This week we are finally experiencing some warmer temperatures and the sun has returned to us! Let’s hope the weather continues to improve as we head towards our “unofficial” start to summer, Memorial Day Weekend.
We’ve been pretty busy at the County the past several weeks. I am extremely pleased to say that despite all the rain we have had, the paving portion of the Ocean Avenue project is finished, with striping and some handicap accessible ramps yet to be completed. We are well paced to finish this project before the start of the Memorial Day weekend. Great job by our Public Works and Engineering staff in overseeing the logistics of the project, as well as the contractor, Stavola Contracting Company based in Tinton Falls.
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.
It’s officially spring and here in Monmouth County the signs of the changing season are all around us. Flowers are blooming, the baseball, soccer and lacrosse fields are bustling with excitement, and the big yard clean ups have begun in all our neighborhoods.
Here in Monmouth County, our calendar is filled with activities for all ages. As we enter our spring tourism season, I hope our residents and visitors will take advantage of all the events our beautiful county has to offer. The winter is over and it is time for everyone to get outside and to enjoy the abundant events in the beautiful parks located here in our County, from the beautiful shores to the woodland trails in western most part of Monmouth. With the weather warming up, many events will begin to take place in the great outdoors. At Historic Allaire Village, the Early Spring Flea Market at Historic Allaire Village takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 9 and the Spring Festival is on April 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso at the Asbury Park St. Pat’s Parade
The all Republican Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved a budget which included a $18.2 million spending cut and a $4.5 million property tax cut last Thursday.
“This budget reduces the tax impact on residents and businesses and returns the amount to be raised by taxation to the 2010 level,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “In January, I called for a roll back of last year’s 1.4 percent tax increase and we have achieved that.”
“Cost cutting and belt tightening over the past six years and the sale of the two County care centers have made it possible for this Freeholder Board to present a budget that resets our spending to below the 2007 amount,” Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso said.
Monmouth County’s government now spends $5.5 million less on salaries than it did in 2008 and has 1000 fewer employees than it did seven years ago when the Republican Party won control of the Freeholder Board back from the Democrats.
By Freeholder Director Arnone, Thomas.Arnone@co.monmouuth.nj.us
Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone
Mother Nature may be playing tricks on us with the weather again – she’s bringing in extremely low temperatures, then teasing us with spring like weather in the 60s this past weekend. But there is no trickery here at the County, I made a promise last month that I would provide our residents with a much needed tax break, and I am holding true to the that statement, along with my fellow freeholders by proposing an overall tax cut of $4.5 million. This is the first time, I believe, that freeholders have ever decreased taxes to the county residents.
We propose collecting $302.5 million from property taxes, down from $307 million just last year. At the end of 2015, Monmouth County completed the sale of its two care centers which eliminated the yearly operating losses that the facilities have incurred for several years. The public auction of the two facilities generated $32.4 million in revenue; approximately $18 million more than was projected.
The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders will introduce their new budget to the public on Feb. 25 at the Monmouth County Library Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury and at 7 p.m. on March 24 at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters on Symmes Drive in Manalapan. Both meetings start at 7 p.m.
The $469.85 million budget is $18.2 million less than last year’s, reduces the county tax levy to the 2010 level and reduces spending to the 2007 amount. County property taxes are reduced by $4.9 million.
Monmouth County Freeholders Gary Rich, Lillian Burry, Director Tom Arnone, Deputy Director Serena DiMaso and John Curley
The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders introduced a budget on Thursday that reduces County spending by $18.2 million and reduces the property tax levy on County residents and businesses by $4.5 million. The tax decrease is the first in 21 years and maybe ever, according to County Finance Director Craig Marshall.
The budget for the next fiscal year rolls County taxes back to 2008 levels and reduces spending to less than the 2007 budget. The tax cut reverses an increase, the only one since 2007, that the County imposed in the current year.
“This is a real cut,” said Freeholder Director Tom Arnone. “There is no fiscal gimmickry or raiding of trust funds or utility balances in this budget.”
I think Mother Nature is surely playing tricks on us. Last week at this time we were still digging out from one of the biggest blizzards in years. Some of our towns reported nearly two feet accumulation and more in certain areas with snowdrifts piling on several additional inches. Fast forward to this week, and we are enjoying spring like temperatures. Whatever weather Mother Nature brings us, Monmouth County is always prepared to handle it. Our crews were out round the clock, preparing ahead of Jonas by pretreating and brining all of the county roads, and of course keeping up throughout the storm with plowing and snow removal. We even assisted several municipalities in keeping up with the accumulations as we are always partners in providing services when requested.
Happy New Year Everyone. I am extremely pleased to have been selected as Freeholder Director for 2016. It is an honor once again to represent the board in this capacity. Last week at our annual county re-organization meeting I had an opportunity to briefly review my department’s accomplishments; ones that I believe have provided significant income to our county as well as savings to the taxpayers.
First I would like to thank my family for their support along the way as well as my, fellow Freeholders for their continued dedication to our county. In addition, I would like to wish all our Mayors best of luck as we begin the New Year.
Freehold– Freehold Director Thomas A. Arnone called on his colleagues to reverse $4.9 million County property tax increase, 1.5%, imposed last year, now that Monmouth County is no longer subsidizing the nursing homes that had cost Monmouth taxpayers almost $50 million over the last ten years.
Speaking at the annual reorganization of the County government on Wednesday afternoon, Arnone, who was elected as Director for 2016 by his fellow freeholders, announced that the auction of the nursing homes was completed this week and generated $32.4 million, $12.4 million more than expected. Arnone said that as a result of no longer having to carry the nursing homes, that taxes should be reduced back to the level that the board had held steady from 2008 through 2014. The Director told MoreMonmouthMusings that he would urge the Board to use the $32.4 million proceeds of the sale to reduce the County’s AAA rated debt.