Arnone: Shark River dredging to restart imminently

IMG_2642 (800x466)Freehold Director Tom Arnone told MoreMonmouthMusings that the NJ Department of Transportation has agreed to restart the Shark River dredging project despite the fact that the Transportation Trust Fund has yet to be renewed and funded. The news came to Arnone from a DOT official via phone after business hours on Wednesday.

NJ DOT spokesman Kevin Israel confirmed that the project will restart in an email to MMM.

“The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) assessment of Transportation Trust Fund projects halted under the Governor’s Executive Order 210 is an ongoing process,” Israel said. “The Shark River debris removal project is being resumed because recent developments indicate that federal funding could be jeopardized, and the Executive Order specified allowances for projects required to ensure the receipt of federal funding.

“The suspension of TTF-funded projects was done in order to ensure NJDOT and NJ TRANSIT (NJT) have enough funding available for projects necessary for public health and safety, and to respond to unexpected emergency work.”

“I am very pleased that the Shark River dredging project is back on track,” Arnone said.”I am grateful to Acting DOT Commissioner Richard Hammer, his staff, the Office of Maritime Resources and Governor Christie’s Office for listening to our concerns and making this happen.”

Arnone abruptly cancelled a press conference this morning on the banks of the river that was to have announced a plan for restarting the project that had been twenty years in the making. The project was halted, along with most other State funded projects, on July 8 due to Governor Chris Christie’s Executive Order shutting down all but emergency projects after the legislature failed to pass legislation renewing the TTF.

Environmental regulations allow dredging the river only from July 1 though December 31.  The project got started last December, stopped January 1 through June 30th and was halted again by Christie’s Order.

“Have faith in us,” Arnone said when cancelling the press conference this morning. “I apologize for bringing you all out here. It’s not about us, it’s about what is behind us,” he said pointing to the river. “Please continue to have faith in us, that is all I can ask.”

Neptune City Mayor Bob Brown speculated that the cancellation was an indication that a deal was in the works to restart the project. Arnone said that he hoped to have more news by the end of the day.  He did and the news was good.

 

Posted: July 27th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County News, NJ DOT, Shark River, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

7 Comments on “Arnone: Shark River dredging to restart imminently”

  1. Lots of talk said at 10:59 pm on July 27th, 2016:

    and photo-ops, but the silt, at low tide, is still very bad.. There isn’t a hell of a lot of time left, to save that beautiful little river.. So, less talk and more action,will sure be appreciated!!

  2. But why said at 11:24 pm on July 27th, 2016:

    …is there still a phone listing for “John D’Amico, Freeholder Deputy Director” (732-431-7158) in the June 2016 Red Bank Area phone book? County Govt. listings. He hasn’t been a freeholder in years right? So is this a Verizon screw up or did the county screw up the information they send to Verizon. And no current freeholder is listed, just Flipsy.

  3. Mike Harmon said at 12:34 pm on July 28th, 2016:

    Freeholder Arnone never gives up and that is good for the Shark River and Monmouth County. The Shark River is dying and we are killing it with excess nutrients from storm water runoff and silt from upstream developments. Freeholder Arnone and the other officials involved should be commended for forcefully navigating the maze of government regulations and finance.

    What this project ever had to do with the $.23 cent, $1.5 billion gas tax increase proposal is beyond me? Holding an approved and funded projects hostage may be a headline generating political tool or some sort of petty political payback but the environment and many good people working and recreating on the Shark River suffer the consequences.

  4. J. Dempsey said at 2:35 pm on July 28th, 2016:

    I actually dislike Shark River.

  5. Sorry said at 7:34 pm on July 28th, 2016:

    to hear that: tell those who worked hard to get beautiful homes built on that river. Tell that to all those who try and spend their precious free time in and on that river. Tell the fishermen and boat owners and small businesses who make their living working on and in that river. Tell that to the species that may be dying. The worst thing we can do is to allow our resources get ruined, and hurt our stagnant economy even more.

  6. Thomas Burke- Belmar said at 3:23 pm on July 29th, 2016:

    Good work Freeholder Arnone. Thank you for having our backs.

  7. @ J. Dempsey said at 2:06 pm on August 4th, 2016:

    You are nothing but a sniveling imposter.

    I know John Dempsey and John Dempsey would never say that. Are you so low that this is the only way that how you get your jollies?