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.
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 past two weekends have been filled with fun festivities throughout the county and the list of activities throughout the rest of March includes parades, plays and performances. March is the month to celebrate the end of winter by getting outside and with two holidays happening this month, there are plenty of great events to choose from.
There’s nothing like a parade to usher in the month and the St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Belmar on Sunday, March 6 was the perfect place to do it. Those of you who were in attendance may have seen me, along with my colleagues, on our 2016 float – it was a great way to participate in the parade – we had the best view! I also had a great time at the Asbury Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 13 walking with Freeholder Serena DiMaso, along with Mayor Moor and members of the Council and look forward to keeping the festive spirit alive in the Highlands by walking in their parade on March 19. March 20 marks the first day of spring, so take the kids outside (if weather permits) and join the Monmouth County Park System for a nature walk at 10 a.m. at the Manasquan Reservoir to look for signs of the new season. Log onto www.visitmonmouth.comfor a full list of activities throughout the County.
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.
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.
Funding for projects in Middletown, Millstone and Upper Freehold
Freeholder Director Tom Arone
Freeholder Director Tom Arnone announced this afternoon that Monmouth County has been awarded $714,000 in federal funds to make safety improvements on County roads in Middletown, Millstone and Upper Freehold.
The improvements will be completed as part of two separate projects:
Upgraded traffic signals, installation of dedicated left turn lanes, pedestrian countdown signals and highly visible crosswalks at the intersection of Leonardville Road (CR 516) and East Road in Middletown, $339,000
Application of high friction surface treatment, safety edging (to minimize vertical drop-off and allow motorists to safely reenter the paved road) and signage to warn of curves along Stagecoach Road (CR 524) from Cherry Lane in Millstone to the intersection with Chambers Road and Roosevelt Road in Upper Freehold, $375,000.