Historic sites in New Jersey eligible for funding

Approximately $8 million in funds from the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior will be making its way into New Jersey in an effort to rehabilitate and restore historic properties damaged by superstorm Sandy.

According to state officials, the funds will be used through a collaboration between the New Jersey Historic Trust and the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) State Historic Preservation Office to create the Sandy Disaster Relief Grants for Historic Properties program.

DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said in a press release that the joint effort to distribute the money is still needed 20 months after the storm made landfall.

“Sustaining our state’s heritage and architectural legend improves the quality of life for all residents of New Jersey,” Martin said.

Restoration projects approved by the program will receive up to $500,000 to work on properties that were damaged by the October 2012 storm and have yet to receive money from a private insurance company, the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the U.S. Small Business Administration.

In order for a property to be considered to receive the project’s funding, it must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places or specially selected for the project.

According to the DEP, there are more than 170 locations in Ocean County and more than 300 locations in Monmouth County listed in the New Jersey and national registers of historic places.

In addition, all projects are required to comply with federal guidelines for the treatment of historic properties as set by the secretary of the interior.

Officials said the program not only covers individually listed properties, but also includes properties contributing to a historic district.

“It is vitally important to preserve our state’s history and to restore and protect important links to the past that were damaged by superstorm Sandy so that future generations will be able to enjoy and treasure them as well,” Martin said.

Properties owned or operated by a religious organization are prohibited from applying for funding, according to the press release.

Eligible property owners, which include county and municipal governments, certified nonprofit organizations and places of public accommodation have until June 30 to apply for the grant money.

Information about applying for funding can be found at www.njht.org/resources/sandy/.