In the pursuit of trimming Monmouth County’s bottom line Freeholders Tom Arnone, Gary Rich and John Curley, Curley who faces the voters in November, are about to turn their back on several handicapped and indigent patients living at the John L. Montgomery Care Center in Freehold, despite a viable, fiscally responsible and compassionate alternative being proposed by Freeholders Lillian Burry and Serena DiMaso. The Burry-DiMaso plan both trims the budget and saves the facility, which serves some of the county’s most needy families.
Life is wondrous, beautiful and vital, until it’s not. Many of us have watched a grandparent, so active and so engaged from the earliest moments of our youth, suddenly decline and descend into illness and death. It’s even harder when it’s a parent or a child. My dad recently fell ill. As I write this he lays in intensive care, holding on to his relatively young life via prayers and the constant attention of family and medical professionals. If he survives this dangerous chapter, he may have a lifetime of respiratory, physical and occupational therapy ahead of him. A wondrous beautiful life is all at once fragile and uncertain.
Funding approved for replacement of bridge over Pews Creek
Middletown Committeman Tony Fiore, Congressman Chris Smith and Middletown Mayor Stephanie Murray inspect the Bay Ave Bridge on the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, October 29, 2014. MMM file photo
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Monmouth County was informed that it would be receiving a $2 million reimbursement from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the replacement of Bray Avenue Bridge (MT-2) over Pews Creek in the Port Monmouth section of Middletown.
The $2,006,208 allocation represents a 90 percent reimbursement for the rebuilding of the bridge that has been closed since the tidal surge created by Superstorm Sandy overtopped the bridge and advanced the deteriorating condition of the bridge significantly.
“Residents and commuters in the Port Monmouth area will be glad to hear this news,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone. “With the financing in place, the County’s Public Works and Engineering staff can now shift gears and move the Bray Avenue Bridge replacement project forward.”
Pictured left to right: Kevin Harms, Rob Harms and Jeff Brantly (all from Harms Construction Company, Inc.), Manasquan Mayor George Dempsey, Dan Healey (from Harms Construction Company, Inc.), Assemblyman David P. Rible, Manasquan Councilman Jeff Lee (in sunglasses), Freeholder Director Gary J. Rich, Sr., Manasquan Councilman Gregg Olivera (partially obscured), Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, Manasquan Councilman Owen McCarthy, County Public Works Director John W. Tobia and County Engineer Joseph Ettore.
MANASQUAN, NJ- The Glimmer Glass Bridge, which had been closed since last August due to significant damage to the bridge deck and immediate safety concerns was re-opened this afternoon, 80 days ahead of schedule. Repairs to the bridge performed by George Harms Construction Co. of Farmingdale were expected to be completed on May 29 as the summer tourist season kicks off.
“Reopening the Glimmer Glass Bridge is a welcome relief to the nearby residents and the communities of Manasquan and Brielle,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering. “We appreciate all the work done by George Harms Construction to complete this deck replacement project 80 days ahead of schedule.”
“Harms Construction began work in October and worked weekends and overtime to complete the project well ahead of schedule,” said Freeholder Director Gary J. Rich, Sr. “With this being one of the coldest winters in recent memory, this was no small task.”
In a county as large and diverse as Monmouth County new issues arise for the Freeholders on almost a daily basis. Fortunately, most also come with a very clear and simple resolution as well and so are dealt with almost as quickly as they come. Then there are a few issues that are not that simple. These tend to be ones that place two or more fundamental commitments of government in conflict with one another. Determining the future of our care centers is just such a complex issue.
Good governments mirror the values of the societies that establish them. Compassion for the most vulnerable among us is a fundamental value of our society. From their origins as tuberculosis hospitals through their evolution as nursing homes into more sophisticated care centers our two facilities have met this moral obligation in Monmouth County.
It’s been a long winter, but we are rounding the corner and spring is in our sight. The weather this week is finally giving us the big thaw that we need to get out from under these huge snow piles.
As the snow melts, and after weeks of plowing and salting County roads, Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering crews have transitioned over to the next phase of operation: pothole repair on County Roads. Residents can report a pothole on a County road by calling the Monmouth County Highway Division of the Department of Public Works and Engineering at 732-431-6550. If you come across a pothole on a State highway, you should report it to the NJ DOT at their website. Potholes on local roads should be reported to the appropriate local municipality. Please do not use 911 to report a pothole, as the 911 service needs to be used for emergencies.
The Monmouth County Highway Division is asking residents to report potholes on County roads by calling 732-431-6550. County roads have pentagon shaped blue signs with gold letters.
The division is transitioning from plowing and salting roads to permanently repairing potholes that occurred over the course of the winter.
Monmouth County Public Works Highway crews repair potholes on County roads.
“There are nine Highway Division crews going out on the County roads every day to look for and repair potholes,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering. “The Highway crews are also responding to reports of potholes from police departments and residents that come in all hours of the day and night.”
Arnone said that the potholes are filled with recycled asphalt from other county road projects and other potholes, producing a cost savings for Monmouth County property tax payers.
Monmouth County will have a new 250 acre park in Aberdeen and Marlboro Townships, despite the fact that Port Authority of NY/NJ backed out of a commitment to fund $5 million to purchase 87.8 acres of the open space from a developer who had approvals to build 250 homes on the property.
Today, the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders approved funding the entire $10.6 million land purchase from Aberdeen/Wilson Associates, LLC through the County’s Open Space Trust Fund.
“The Port Authority appears to be unwilling to honor its commitment of sharing to fund a project that will preserve significant portions of the Matawan Creek watershed and eventually provide a 250-acre park,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the County Park System. “The Port Authority’s offer to help move this deal forward appears to have been withdrawn. Fortunately, Monmouth County has an invaluable Open Space Trust Fund to finance the entire purchase.”
State Senator Joe Kyrillos praised the Freeholder Board, the NY/NJ Baykeeper and Aberdeen Township for making the park a reality and slammed Port Authority for backing out of the deal.
Baby…it’s cold outside! We’ve experienced near record lows this year. With these freezing cold temperatures comes additional problems besides just trying to stay warm – the low temperatures in combination with precipitation and other weather conditions causes havoc on our roads. The County Public Works Department has been very busy the past few months, ensuring that county roads are safe to travel on by pre-treating and plowing on a consistent schedule and staying ahead of the accumulation. By pre-treating our roads, the snow and ice begin to melt as soon they hit the asphalt and also makes plowing easier and much more efficient.
In addition to keeping the County roads safe, our Public Works Department has been helping municipalities throughout our county as well through our County Shared Services program. We have recorded cost savings across several municipalities by providing plowing services as well as access to the pre-treatment solution. There are many outstanding projects currently in the upstart stages in the Shared Services arena.
FREEHOLD, NJ – Meteorologists are predicting hazardous weather overnight in Monmouth County and the Department of Public Works and Engineering is monitoring the situation and prepared to take action.
“The County’s snow room is open and we are monitoring the storm’s progress and we have 135 trucks outfitted with spreading and plowing capabilities,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering. “Our process helps us manage the personnel needed at the County’s ten highway districts and dispatch crews as needed.”
According to the National Weather Service, snow, freezing rain and windy conditions are expected in Monmouth County overnight.
“America is too great for small dreams.” Ronald Wilson Reagan
Freeholder Tom Arone
2014 is coming to a close and I find myself reflecting upon my year as Freeholder of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders. I am very conscious of the tremendous support Monmouth County receives from each of the municipalities and residents. I receive phone calls and emails daily from members of local governing bodies as well as from informed conscientious residents. Through this open door policy which is how I choose to run my office, it is apparent that just like me we all share a common interest; and that is to continue to create new ways to maintain Monmouth County as one of the most wonderful places to live. Your unending support has helped me and the rest of The Freeholder Board accomplish many great things, and I would personally like to thank all of our local governing bodies along with our residents for the part each played in making 2014 a great year. Being mindful of the exemplary leadership of not only my fellow Freeholders but of each and every municipal governing body, I consider myself blessed to be working amongst so many hard working individuals whose main goal is always what is in the best interest of the residents.
Monmouth County is made up of an array of dedicated, accountable and knowledgeable people comprised of all those working in the offices and schools to those maintaining the roads in and around the county and everything in between. Each and every one of them takes on the responsibility of getting a job done and doing it right. For that I recognize and am thankful for all county departments for keeping Monmouth County as beautiful and safe as it is, and for making it the most desirable county to live- in the State of New Jersey.