By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone
Recently a Mayor’s Luncheon was held in Belmar for the purpose of giving Belmar businesses a forum to meet and discuss tourism and how it benefits businesses at the Jersey Shore. I was happy to attend and join Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty in greeting the local business owners and to share with them what the County Tourism Division does to promote the industry. The luncheon was held at Ollie Klein’s Waterside Café located on River Road in Belmar.
Additionally, we are currently working toward entering into a shared services agreement with Hightstown to utilize the Monmouth County Vehicle Wash facilities. This is yet another approach to help reduce costs and redundancies in the delivery of public services, while adding some additional revenue for the county to help offset our operational costs. Because Hightstown already has a shared services agreement with Roosevelt Borough for trash collection which is hauled to the Monmouth County Reclamation Center, it makes good sense for them to utilize the county vehicle wash facilities as a value added shared services while they are in the area. Howell Township has just been added to our MODIV property tax assessment shared services system. This system has been recognized for innovation and excellence in public service by the Harvard Kennedy School and Moody’s Investor’s Service for its role in streamlining the delivery and implementation of the tax assessment process. Certain municipalities have seen savings of up to 65% through this shared service.
As part of our ongoing Economic Development strategy, I am very pleased to report that Made in Monmouth was part of the County Fair this year. We were able to secure enough space to showcase four (4) of our Made in Monmouth vendors each day of the fair. The response from the vendors has been overwhelmingly positive. Not only did they have an opportunity to showcase and sell their own products, but they also benefited by making connections with each other and deciding to now showcase each other’s products. Three more businesses joined our Grow Monmouth Façade Improvement program this past week. Freeholder Rich joined me in Bradley Beach for the presentation of checks to The Buttered Biscuit, Connelly Realty and the Beach Cinema for projects that enhance their individual businesses and the town of Bradley Beach. The governing body of Bradley Beach embraced the Façade Improvement program from the start and has been helpful in making sure that all businesses in that town were aware of the program.
Lastly, as liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering, I would like to mention a few of the many projects being performed by the Department. The Division of Highway has completed paving projects in Matawan and Colts Neck as part of our shared services program, resulting in a savings for local taxpayers. Also, drainage improvement projects have been completed in Union Beach, Middletown, Manasquan and Farmingdale. These improvements will not only reduce flooding concerns but will also reduce mosquito breeding areas.