By Freeholder Director Tom Arnone
You would not believe some of the items that are made right here in Monmouth County. From coffee to wine, from dry aged beef snacks to handcrafted wooden pens, from homemade natural soaps to cosmetics…and much more! A record number of vendors and visitors participated in Monmouth County’s fifth ‘Made in Monmouth’ (MIM) expo on Saturday, April 9 in the MAC at Monmouth University. Approximately 240 county-based companies displayed their goods or services with more than 5,000 people sampling and purchasing.
Thank you to all the vendors who displayed the quality products and services they provide and are based in Monmouth County and after five events, the ‘Made in Monmouth’ program is still growing and is a huge success. This year, the number of merchants increased more than 50 percent since last year. Everyone enjoyed the day whether they were buying or selling. Companies had a unique opportunity to market what they provide and I am glad they see the value in our ‘Made in Monmouth’ expo.
This event is a chance to promote our local economy which gives businesses the incentive to keep expanding and creating jobs. Made in Monmouth’ is a perfect setting that builds awareness of the excellent products offered by companies in this County.
If you are interested in shopping locally, be sure to download the MIM directory, as all of the vendors are listed along with product descriptions, photos and contact information. The link to the directory is https://co.monmouth.nj.us/page.aspx?ID=3979.
Made in Monmouth is organized by the Grow Monmouth team within the County’s Division of Economic Development. Grow Monmouth officials meet regularly with business, civic and government leaders to provide state-of-the-art information services. It has become a major public-private project to create and preserve jobs in Monmouth County.
While I am very proud of many projects and events we’ve done throughout Monmouth County, most recently I am extremely pleased with the Ocean Avenue milling and repaving project taking place in the coastal communities of Bradley Beach, Avon, Belmar, Spring Lake and Sea Girt.
This Monday, April 18, the project to resurface the 5.8 mile stretch of Ocean Avenue, from Bradley Beach to Sea Girt, officially began. Improving Ocean Avenue is critical to these coastal towns and I am pleased the way the municipalities and the County worked together to prepare for this project, keeping it on track to be completed before Memorial Weekend (weather pending). Each municipality did a great job completing the infrastructure improvements needed to reach the point where the County’s contractor can resurface the road. The County will do everything within its power to minimize the temporary inconvenience due to the repaving, and this $2.28 million resurfacing project will be completed in time for the start of the County’s summer tourism season.
Multiple meetings with towns to plan and coordinate the paving schedule were held to limit the impact on these communities. The disruption will be short-term, but the long-term benefit to homeowners, businesses and visitors makes this project extremely important as Ocean Avenue is one of the shore’s most heavily traveled roads, particularly in the summer.
Milling and paving of Ocean Avenue will take place between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday in the coastal communities of Bradley Beach, Avon, Belmar, Spring Lake and Sea Girt. No work will be performed on weekends.
The first phase of the work will begin in Avon on the north side of the County’s Shark River Bridge (W-43) and continue north to Fletcher Lake in Bradley Beach. The anticipated construction schedule for the week of April 18 is as follows, weather permitting:
- Monday, Apr. 18: Avon (Shark River Bridge) to Bradley Beach (Fletcher Lake) – milling and paving
- Tuesday, Apr. 19 and Wednesday, Apr. 20: Avon and Bradley Beach – milling and paving
- Thursday, Apr. 21 and Friday, Apr. 22: Avon and Bradley Beach – striping
In addition to closing sections of Ocean Avenue, local roads within a block of Ocean Avenue will be closed temporarily for brief periods. Municipal police will be present and signage posted to detour local traffic, ensure safety and avoid congestion. Local residents will continue to have access to their homes and mail deliveries will not be interrupted.
The resurfacing project includes milling, repaving and restriping of Ocean Avenue and constructing sidewalk curb ramps. All five of the coastal communities have completed local infrastructure improvements and repairs in advance of the County’s repaving project.
The project’s contractor is the Stavola Contracting Company based in Tinton Falls. Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering is overseeing the logistics of the project.
Please make sure to visit our parks and beaches as the weather continues to get nicer. And as always, thank you for your support.
Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and be reached at [email protected]