Hello Monmouth County! What an incredible few weeks it has been here throughout our beautiful county. The weather has been near perfect, providing great opportunities to visit all the wonderful places and activities we have to offer.
I have some very exciting news to share about the Former Fort Monmouth property. The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders provided final approval last week to guarantee $35 million in notes and bonds through the Monmouth County Improvement Authority (MCIA). The funding will be used to revitalize the property which has been closed since 2011 and the potential impact of this redevelopment on our residents is enormous. It was the right thing to do for the region.
Freeholder John Curley, Deputy Freeholder Director Serena DiMaso, Freeholder Lillian Burry and Freeholder Director Tom Arnone
The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders agreed to back up the acquisition of the 560 acres at Fort Monmouth that is not already controlled by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) with a $35 million bond guarantee. The Freeholders voted 4-1, with John Curley opposing the guarantee, at their meeting last night which was held in Ocean Township.
The Freeholders’ action enables the Monmouth County Improvement Authority to guarantee bonds issued by FMERA. With the AAA bond rating of MCIA, the bonds will have the lowest interest rate available in the market. FMERA will use the proceeds to purchase the land, valued at $90 million, from the Department of the Army for roughly $35 million. The bonds will be secured by the land.
Did you know that Monmouth County is the gateway to the Jersey Shore? It’s evident in the more than 50 miles of beaches we have here. I hope you are taking in all that we offer in this beautiful county – from the boardwalk full of rides in Keansburg to the acres of vineyards in Cream Ridge.
Last week, along with Deputy Director DiMaso, I was happy to welcome the brand new anchor team for NBC New York to the Jersey Shore. They stopped in at Keansburg Amusement Park to take in all the sights and sounds – including zeppoles and pizza from the famous Victors Pizza and even got on a few rides! Thank you NBC New York for coming out to the beautiful Jersey Shore and helping promote the region as a vacation destination for all your viewers
In 2010, Governor Chris Christie signed into law the Fort Monmouth Revitalization Authority Act therefore, evolving into the Fort Monmouth Revitalization Authority, FMERA. As stated in their annual report, FMERA is to “provide investment continuity and economic growth to the communities impacted by the federal government’s decision to close Fort Monmouth”. The original plan addressed the 1126 acres in Eatontown, Oceanport, and Tinton Falls.
The Monmouth County Improvement Authority will be sanctioned by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders to bond 33 million dollars for the Phase II redevelopment effort at Fort Monmouth. This bonding will provide for a direct purchase (transfer) of the remaining 560 acres in the Borough of Oceanport and the Borough of Eatontown, from the Department of the Army to a state created entity, the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority, FMERA.
Folks get ready, it’s that time of year again, and the 42nd Annual Monmouth County Fair is set to get underway. Once again you can enjoy all the wonderful fun activities that have become synonymous with the Monmouth County Fair. Congratulations to the Monmouth County Parks system and the Monmouth County 4-H Association for leaving no stone unturned. This year’s fair will prove to be one that you surely will not want to miss, and it will run from Wednesday to Sunday, July 27 – 31 delivering excitement for the entire family. From the 4-H shows & exhibits, home and garden competitions and horse shows to the games, rides and live entertainment, it is guaranteed to be a great time. Additionally, you can expect to see crafters and commercial vendors. You will have many opportunities to sample some delectable food, as well as have an opportunity to make purchases from the farm stands that will be featuring local produce. There is even a climbing wall! I encourage everyone to come out to the Monmouth County Fair and be prepared to be totally entertained with lots of laughs and good surprises along the way.
Summer is in full swing and the weather is extraordinary! I’ve been all over the place the past few weeks with my fellow Freeholders, visiting towns, festivals and businesses throughout our beautiful Monmouth County, and nothing makes me happier than to see businesses thriving and residents and tourists enjoying all that we have to offer here. Speaking of festivals, many of these summer events would not be possible without the support of our law enforcement officers, first responders and volunteers. I’d like to take a moment to thank all of our first responders, especially our law enforcement officers during this sad and tragic time in our country. Thank you all for serving and protecting us every day and making our communities a safe place to live. The officers here in Monmouth County are among the best in the country and I pray you stay safe each and every day.
Sheriff Shaun Golden points to the $.90 fee on his phone bill. Click photo for larger view
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden and all five Monmouth County Freeholders called for the State of New Jersey to stop diverting the $.90 per phone line surcharge New Jersey consumers pay with their cell and landline bills from it’s intended purpose…the funding of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs)… at a press conference outside the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Center in Freehold this afternoon.
According to draft resolution that the New Jersey Association of Counties is urging all 21 New Jersey Freeholder Boards to adopt, New Jersey is in violation of federal law, the “NET 911 Act of 2008” (H.R 3403) for having diverted 89% of the $1.25 billion in 911 System and Emergency Response Fees collected since 2006.
Arnone in talks to keep Monmouth County projects going uninterupted
Governor Chris Christie issued an Executive Order last night shutting down all projects funded by the state’s Transportation Trust Fund. The fund’s authorization expired at midnight though published reports indicated that there is enough money in the fund to continue work through mid-August.
Christie’s dramatics came as a result of the Legislature failing to reauthorize the fund. The Senate was considering a bi-partisan plan to reauthorize the fund with a $.23 per gallon gas tax increase while also phasing out the estate tax and income tax on retirement income. The Assembly passed legislation negotiated by Christie and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto in the wee hours of Tuesday morning that would increase the gas tax $.23 and phase in a reduction in the state sales tax from 7% to 6%. Christie said the last minute sales tax reduction was his idea.
The Christie/Prieto plan was widely panned from both the left an right and had little support in the Senate.
No plan under consideration addressed New Jersey’s highest in the nation cost of road construction: an estimated $2 million per mile on average.
Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso with County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon and Sheriff Shaun Golden at the Farmingdale Memorial Day Parade
What an incredible Memorial Day weekend! It was the perfect setting to remember and honor those that have served our country, and those that continue to protect us today. We recognize those individuals who sacrificed to provide us with the freedoms we enjoy every day – we are the land of the free, because of the brave.
I would have loved to have attended all of the parades throughout the county, but unfortunately I could not do so as several of them are at the same time, so I attended as many as I could. I had the honor of walking in the Bradley Beach and Union Beach parades on Saturday, as well as the Matawan parade on Sunday. Monday was a very busy day, as I attended the memorial ceremonies for the Freehold, Oceanport, and Ocean Township; and then walked in the jammed packed Farmingdale parade. The attendance and welcome received this weekend at all the events was overwhelming.
The Republican presidential nomination has been decided. On the Democrat side, Bernie Sanders and the FBI are still nipping at Hillary Clinton’s heels. A a national level, like most presidential years, the New Jersey primary will make little difference. However, this year Democrat voters have an important choice to make locally.
In addition to their presidential choice, voters in the Democrat primary next Tuesday, June 7, will choose two nominees for Monmouth County Freeholder.
Running on Hillary Clinton’s ticket with the support of Monmouth County Chairman Vin Gopal are Belmar Mayor “Lawless Matt” Doherty and Brenda Sue Fulton of Asbury Park.
Running on Bernie Sanders’ ticket are Laury Wills of Little Silver and Angelica Ashford of Manalapan.