By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone
After a very long period time and with many notable road blocks and obstacles, I, along with a great team of my colleagues, including Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11), and Neptune Committeeman Randy Bishop, am so happy to announce that the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT’s) Office of Maritime Resources has awarded the bid to complete the Shark River dredging project. The project’s contract was awarded to Mobile Pumping & Dredging Co., of Chester, PA.
This huge step forward is a result of years of work coordinating with the many agencies that have authority over this project. After being involved in this project for more than fifteen years as Mayor of Neptune City and now as a member of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, I am personally very happy to see this project finally begin. I have worked with other officials throughout the years whom were also very passionate about this project, including Tom Catley, former Mayor of Neptune Township, as well as other past mayors of the surrounding towns and those in office today. The County has long continued to work cooperatively with these local officials, as well as state and government agencies to move this dredging project forward.
This is a large project, with approximately 106,000 cubic yards of material to be dredged. With cooperation from the Monmouth County Reclamation Center, which is able to accept and reuse the dredged material, and the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders providing funding, we have made this project a reality. Not one part of the Shark River project was easy or simple, but we found a way to accomplish this.
As a result of her commitment and dedication to this project, Senator Jennifer Beck and her colleagues have secured more than $5 million from the state towards this project. Similarly, Committeeman Randy Bishop and colleagues have officially committed to $450,000 in funding from Neptune Township. In addition, there are preliminary discussions taking place with Belmar, Neptune City, and Wall Township for cost-sharing as well. The persistence of the local community to get this project done was instrumental in helping us over the finish line.
I am also pleased to announce that I once again was asked to participate in Belmar’s Feast of San Gennaro, a festival that celebrates the Italian culture and heritage with food, live entertainment and games, which was held Saturday & Sunday, September 19 & 20. I would like to thank Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty for continuing to support this event. I was honored to present my good friend, George Andretta of Pete & Elda’s in Neptune City, with the San Gennaro Italian-American Businessman of the Year. George is an advocate for supporting his community and believes a business owner he has a responsibility to give back to the surrounding areas. Other honorees included: Carol Cupoli; Daughter of San Gennaro; Father David J. Baratelli, Son of San Gennaro and Michele DeCarlo of DeCarlo Fitness in Belmar as San Gennaro Italian-American Businesswoman of the Year.
Thank you for your continued support. I look forward to seeing the Shark River project begin and this local resource thrive again as it did 20 years ago.