program will support the demand for mentoring to address the social, emotional and academic needs of youth that have grown as a result of the pandemic.
The funding will support staffing the expansion and sustainability of the program by focusing on partnerships, sustainable funding, community outreach, and recruitment. The funding will also be used to establish a satellite office in the community, provide training for staff and mentors and hold community and program events.
More:Historic sites in Somerset, Camden counties awarded $1 million for restoration
The United Way of Greater Union County will receive $100,000 for its Healthy Plainfield program to address food insecurity, access to transportation and healthcare, and financial stability in the community.
Other projects in the Congressional District include:
● $2,000,000 for the Assunpink Greenway Active Recreation Corridor in Trenton.
● $750,000 for Kean University’s Coalport Neighborhood Revitalization Planning in Union.
● $750,000 for the East Brunswick Public Library Building Infrastructure.
● $813,600 for the Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton for a mobile health unit and staffing.
● $715,000 for the Delaware River Basin Commission.
● $2,600,000 for the South Brunswick Route 1 Signalized Intersection Improvements.
● $1,112,175 for the Southern Middlesex County Flood Mitigation and Resilience Project.
● $631,500 for The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey in Trenton.
● $750,000 for the restoration of the Trenton Wireworks.
● $750,000 for the Witherspoon Street improvements in Trenton.
Mike Deak is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. To get unlimited access to his articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account.
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