Our Grow Monmouth Façade Improvement Program continues to be popular. We are still accepting applications and approving projects to help businesses improve the look of their building. We could not be more pleased with how the program is going. As part of the Grow Monmouth Initiative this past weekend there was a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of Little Dog Brewing, a microbrewery located on Steiner Avenue in Neptune City. Along with Mayor Brown, I was happy to attend and cut the ribbon at the brewery’s opening. The Grow Monmouth Business Roundtables will be continuing after the holidays. I look forward to getting back out to discuss the needs of Monmouth County’s business community.
We continue to assist our municipalities with ensuring the safety of Monmouth County and its residents. A few ways in which this is accomplished is through the upkeep of county roads as well as the upkeep of traffic signals. There was a traffic signal activation ceremony conducted a few days ago at the intersection of County Route 40A (Memorial Drive) and Evergreen Avenue in the Boroughs of Neptune City and Bradley Beach. The Activation Ceremony marked the completion of this much anticipated project. As liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering, I am happy to have been able to be a part of it from its inception through fruition.
The 1st Annual Pound the Pavement for Purple 5K Run/ 2 Mile Walk for Pancreatic Cancer was held Saturday, November 1st and was a tremendous success despite the unpredictable weather conditions presented by Mother Nature. In fact, I believe the cold temperature along with the wind and rain only contributed in helping to make this race not only a memorable one but an extremely positive and inspirational experience.
First and foremost on behalf of Neptune Township Committeeman Eric Houghtaling and me, we would like to thank everyone who worked so diligently on putting this race together and ensuring its success. To begin with, a tremendous thank you to the outstanding joint committee mostly comprised of Neptune Township and Monmouth County employees, namely Michele Narciso, Tiffany Bailoni, Sandra Petersen, Carina Santos, Mike Zarro, Fred Rummel and Darlene Di Leo. Thank you also to Gail Temple and my wife Chickie Arnone who also worked hard on the committee. All of these people were instrumental in helping Committeeman Eric Houghtaling and me bring this effort to fruition.
Freeholder Tom Arnone, Director Lillian Burry, Deputy Director Gary Rich and Freeholder Serena DiMaso. file photo
MARLBORO, NJ – Monmouth County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering is working to address traffic concerns on Newman Springs Road (CR 520), at the intersections of State Route 79 and Wyncrest Road.
“The intersection of Route 79 and CR 520 is operated by the State, but since CR 520 is a County road, I have asked the County’s engineering staff to study the traffic at the State controlled intersection,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr. “The County Engineer has sent a letter to the State detailing the results of their studies and suggested improvements.”
The letter requests that the NJ DOT perform an evaluation of current traffic conditions and implement measures to improve traffic flow and safety at the intersection.
“Currently, there is no lead left turn signal onto CR 520,” said Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Department of Public Works and Engineering. “This causes traffic delays during peak travel times as drivers attempt to turn left onto CR 520 from State Route 79. We are seeking relief for our motorists.”
A second intersection in Marlboro currently being reviewed by the County is CR 520 at Wyncrest Road.
UPDATE: August, 27, Curley pulls nursing home sale resolution
Freeholder John Curley called this morning to say that he has pulled his resolution to sell the Monmouth County owned nursing homes from this week’s agenda. County CFO Craig Marshall is on vacation. Curley wants Marshall available to address all of the financial concerns regarding the proposed sale. Curley expects to reintroduce the resolution in September.
Reductions in Medicaid payments for long term care under the Affordable Care Act have led to increasing deficits at Monmouth County’s two government owned nursing homes.
The John L. Montgomery Care Center in Freehold and the Geraldine L. Thompson Care Center in Wall are owned and operated by Monmouth County’s government. Property tax payers have been subsidizing the long term care of the elderly, disabled and infirm residing in these facilities for decades. From 2007 through 2013 the cumulative deficit funded by Monmouth property tax payers was about $40 million. Despite cost cutting measures and union givebacks, the combined deficit this year is on track to exceed $13 million plus the cost of repairs and capital improvements required to keep the facilities in compliance with state and federal regulations, due to cutbacks in the amount that Medicaid pays for patient care under ObamaCare. 98% of the patients at Montgomery and Thompson are insured by Medicaid.
Freeholder John Curley has been pushing his colleagues on the all Republican Board of Chosen Freeholders to sell the nursing homes for years. Every time the issue gets traction or public attention, patients in wheelchairs and staff members of the nursing facilities show up at Freeholder meetings and plead with the Freeholders not to sell the facilities. The patients’ stories are heart wrenching. The declarations of love for their patients by the staff members are moving.
Recently a Mayor’s Luncheon was held in Belmar for the purpose of giving Belmar businesses a forum to meet and discuss tourism and how it benefits businesses at the Jersey Shore. I was happy to attend and join Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty in greeting the local business owners and to share with them what the County Tourism Division does to promote the industry. The luncheon was held at Ollie Klein’s Waterside Café located on River Road in Belmar.
Additionally, we are currently working toward entering into a shared services agreement with Hightstown to utilize the Monmouth County Vehicle Wash facilities. This is yet another approach to help reduce costs and redundancies in the delivery of public services, while adding some additional revenue for the county to help offset our operational costs. Because Hightstown already has a shared services agreement with Roosevelt Borough for trash collection which is hauled to the Monmouth County Reclamation Center, it makes good sense for them to utilize the county vehicle wash facilities as a value added shared services while they are in the area. Howell Township has just been added to our MODIV property tax assessment shared services system. This system has been recognized for innovation and excellence in public service by the Harvard Kennedy School and Moody’s Investor’s Service for its role in streamlining the delivery and implementation of the tax assessment process. Certain municipalities have seen savings of up to 65% through this shared service.
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.
Progess in Tourism, Share Services, Infrastructure and Economic Development
By Freeholder Tom Arnone
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.
All but one Monmouth County elected official above the municipal level (Legislators and County Officials) have stayed out of the Monmouth County GOP Chairman’s race between incumbent John Bennett and Sheriff Shaun Golden.
Arnone said that he is endorsing Golden because, “I have been a witness to his abilities on the campaign trail and I am keenly aware of what he has done for our party without bragging about it while other attempt to take credit for Shaun’s hard work.”
In an apparent jab at Bennett’s campaign management and fundraising accomplishments, Arnone implied that Golden is responsible for much of the Monmouth GOP’s success over the last two years.
Pictured left to right: OSJL Regional L.P. Manager Bill Thompson, OSJL Director of Store Operations Paul Cox, OSJL Sales Manager Edmund Lynn, OSJL Regional Director Pat Nevue, Mayor Donald Burden, Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry, OSJL Assistant Manager Hakeem Reynolds, Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone and Freeholder John P. Curley.
Ocean State Job Lot, the New England discount retailer, held the Grand Opening of their first New Jersey location on Saturday in Shrewsbury.
Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and Freeholders Tom Arnone and John Curley, as well as Mayor Donald Burden were on hand to welcome the company to Monmouth County.
OSJL sells brand name, first quality products at close out prices. The company says their merchandise selection not only consists of a variety of manufacturer’s overruns, overstocks and packaging changes, but also includes many areas where our buyers have determined that “holes” exist in the marketplace. We are constantly on the hunt for special deals, which allow us to offer quality brand name merchandise at closeout prices.
While they are known as a closeout company, Ocean State Job Lots prefers to think of themselves as opportunistic merchants.
The Shrewsbury location is at 179 Newman Springs Rd East, which is near the corner of Shrewsbury Ave and across the street from Butch’s Lube and Wash.