The Arnone Report

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

Freeholder Tom Arone

By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone

 

At the last meeting of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Board authorized an award of bid for an asphalt recycler for the Department of Public Works and Engineering. This equipment will allow the Divisions of Bridge and Highway to take waste asphalt from construction projects throughout the year and turn it into high quality hot mix, re-using it for road repairs. This will reduce our disposal and operating costs, along with being environmentally friendly. The cost of the recycled material is 75% less than the cost for new material.

Last year the county spent over $150,000.00 for cold mix, base material and disposal of waste material. As an added benefit, every ton of asphalt the county recycles will benefit Freehold Township in the amount received from the State of New Jersey in their tonnage grant.

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Posted: July 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Arnone Report

Progess in Tourism, Share Services, Infrastructure and Economic Development

By Freeholder Tom Arnone

 

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

Freeholder Tom Arone

The Belmar Seafood Festival was a huge success and the County enjoyed having the opportunity to show its presence over the three day weekend. It was estimated that crowds exceeded 150,000 over the three day weekend and as liaison to the Department of Tourism, I was happy to have had the opportunity to speak with so many individuals. On July 4th, Monmouth County Public Information and Tourism will have a booth at Oceanfest on the boardwalk in Long Branch. The booth will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. All are encouraged to attend and join in the celebration that will end at 10 p.m. with an evening of spectacular fireworks.

The most recent meeting of The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders was hosted and held in Asbury Park. Monmouth County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering has been performing vehicle preventative maintenance and repairs for Asbury Park’s fire trucks and emergency vehicles at a cost savings of 40% to the City’s taxpayers. While the Division of Highway has been assisting the local municipalities with sediment removal projects to enhance water quality and reduce flooding.

Additionally, as the Freeholder representative to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and Freeholder Liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering, I am pleased to report that in the next few weeks, the County expects to receive a federal grant for $10.5 million for the reconstruction of Bridge O-10 on Sunset Avenue over Deal Lake between the City of Asbury Park and the Township of Ocean.

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Posted: June 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

Overflow crowd urges Freeholders to save Bradley Cove

click for larger view

click for larger view

Asbury Park – An overflow crowd of Asbury Park residents attended the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting in the city last evening to rally the county’s governing body to save the north end beachfront property known as Bradley Cove.

iStar Financial, the city’s master developer, owns the development rights to the site and has a proposal to build 15 town homes on the property. The Asbury Park Council passed a resolution earlier this month to apply for Green Acres funding to preserve the property.

The freeholders were sympathetic to the public outcry to prevent the development, but made it clear that the ball is in Asbury Park’s court.  Prior Asbury Park administrations sold the development rights to the property and approved a tax abatement to support the development.  Community members are now trying to undue that deal, and seem be hoping that Freeholder Board has the power to make that happen.

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Posted: June 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Lillian Burry Opposes Beach Replenishment in Upper Freehold and Millstone

Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry Photo by Vinnie Amessé © www.amessephoto.com

Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry
Photo by Vinnie Amessé © www.amessephoto.com

In a column in the current issue of the triCityNews, Freeholder Director Lillian Burry said that one of her opponents in the coming election was right when he accused Burry of not supporting “agricultural and farmland preservation in “coastal” towns.  “It’s for the same reason I don’t support beach replenishment in Upper Freehold and Millstone. There aren’t any beaches there, just as there aren’t a lot of farms in Red Bank or Long Branch or Asbury Park.”

Burry points out that there in only one parcel in the region qualified for the farmland preservation program, in Long Branch, and that the owner of the property has not applied to sell the development rights to the program which is funded by municipal, county and state dollars.

At issue is beachfront property at the north end of Asbury Park that is slated for residential development.   There is some vocal opposition to the proposed development and Democratic Freeholder candidate Joe Grillo is trying to jump on that band wagon to get traction in his fledgling campaign against Burry and Deputy Freeholder Director Gary Rich.

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Posted: June 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park, Lillian Burry, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Park System | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

The Arnone Report: Keeping our roads safe and affordable

By Freeholder Tom Arnone

 

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

Freeholder Tom Arone

TRAFFIC SIGNALS are of great significance in that they help to control the flow of traffic as well as helping to ensure the safety of our residents. Recently, there was a traffic signal activation ceremony held on the corner of Locust Avenue and Parker Roadin the Borough of West Long Branch. This project came about as a result of Mayor Tucci requesting that the County study this intersection to allow better traffic flow from Parker Road onto County Route 15 (Locust Avenue) and to improve safety and access for the Frank Antonides Middle School and the West Long Branch Community Center. Based on the County’s study our in-house County engineers designed this state of the art traffic signal which has dedicated turn lanes, improved crosswalks and push-button control pedestrian signals. The traffic signal uses LED lights that costs less to operate and is eco-friendly.

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Posted: June 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

The Arnone Report: Update on Shark River Fish Kill

By Freeholder Tom Arnone

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

Freeholder Tom Arone

On May 12, 2014, a massive fish kill began in the Shark River.  Over the next 10 days, 310 tons of fish would die and wash ashore.  According to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, the cause of the fish kill was due to a large number of bait fish entering the river to seek refuge from bluefish and bass.  The concentration of fish, coupled with warm and shallow waters, depleted the dissolved oxygen levels, resulting in the die-off.  Despite that this event appeared to be a naturally occurring phenomenon, the die-off was a wake-up call that we should not take the health of the River for granted.  While a number of factors working together may have contributed to the event, there are some people that believe this devastating ecological event could have been avoided with preventative maintenance, or more specifically, the long-overdue dredging of the Shark River.

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Posted: May 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Gary Rich: Fighting and Winning for Monmouth County Taxpayers

By Deputy Freeholder Director Gary Rich

When I ran for Freeholder in 2011, I ran on the promise that I would spend every day in office working for the taxpayers of Monmouth County. Three years later, Monmouth County’s Board of Chosen Freeholders has just delivered its fourth straight budget with no change to the property tax levy. Four straight years.

rich20photo

Gary Rich

This wasn’t simply chance and luck had nothing to do with it. I fought hard and committed to making tough cuts in order to meet our commitment to Monmouth County taxpayers—to provide the high level of services our residents are accustomed to while employing the utmost fiscal prudence.

In 2010, the Monmouth County budget peaked at $493,400,000. Since then, this Freeholder Board has reduced the budget to the tune of $12.5 million in total savings over the last four years. And this is to say nothing of the $60+ million in spending that was cut over the same time period as a result of the budget work that happens all year long behind the scenes.

It’s not without its challenges. The budget process requires a delicate balance. After all, a low budget and no tax increase mean nothing if taxpayers then suffer due to declining and diminished services. The County still has to provide the services that our residents need – that’s its mandate. But it’s the mandate of the Board of Chosen Freeholders to make sure we’re providing that top-notch service in the most efficient and effective way possible.

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Posted: May 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Budget | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Arnone Report

ZERO PERCENT TAX INCREASE

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

Freeholder Director Tom Arone

By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone

 

For the fourth straight year in a row The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders has had a 0% tax increase. I am pleased that I have been able to be a part of this budget especially in the hard economic times we are faced with. It has been and always will be a priority of mine as well as the entire Board of Chosen Freeholders to continue this trend of savings to our Monmouth County residents.

Additionally, The Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to report we have collected over $1 Million (Actual is $1,022,976.56) in revenues at this early stage in the year from our 911 communications shared service. This amount is based on revenue received from 21 towns. This is a vast increase from prior years where the invoice and revenue collection process typically began in April. This year, the Freeholders in conjunction with the Sheriff through the Office of Shared Services began the process at a much earlier date. The result has been beneficial to all parties as the county has earlier use of funds to help offset our expenses which allows for efficient budgeting for the county as well as for our municipalities. The Board of Chosen Freeholders is extremely pleased with these figures and anticipates the numbers to continue to increase as we receive revenue from the remaining municipalities. The revenue the County receives that is generated through shared services offers relief to the municipalities that translates to lower costs for the services being performed.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and at the last meeting of The Board of Chosen Freeholders a Proclamation was presented to Dr. David Abbott, Superintendent of Schools, for The Shore Center for Students with Autism located in Tinton Falls,. The Proclamation was presented to commemorate Autism Awareness Month in hopes of raising awareness of Autism.

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Posted: April 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Monmouth County Budget, Property Taxes, Taxes, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Monmouth County Freeholders Adopt Budget With Zero Tax Increase

Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry Photo by Vinnie Amessé © www.amessephoto.com

Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry

For the fourth straight year, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted a county budget with no tax increase.

At their meeting April 10 meeting the Freeholder Board, comprised of 5 Republicans, adopted $480.9 million budget, a $100,000 spending reduction from last year’s budget.  The amount raised through property taxes is $302,475,000, the same amount raised every year since 2010.

“It is a challenge every year to try to cut spending without impacting the level of services our taxpayers have come to expect,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry. “This process is not something that is done in haste. This budget reflects the months of work that has gotten us to a flat tax rate for the fourth year in a row.”

“This year, an internal budget subcommittee met with each department to look for duplicative services and identify areas for consolidation and savings,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr., liaison to the Finance Department. “This process has yielded savings in the areas of information technology, finance, human resources, building maintenance and legal services.”

Monmouth County relies less on taxes than most other New Jersey counties. As a percentage of the overall budget, Monmouth County’s taxes comprise 62 percent of the total budget, historically behind Union, Hudson and Essex counties.

“The department heads deserve a lot of credit for their hard work in paring down the budget,” said Rich. “This is the fifth year in which we asked for concessions from the departments and, as a result, this is the fourth year in which the tax levy has remained the same.”

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Posted: April 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Flo’s Happy Clipper joins Facade Improvement Program

Groomer receives $1,727 check

EATONTOWN, NJ – The Grow Monmouth Facade Improvement Program recognized Flo’s Happy Clipper for recent upgrades today.

FlosHappy_Clipper_4-8-14“Flo’s is receiving a check for $1,727 for a new awning,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone. “Every Facade Improvement Program check helps make a needed improvement to a local business. This is the seventh check presented so far.”

Flo’s Happy Clipper is located at 20 Main Street in Eatontown. Owner Robert Ferrara accepted the reimbursement check from Arnone.

The program is part of the successful Grow Monmouth initiative that is utilizing HUD Community Development Block Grant funds to help improve the look of privately held commercial buildings located in HUD eligible areas of Monmouth County. No County funds are being used for the program.

HUD eligible areas include all or part of 26 of the County’s municipalities. Eligible municipalities are: Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Colts Neck (Naval station only), Deal, Eatontown, Farmingdale, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Hazlet, Highlands, Howell, Keansburg, Keyport, Lake Como, Manalapan, Matawan, Neptune City, Neptune Twp., Ocean Twp., Red Bank, Shrewsbury Twp., Tinton Falls (naval station only), Union Beach and West Long Branch.

Asbury Park, Long Branch and Middletown businesses are not eligible for this program because those municipalities receive designated HUD Community Development Block Grants directly.

“No matching funds are required from the business,” Arnone said. “To date, $12,178 has been dispersed out of a total of $85,000 that has been set aside for this program, so businesses should apply now.”

For more information about the Grow Monmouth Façade Improvement Program please contact the Division of Economic Development at 732-431-7470 or visit the Grow Monmouth section of the County website at www.visitmonmouth.com

Posted: April 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, Press Release, Tom Arnone | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off