The township has been approved for an almost $1 million state grant.
On Friday, June 23, Moorestown announced in a release that the Township has been approved to receive almost $1 million from a state grant to be used for an overhaul of the Lenola Town Center’s Camden Avenue corridor.
“For decades, the revitalization of the Lenola Town Center has been discussed, reviewed and studied, but time and time again, nothing ever changed,” Mayor Manny Delgado said. “Today, we are proud to announce that through the tireless efforts and advocacy of the Lenola Ad Hoc Committee, the Lenola Advisory Commission, the town council and our professionals, we have secured grant dollars to finally begin the process of Lenola’s rebirth.”
The $971,500, grant — which is funded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s share of the federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) — was approved based on a comprehensive application crafted by Taylor Design Group and approved by town council. The application included a number of elements from feedback given by Lenola residents during the Ad Hoc committee’s information gathering process. These included proposals for trees along Camden Avenue, the addition of bike lanes, new sidewalks and crosswalks, improved landscaping and other projects.
“This effort, this victory, belongs to every single person in Lenola who never gave up hope and every Moorestown resident who knew we could do better for the west end of town,” said Councilwoman Victoria Napolitano. “It belongs to those who call Lenola their home, whether they’ve lived in town for generations or, like me, chose it as the place to start their Moorestown story. It’s been a long journey, but I’m ecstatic that because of the hard work of so many people, we’ve finally reached a point where we can turn the page on the past and begin a new chapter for Lenola.”
The Lenola Advisory Commission was formed in 2013 by Councilwoman Victoria Napolitano and Commission Chair Jamie Boren to analyze and address the issues facing Lenola. Members include Lenola residents Patty Atkinson, Tom DiPaolo, Debbie Hess, John Logue and Matt Orsini.
In 2015, the town council officially formed the Lenola Ad Hoc Committee to address the findings of the commission and formally work with county and state partners to find solutions. Public members include David Hess of Browning-Hess Farm, 2015 Citizen of the Year Milt McFalls and Lenola Advisory Commission Chair Jamie Boren. Victoria Napolitano and Manny Delgado were selected by their colleagues to represent council on the Committee, and the Township Manager and Director of Community Development rounded out the roster.
“I am thrilled with the news about the TAP grant, and it was no doubt a work of many hands,” Boren said. “This is my home. Lenola is where I grew up, where I chose to raise my kids, and I plan on staying here for the long haul. With positive steps like this being taken, I think many others will choose to live, work and stay right here in Lenola. It’s fantastic.”
Moorestown’s TAP grant application received multiple letters of support from a number of sources, including a letter from Senator Diane Allen and one from Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio along with the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
The Lenola Ad Hoc Committee plans on holding a town hall meeting in the near future to discuss plan options with residents and get feedback before the final designs are rendered.
“This is just one piece of a larger plan,” Delgado said. “From here, town council will need to decide what additional investments should be made, what changes need to be made in our zoning and planning rules for the west end and what our larger vision is for Lenola in the coming years. I encourage all residents to get involved and offer their feedback as we take these next steps in moving Moorestown forward.”