New Jersey American Water announces nearly $1M for revitalization projects

Cramer Hill area to benefit from a $981,464 Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) grant.

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com from Pexels.
Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com from Pexels.

CAMDEN, NJ, AUG 23, 2019 -- Representatives from the City of Camden, New Jersey American Water, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, Camden Special Services District (CSSD), St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society, community partners and Camden residents and business owners gathered for the announcement of a $981,464 Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) grant from New Jersey American Water to fund revitalization efforts in the Cramer Hill neighborhood in Camden.

“Today’s announcement marks another significant investment in Camden, specifically the Cramer Hill neighborhood, by New Jersey American Water,” said Camden Mayor Francisco “Frank” Moran. “The 2019 Cramer Hill NOW! Plan focuses on those who are living and working in this vibrant community. This investment will directly benefit those businesses operating within Cramer Hill’s commercial corridor and will continue to spur positive change within this growing neighborhood from both a social and economic perspective.”

The NRTC program is designed to foster the revitalization of New Jersey's distressed neighborhoods. NRTC funds are used by neighborhood-based non-profit organizations that have prepared, submitted and received approval from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs for a revitalization plan for the neighborhood it serves. The funds must be used by the eligible organizations for projects and activities that will implement the goals and strategies of the approved neighborhood plan.

“We are excited that Camden’s Cramer Hill neighborhood is once again receiving the resources it needs to keep moving forward on the path to revitalization while providing residents enhanced community programs to help them live a better quality of life,” said Lieutenant Governor and DCA Commissioner Sheila Y. Oliver. “Governor Murphy and I know that significant change takes time and we are thankful that New Jersey American Water and the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership have been in it for the long haul by investing in this Camden community for nearly a decade.”

New Jersey American Water has successfully allocated tax credits through the NRTC program since 2010. To date, New Jersey American Water has contributed more than $6.7 million dollars to local community projects through the program, and approximately $5.7 million of that total was contributed to Camden initiatives.

“New Jersey American Water is now a part of the Camden business community and these improvement projects will support the continued development of that community in Cramer Hill,” explained Cheryl Norton, president of New Jersey American Water. “The positive impact these projects can have on both neighborhood residents and business owners further highlights our company’s commitment to giving back to the communities we serve. We are proud of our continued partnership with the City of Camden, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and CSSD, as we work together cooperatively to make Camden a better place to visit, live and work.”

This year, New Jersey American Water selected the 2019 Revitalization Projects from the Cramer Hill NOW! Plan as the benefactor of its NRTC grant funds. These projects will be administered by Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, a Camden-based community and economic development organization, in partnership with St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society and the Camden Special Services District. The NRTC grant funds will be used to improve the River Avenue Business Corridor, promote continued business in the area, transform blighted vacant structures into new housing, and help promote Cramer Hill as a vibrant, safe neighborhood to live, work and play.

“Cooper’s Ferry Partnership has a longstanding history working with the resident and businesses in Cramer Hill and these improvement projects help to ensure that the Cramer Hill neighborhood continues to flourish for generations to come,” explained Kris Kolluri, President and CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. “With New Jersey American Water’s generous support, we are making remarkable strides towards the revitalization of this neighborhood and the City of Camden as a whole. This is a perfect example of all that can come from innovative partnerships, strategic vision and a shared commitment to enacting positive change.”

The 2019 Cramer Hill NOW! Revitalization Projects are designed to amplify efforts underway to position the River Avenue Business Corridor as a great place to conduct business in Camden, while continuing to attract new businesses and residents to the neighborhood. This investment will support the River Avenue Business Corridor in two distinct ways:

Development and placement of gateway signage and banners for the River Avenue Business Corridor – CFP, in collaboration with the City of Camden, will work with Cramer Hill businesses and residents to design and install two (2) “Welcome to Cramer Hill” signs at the gateway entrances to the neighborhood and approximately 50 banners on light poles along the Business Corridor.

Employment of two, full-time CSSD ambassadors for the Business Corridor – CSSD will play a vital role in ensuring that the Cramer Hill Business Corridor remains clean and safe. As part of this project, CSSD will hire, train and place two (2), full-time ambassadors to service River Avenue five days a week. These ambassadors will be responsible for removing trash and debris, removing graffiti from public property and local businesses and providing hospitality services for those living, working and visiting the Business Corridor.

“Our ambassadors are Camden residents, and take pride in the work they do each and every day in order to make Camden the very best place to live, visit and work,” explained Caren Fishman, Executive Director of CSSD. “Our involvement in the 2019 Cramer Hill NOW! Revitalization Projects will support the Cramer Hill neighborhood by providing assistance to local businesses looking to grow and thrive in this part of Camden. We are proud to be a part of these efforts.”

New Jersey American Water’s support of the 2019 Cramer Hill NOW! Revitalization Projects will also benefit residents in the Cramer Hill neighborhood, the City of Camden and the greater region with:

Programming and placemaking in Cramer Hill parks – CFP via the Connect the Lots (CTL) initiative, will facilitate programming and placemaking in Cramer Hill parks to increase park usage, strengthen community connections and provide opportunities for positive family interactions. This summer, CTL has engaged more than 450 people at outdoor movies, biking events and the Camden Peace Games at Von Nieda Park.

Design of the Camden Waterfront Trail Connector – CFP will oversee the design of a critical link along the Cramer Hill Waterfront segment of the Greater Philadelphia Circuit Trails network.

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