By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone
What an exciting few weeks for Monmouth County! We are making history and people around the region are taking notice. The weather has been incredible – which means our beaches, restaurants and attractions are packed and in turn, economic rewards for the community.
We even got a visit from the Stanley Cup. Trevor VanRiemsdyk, a defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks and Middletown native, attended a ceremony in his honor at Middletown Arts Center on July 30. Hundreds of fans from the area turned out for this exciting event, where Mayor Stephanie Murray awarded Trevor a key to the city, and myself, along with my fellow Freeholders, dedicated the day in his honor, marking Thursday, July 30, 2015, as Trevor VanRiemsdyk Day.
And let’s not forget history making at the William Haskell Invitational. With a record setting crowd at Monmouth Racetrack, nearly 61,000 people came out to see triple crown winner, American Pharaoh. Officials said that is was the largest crowd in the 145-year-old racetrack’s history, with the previous single day attendance record, 53,638, set at the Haskell in 2013. We can now say that Monmouth Park, rich in its own traditions, is part of national horse racing history as well.
I am proud to let you know that I recently received good news that Monmouth County will be receiving federal funding in the amount of $15.1 million for the Bridge MA-14 replacement located between Aberdeen and Keyport. In addition, for Bridge S-17, located between Middletown and Red Bank, we received $22 million in Federal Funding and for Bridge O-10 located between Asbury Park and Ocean, we received $8.5 million. In the past three years, the County successfully secured over $45 million in federal funding through the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), a committee of which I am a Board member. I want to thank the NJTPA for their continued support of Monmouth County; and I also want to thank our County’s Public Works & Engineering Department for their tireless efforts. Receiving federal funds significantly reduces the cost for the much needed infrastructure repair and replacement projects from a burden solely by the County.
The Economic Development Department received word a few weeks ago that the County has been awarded a “Rural Business Enterprise Grant” in the amount of $80,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture. The grant will be utilized to develop an analysis of our agriculture industry. This analysis will be used to develop tools and resources under the County’s “Grown in Monmouth Initiative” to help retain and grow our Agriculture industry. As agriculture is a huge passion for my fellow Freeholder, Lillian Burry, I look forward to partnering with her on this initiative.
Thank you for your continued support and hope you all enjoy the last few weeks of summer with family and friends.