Officials, NJ American Water Announce Nearly $1 Million Grant Toward Camden Redevelopment

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Officials in Camden announced Monday afternoon that the city will be receiving a nearly $1 million grant from New Jersey American Water toward renovations in the Cramer Hill neighborhood.

“As a water provider and wastewater provider for the city of Camden for over 100 years, this shows our support of the communities that we live in and that is really important to our company.," said Deborah Deguillio, president of New Jersey American Water. "Water is so local and anyway we can give back to the communities we live in, especially with a program like this it helps the residents.”

For one resident that lives with her grandson in Cramer Hill, she shared what it means to her to see these changes in the city where she was born and raised her family.

“My grandson now lives next to me so he goes to school in Camden, so I’m happy that he has all these new schools here so he can take advantage of that because I didn’t have the opportunity to have my girls in the schools that they have now so I’m happy for that and I’m grateful too," said Leonilda Rodriguez, Camden resident.

The $985,000 will go towards schools, homes, parks, and businesses in this very neighborhood to make this city a safer, healthier place to work and live.

“I can’t even put it in words, but let me put it in words for you. Crime has been at a 40 year low. Education rates, graduation rates, are at 66-percent and five years ago, they were at 49-percent,” said Kris Kollurim CEO and president of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. “Dropout rate five years ago was 21-percent today it’s close to 11-percent and there have been $2.5 billion of investments that have come into Camden, not just government investments but private investments.”

The four main ways this project is expected to benefit residents is to create a greener environmental infrastructure, redevelop vacant homes, improve storm and park management, and repair homes for low-income families.

"You have to be able to touch all facets of a resident’s life in order to make sure that the projects we are working on are a completed pool of projects and ultimately, that is why this project is so important. It isn’t just about investing a couple of dollars here and there on a small portion of a neighborhood need,” said Kolluri.

“Camden is having a comeback and I’m happy [to] see all of the new things, even if you go downtown you don’t recognize downtown,” said Rodriguez, “The way it’s coming along it’s beautiful. Yeah, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.”

Camden is on the rise and with the grant, the Cramer Hill neighborhood will be a part of the redevelopment of the city.



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