The Murphy Administration announced on Dec. 18 that the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is accepting applications for three grant funding opportunities for municipalities throughout New Jersey.

The Local Efficiency Achievement Program (LEAP) grants are aimed at encouraging towns to streamline government services to increase efficiency and help reduce property taxes.

The LEAP grants offer financial support to local government entities to identify and promote opportunities for shared services. By doing so, they help address common barriers to entry such as the dedication of limited local funds, thereby making shared services agreements more achievable.

Additionally, the grants help counties, municipalities, school districts, authorities, and fire districts with the study or implementation of any local or regional service agreement, or for the coordination of programs and services authorized under the Uniform Shared Service and Consolidation Act. The program is available to all local governments.

The DCA’s Division of Local Government Services is responsible for administering the program. Eligible entities are invited to apply for grant funds under each of the LEAP grants: Challenge Grants, Implementation Grants, and County Coordinator Fellowship Grants.

Challenge Grants will allocate funds to the most compelling potential projects in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties. This grant program is designed to promote innovation among peer communities and counties across New Jersey, and challenge municipalities and counties to collaborate on more extensive partnerships that produce shared services of significance. LEAP Challenge Grants provide reimbursement for qualifying expenses incurred in the development of approved programs and services authorized under the Uniform Shared Services and Consolidation Act (N.J.S.A.40:65-1 et seq.).

Local units are invited to compete for a share of $150,000 in available funds within each county. New Jersey counties, municipalities, school districts, commissions, authorities and fire districts may apply. Any two or more of these entities may submit a joint application seeking funding for a proposal.

Application Deadline: Feb. 28, 2020. For further details please see:

Implementation Grants will allocate a total of $3.8 million to help cover costs associated with shared services implementation such as one-time reimbursable costs for project completion or transition support which may include, but are not limited to, new technology costs incurred as part of equipping a shared services program, rebranding costs, equipment and vehicle outlays, professional services, rent for facilities, payroll system conversion costs, and training. Funding is based on the total transition or implementation cost of a project.

This grant program also provides a total of $2 million for reimbursement of costs associated with school consolidation and countywide school district studies that support the creation of meaningful and implementable regionalization plans. K-12 regionalization and countywide school district studies will be given first priority.

Application Deadline: This is a rolling application process.  Although there is no deadline for submission, potential applicants are reminded that limited funding is available under the applicable FY2020 appropriation, and any award of funds in the FY2020 funding cycle must be made on or before June 30, 2020. For further details please see:

County Coordinator Fellowship Grants will allocate funds to each county for the purpose of hiring a fellow to work full-time with the county and each local unit within the county or any entity with which they may be able to share services to identify and advance shared service opportunities. This grant is also available to supplement existing coordinator functions, but funds may only be used for a new position, not an offset of expenses incurred for an existing position.

Each New Jersey county is encouraged to apply for a $50,000 grant for the purpose of funding a one-year, full-time position.

Application Deadline: Feb. 28, 2020. For further details please see:

To learn more, click on LEAP Grants.

To request information about LEAP Grants, email:

For information on shared services more broadly, please email