Thursday, April 14, 2011

OC Freeholders announce transportation grants

Non-Profits Get Assistance From County 4/13/2011 TOMS RIVER – Now in its 26th year, Ocean County is getting ready to distribute more than $47,000 in grant funds to 20 non-profit organizations that help provide transportation to the elderly and disabled. "This program goes hand-in-hand with our Ocean Ride public transportation system by helping to offset transportation costs for some non-profit organizations," said Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, who serves as liaison to Ocean Ride. The minigrant program began in 1985 and has provided almost $1.6 million to a variety of local non-profit organizations to support their efforts to provide transportation services to their specific participants. "The program is funded through a portion of the county's casino revenue grant received from NJ Transit," Little said. "Ocean County continues to be the only county in the state to provide a portion of its grant funds to help local non-profit agencies." Kathleen Edmond, director of the Ocean County Department of Transportation, noted that the maximum grant award for the 2011 program was $2,400. In recognition of the fact that Ocean County's casino grant has been reduced in recent years, the Ocean County Transportation Advisory Committee recommended that the transportation minigrant allocation maximum grant award total $2,400. "This measure was recommended to avert more drastic measures should the County receive additional cuts from the state's casino fund in coming years," Little noted. "Further, given recent earnings reports from the Atlantic City casino industry, the committee recommended to continue the suspension on considering new applicants, since doing so would place an additional strain on the minigrant program in future years." Grant recipients are: The Arc, Ocean County Chapter, Inc.; Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey; Community Medical Center Foundation; Community Services, Inc. of Ocean County; Counseling and Referral Services of Ocean County/Seashore Family Services Inc.; Eye Openers of Point Pleasant/Brick; Interfaith Health & Support Services of Southern Ocean County; Jewish Family & Children's Services/Jewish Federation of O.C.; LADACIN Network (Cerebral Palsy of Mon./Ocean Counties); Long Beach Island Community Center, Inc.; Manchester Township Senior Outreach Program; NJ Coalition on Women & Disabilities Ocean County Chapter, Ocean County Board of Social Services; Ocean Housing Alliance, Inc.; Our Special Kids of Toms River Inc.; The Special Children Center, Inc.; Team Randy; Toms River Township Senior Center; Twenty-One-Plus, Inc., and Vetwork, A Program of Vetgroup, Inc. "The size of Ocean County – more than 620 square miles – makes it difficult for the county to run a transportation system that can accommodate the needs of all of our residents," said Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, Chairman of Senior Services. "Providing this funding to these agencies helps to enhance the county's program." Grant applications are reviewed by the Ocean County Transportation Services Department in cooperation with the Ocean County Transportation Advisory Committee for Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities, which makes the funding recommendation to the freeholders.

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