Sherrill lands nearly $1 million for Belleville drinking water issues

The Township of Belleville will receive almost $1 million in federal appropriations to use toward its continuing efforts to provide safe, clean drinking water to its residents.

Belleville will receive $959,752 earmarked for the first phase of its lead-line replacement project that began late 2022.

The money was secured by U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11, as one of 15 Community Project Funding (CPF) requests she submitted to the House Appropriations Committee for Fiscal Year 2024 that were passed by the House of Representatives — totaling $15.8 million.

Those CPFs were signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden Jr. last week.

The federal funds for these local projects create jobs, drive local economic growth and improve the quality of life and affordability throughout the district and state, Belleville Mayor Michael A. Melham says.

Gov. Philip D. Murphy signed a bill in 2021 requiring each municipality in New Jersey to replace their lead service lines — those that connect residences and businesses to the local water supply.

“We are grateful for the hard work of Congresswoman Sherrill, who fought for the residents of Belleville,” Melham said. “Even though few would argue that access to clean, safe drinking water is not a fundamental human right, we have sometimes had difficulty finding allies in our efforts to maintain Belleville’s water quality. While we put these federal dollars to good use and continue to upgrade our lines, residents can be assured that we will continue to closely monitor the quality of our water supply.”

Sherill said the Community Project Funding will have a “tangible impact” on lives — especially those in Belleville.

“Water quality and local financial burden of lead line replacements are top issues I hear about from local leaders and constituents,” she said. “With this Community Project Funding, Belleville will be able to expand its efforts to replace lead service lines throughout the township.

“I want to thank Mayor Melham, the entire Township Council and Business Administrator Anthony Iacono for their work on behalf of the residents of Belleville and for submitting this project that will make our communities an even better and safer place to live.”

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