By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone
At the last meeting of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Board authorized an award of bid for an asphalt recycler for the Department of Public Works and Engineering. This equipment will allow the Divisions of Bridge and Highway to take waste asphalt from construction projects throughout the year and turn it into high quality hot mix, re-using it for road repairs. This will reduce our disposal and operating costs, along with being environmentally friendly. The cost of the recycled material is 75% less than the cost for new material.
Last year the county spent over $150,000.00 for cold mix, base material and disposal of waste material. As an added benefit, every ton of asphalt the county recycles will benefit Freehold Township in the amount received from the State of New Jersey in their tonnage grant.
As the liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering, I would like to thank fellow Freeholder, Serena DiMaso for her support and assistance in obtaining a grant for the purchase price. This is a win-win opportunity for both the county and the taxpayer.
Additionally, as being the liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering, as well as the Freeholder representative to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, I am pleased to report that we (the Board) recently received confirmation that the county will receive, through the New Jersey Department of Transportation, $10.6 million for the reconstruction of the Sunset Avenue Bridge O-10. This includes the anticipated $9.4 million in the actual construction cost and the $1.2 million in Construction Engineering services which was recently awarded to GPI.
At a recent meeting held in Asbury Park, the Sunset Avenue Bridge O-10 was a topic of discussion with the public. I am very pleased to announce that the Bridge will soon be replaced with federal monies.
My thanks and appreciation NJTPA and NJDOT for all their assistance and for funding this much needed bridge replacement between the City of Asbury Park and Ocean Township.
Lastly, to bring everyone up to speed with what has been happening with Economic Development within our county. Our Grow Monmouth Business Roundtables continue to be conducted. Recently in Howell, my Economic Development team and I were joined by Mayor Bill Gatto and Deputy Mayor Rob Nicastro for a productive discussion with local business owners. Since then, the economic development team has fielded many follow up calls from businesses needing assistance. As liaison to the Department of Economic Development, I have stressed the importance for a continuum in the following up of issues that are discussed during these roundtables. Most recently, for example, Manalapan Mayor Jordan Maskowitz and I sent a letter to all Manalapan businesses outlining issues from the roundtable that was held there, and the actions that took place to remedy the concerns expressed by the businesses owners. It is great to see that we are making progress in addressing the business’ concerns as we continue to go from town to town. My recent visit to Wall Township marked another in the series of roundtables conducted. Wall Mayor Clint Hoffman was also present as we discussed any issues those businesses were experiencing. These round tables are part of an initiative I began in order to help municipalities build better relationships with their business community while providing businesses an opportunity to address their challenges.