Progess in Tourism, Share Services, Infrastructure and Economic Development
By Freeholder Tom Arnone
The Belmar Seafood Festival was a huge success and the County enjoyed having the opportunity to show its presence over the three day weekend. It was estimated that crowds exceeded 150,000 over the three day weekend and as liaison to the Department of Tourism, I was happy to have had the opportunity to speak with so many individuals. On July 4th, Monmouth County Public Information and Tourism will have a booth at Oceanfest on the boardwalk in Long Branch. The booth will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. All are encouraged to attend and join in the celebration that will end at 10 p.m. with an evening of spectacular fireworks.
The most recent meeting of The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders was hosted and held in Asbury Park. Monmouth County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering has been performing vehicle preventative maintenance and repairs for Asbury Park’s fire trucks and emergency vehicles at a cost savings of 40% to the City’s taxpayers. While the Division of Highway has been assisting the local municipalities with sediment removal projects to enhance water quality and reduce flooding.
Additionally, as the Freeholder representative to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and Freeholder Liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering, I am pleased to report that in the next few weeks, the County expects to receive a federal grant for $10.5 million for the reconstruction of Bridge O-10 on Sunset Avenue over Deal Lake between the City of Asbury Park and the Township of Ocean.
This is a much needed project as this bridge is an important transportation link between Asbury Park and Ocean Township. The existing bridge is more than 80 years old and clearly beyond its expected service life. The structure will be replaced in its entirety with a new concrete bridge with architectural treatments and lighting similar to the original. We expect bidding of the project within the next few months, with construction beginning in fall 2014. My thanks and appreciation to NJTPA for funding this much needed bridge replacement between Asbury Park and Ocean Township.
Monmouth County Division of Public Works and Engineering recently enlisted help from the Marsh Master. The Marsh Master was used by Highway Personnel during the fish kill clean up. This was the only way in which to get fish removed from remote areas and some shore areas. The total cost incurred by the Department of Public Works and Engineering during this operation was about $50,000.00 dollars. This cost will not be charged to any of the towns as this is part of the County’s Municipal Assistance Program.
Lastly, as liaison to the department of Economic Development and in an effort to help promote communication between our businesses and our municipalities, I continue to conduct business round tables. One of the purposes and benefits of these round tables is that it gives both the business and the municipality a forum to be able to discuss ideas on how to improve business within that town. Most recently we met with the Mayors and business owners of Colts Neck and Howell townships.