FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MILLVILLEN NJ – September 19, 2019 – The City of Millville has been awarded a $125,000 Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) grant to strengthen the economic vitality of the downtown district and Center City neighborhood through community planning and leveraging private investment.
An orientation was held at the NJ Department of Community Affairs in Trenton where representatives of 20 municipalities across the State attended an inspirational workshop introducing the teams to the overarching goals and objectives of the program, steps on how to get there, and a customized data drop of the municipality’s proposed boundaries.
"No planning to plan!” was reiterated by program administrator Jef Buehler, a Placemaking & Place-Based Revitalization Specialist formerly with the New Jersey Main Street program. The City of Millville looks to partner with current Main Street recipients, the Millville Development Corporation (MDC), to complement the NPP for “easy-wins” that activate public spaces, ultimately driving redevelopment and more private investment. Initial MDC projects include a new musically themed mini-mural at the “tunnel” at 19 N. High and a recently awarded contract to replace the fountain at the Plaza with a community checker board.
Next steps include solidifying the NPP boundary with feedback from NPP staff after they complete a walking tour of the community and get a sense of the public and social infrastructure that defines a target NPP neighborhood.
The City has named local non-profit, Holly City Development Corporation (HCDC), as the NPP coordinator and community development partner to assist in the neighborhood planning process and subsequent implementation. The NPP dovetails with HCDC’s neighborhood planning efforts through the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation.
This year marks the first time in 11 years that the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has awarded NPP grants. The grant funding is part of a larger effort by the Murphy Administration to commit more resources to community revitalization programs that focus on small businesses and neighborhood improvement projects.