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Montclair’s Brendan Gill Votes for $80,000 Anderson Park Grant

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Last week, Essex County gave local park enthusiasts a reason to celebrate. Montclair’s district freeholder Brendan Gill voted “yes” to allocate $82,500 in grant matching funds toward the development of Anderson Park.

Scott Kevelson, Chief Executive Officer of the Friends of Anderson Park, was notified during September 2012 that his organization’s receipt of a Green Acres grant worth $150,000 was contingent upon approval from the nine member freeholder board, of which Gill has been a member since January 2012. “Scott and the friends of the park do a fantastic job in their advocacy for the preservation of open, green space in Montclair.” Gill said. “Our county parks system is better off because of groups like the Friends of Anderson Park.”

The Green Acres Grant program, run by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Garden State Preservation Trust (GSPT), is open to municipal alliances that seek to “improve and expand recreational opportunities” in New Jersey, according to a letter from the New Jersey DEP. Through this program, the fundraising efforts of the Friends of Anderson Park have been matched 100%, thus bringing the grand total of funds available for various park-specific projects to $300,000.

Since taking office, Brendan Gill has consistently favored government spending on park and playing facilities. Last year, for example, he voted to direct $400,000 to the Belleville High School track and field facility; and earlier this year, he praised the opening of Café in Essex County Watsessing Park – a meal program run by the County Division of Senior Services in Bloomfield, also part of Gill’s district.

“I’m at Anderson or another park in town with my kids at least a few times a month.” Gill said. “These parks were around when I grew up, and, even in a small way, it’s rewarding for me to be a part of the process to keep them around for the next generation.”

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