By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone
Happy November! With all of this warm weather recently, it’s hard to believe we’re just a few weeks away from celebrating the holidays. Either way, it’s a great time of the year and, as always, there is so much going on and so much to do in Monmouth County.
As we approach the end of the year, I would like to give a brief update on the second phase of the Shark River dredging project. As part of the second phase, dredge materials have been temporarily placed on Seaview Island until they are removed at the conclusion of the project next spring. The actual dredging process – which includes pumping the material onto the island to dry – was scheduled to be completed by the end of this year and I am pleased to announce the project remains on schedule.
As I have said before, dredging Shark River is a vital process that will benefit those who live on and traverse the river. The project will allow people to continue to enjoy recreational activities on the river, as well as maintain the high property values of homes in the area. I look forward to the project’s completion and cannot thank enough my fellow elected officials who have worked so hard to see this project come to fruition.
On a separate note, I would also like to give another brief update on my healthy eating initiative. For those who have not heard, I started a program with two school districts – one urban and one suburban –that have formed two clubs that focus on healthy eating while learning about the farming process at a local farm.
In the program’s first year, Asbury Park and Colts Neck students have come together to learn about healthy foods and farming at Allaire Community Farm in Wall Township. Students have made trips to the farm once per week and are truly enjoying learning more about planting and growing fruits and vegetables. I’d like to thank both school districts for participating in this program and Allaire Community Farm for teaching the students.
Lastly, I would like to remind small business owners about the Grow Monmouth Facade Improvement Program. Businesses in HUD eligible areas can apply for a grant of up to $1,850 for a facade upgrade such as a new awning, paint, door or sign. The County will be announcing new grant recipients in the coming weeks. For more information about the program, visit www.visitmonmouth.com.
As always, it’s a pleasure to serve the great residents of Monmouth County.