American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
SJTPO Project Selection Process
The South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO) began to identify candidate projects for federal transportation stimulus funding in December 2008 as information emerged on the incoming administration’s anticipated stimulus program. Guidance from NJDOT Capital Program Management and Division of Local Aid, as well as from the Federal Highway Administration, provided the basis for SJTPO’s initial outreach to its member agencies. SJTPO also consulted with professional organizations such as the National Association of Regional Councils and the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations to keep abreast of stimulus bill developments.
In mid-December, SJTPO canvassed its member governments for “shovel-ready” stimulus projects that could be implemented within the time frames provided in House and Senate versions of the bill. In January 2009, it was anticipated that 50% of the funding suballocated to MPOs had to be authorized within 90 days, with the remainder authorized within 180 days, of the bill’s enactment.
Consequently, the criteria used for the initial SJTPO project screening included the following:
- Projects must meet the normal eligibility requirements under the existing Federal highway program, known as Title 23;
- Any needed right-of-way must already have been acquired in strict and demonstrable conformance with all applicable rules for federally-funded projects;
- Projects must be new to SJTPO’s Transportation Improvement Program, and could not require air quality conformity analysis (in other words, a project could not add capacity to the local highway system; could not be regionally significant; and must be an exempt project under CFR Title 40, Ch 1, Sec 93.126, Exempt Projects);
- The project must be eligible for designation as a Categorical Exclusion (from the federal environmental review process) per the June 6, 2008 agreement between NJDOT and the Federal Highway Administration; and,
- The project must be of a type which has been certified to have no effect on cultural resources in New Jersey by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.
This outreach yielded a substantial number of projects which were then reviewed with staff from NJDOT Environmental Resources to determine their ability to be implemented within the anticipated time frames. The resulting “A-List” of just over $30 million was further refined into “A-1” and “A-2” lists of approximately equal funding based on regional equity, local priority, potentially available funding, and availability of supporting data.
Since a late provision inserted into the ARRA allows MPOs a year for their suballocated funding to be authorized, the SJTPO Policy Board endorsed the full A-1 and A-2 lists, which may be viewed here. These projects include bridge painting, roadway resurfacing, and traffic signal equipment upgrades.
SJTPO’s initial suballocation of ARRA funds amounted to $8.2M, which included $5.2M by federal formula, plus one half of the statewide Rural ARRA funding, or $3.0M. Using the priorities within the A List articulated by SJTPO’s member agencies, the projects to be funded with the initial $8.2M of ARRA funding were forwarded for NJDOT processing on March 30, 2009 and are indicated in boldface and shaded cells on the SJTPO Stimulus Project List.
Click here to read the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) - Enacted February 17, 2009.
Why Do We Have the Census?
The United States Constitution requires that a national census be taken once every ten years to count every person living in the country, including both citizens and non-citizens of all races and ethnic groups. Accurate data reflecting changes in every community is critical for deciding how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. Census data is also used in deciding how federal and state funds are distributed, including more than $400 billion per year in federal funds for projects like hospitals, schools, senior citizen centers, and job training facilities.
National Census Day is April 1. The 2010 census questionnaire that will be delivered to residents in March by either mail or hand delivery contains 10 questions and will take about 10 minutes to complete.
Make sure you are counted - take 10 minutes to complete and return your questionnaire!
What Are My Rights?
By law, the Census Bureau cannot share your answers with anyone, including the Internal Revenue Service, Immigration and Customs, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or any other government agency. All Census Bureau employees take an "oath of nondisclosure" and are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of the data.
Where Can I find Additional information?
For a preview of the 2010 census questionnaire visit the Census website
To visit the Census Bureau's official 2010 Census site, click here.
For information on employment opportunities with the Census Bureau, visit Census Jobs.
When Will All of This Happen?
October 2009 - April 2010: Census worker recruitment underway.
February 2010 - April 2010: Questionnaire Assistance Centers and Be Counted sites open.
March 2010: U.S. Postal Service delivers Census questionnaires.
April 1st: Census Day! Complete and mail back your form.
May 2010 - July 2010: Census workers follow-up with households that have not returned their questionnaires.
December 31, 2010: U.S. Census Bureau delivers apportionment counts to the President.
March 2011: Redistricting data delivered to the states.
2011 through 2013: U.S. Census Bureau releases data to Data Centers and Affiliates. DVRPC will post summaries of this data as it becomes available. Check back often to see what's new.