New Gopal Bill Makes It Easier for Towns to Start Infrastructure Projects

12/19/19 | News

MONMOUTH COUNTY – Senator Vin Gopal this month introduced new legislation that would make it easier for New Jersey municipalities to receive bonds from the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank in order to finance transportation infrastructure projects.

The bill (S-4329) exempts local governments from making a deposit before receiving a loan from the Infrastructure Bank in order to finance a transportation project. It would also exempt local governments from needing to submit to their local finance boards any plans regarding the maturity and amount of annual installment payments on such bonds.

The New Jersey Infrastructure Bank is an independent State Financing Authority responsible for providing and administering low interest rate loans to qualified municipalities, counties, and regional authorities in New Jersey for the purpose of financing transportation quality infrastructure projects. Funds borrowed from the Infrastructure Bank are used to help towns build complete streets and improve safety and economic growth.

Currently, towns must make a five percent down payment in order to pass a local bond ordinance involving New Jersey Infrastructure Bank projects. This deposit is not required for towns that take out low-interest loans for water quality infrastructure projects from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust, of which the Infrastructure Bank is a subsidiary.

Senator Gopal released the following statement concerning this legislation:

“The Infrastructure Bank agrees that the five-percent deposit for local infrastructure projects is unnecessary, but it’s up to the legislature to fix and remove this burdensome obstacle. By making it easier for municipalities – and especially smaller towns – to invest in local infrastructure projects, we can improve the safety and economic benefits of our streets, bridges, and other transportation.”